As Arsene Wenger celebrates his 60th birthday we pick some choice comments from the Frenchman - one for every year.
Last Updated: 23/10/09 1:13pm
As Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger celebrates his 60th birthday, Pete Gill picks out some choice comments from the Frenchman - one for every year.
1)"I watch football." Upon being asked what he does with his spare time
2) "I tried to watch the Tottenham match on television in my hotel yesterday, but I fell asleep."
3) "When I first came to Arsenal, I realised the back four were all university graduates in the art of defending. As for Tony Adams, I consider him to be a doctor of defence. He is simply outstanding."
4)"Intelligence and class. Class is of course, most of the time linked to what you can do with the ball, but the intelligence makes you use the technique in an efficient way. It's like somebody who has a big vocabulary but he doesn't say intelligent words, and somebody who has a big vocabulary but he can talk intelligently, and that's what Dennis is all about. What he does, there's always a head and always a brain. And his technique allows him to do what he sees, and what he decides to do." On the qualities of Dennis Bergkamp
5)"If you eat caviar every day it's difficult to return to sausages." After the Arsenal fans booed a 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough in November 1998.
6) "A company works best when everybody does the job he is paid to do."
7) "Sometimes now, when I watch continental games on television, I'm a bit bored. I'm thinking: 'Where is the intensity?'"
8) [In 2003] "It's not impossible. I know it will be difficult for us to go through the season unbeaten. But if we keep the right attitude it's possible we can do it."
9)"He's out of order, disconnected with reality and disrespectful. When you give success to stupid people, it makes them more stupid sometimes and not more intelligent." On Jose Mourinho after the then Chelsea boss accused him of being a voyeur
10) "A football team is like a beautiful woman. When you do not tell her, she forgets she is beautiful."
11)"If you have a child who is a good musician, what is your first reaction? It is to put them into a good music school, not in an average one. So why should that not happen in football?" In response to Sepp Blatter's accusation that big clubs were guilty of 'child slavery.
12)"It is a big surprise to me because he cancelled his contract to go abroad. Have you sold Portsmouth to a foreign country?" After the departure of Sol Campbell to Portsmouth.
13) "I believe the target of anything in life should be to do it so well that it becomes an art. When you read some books they are fantastic, the writer touches something in you that you know you would not have brought out of yourself. He makes you discover something interesting in your life. If you are living like an animal, what is the point of living? What makes daily life interesting is that we try to transform it to something that is close to art. And football is like that. When I watch Barcelona, it is art."
14) "When you represent a club it's about values and qualities, not about passports."
15) "If I go into a season and I say, 'For f***k's sake, if we don't win anything, they will all leave,' I have already lost. The problem of the media is always to imagine the worst. The problem of the manager is always to imagine the best."
16)"I didn't know the English were good at swimming. I have been in this country for 12 years and I haven't seen a swimming pool." After the success of the Great Britain team at the Olympics.
17) "The biggest things in life have been achieved by people who, at the start, we would have judged crazy. And yet if they had not had these crazy ideas the world would have been more stupid."
18) "There is no better psychological education than growing up in a pub when you are five or six because you meet all different people and hear how cruel they can be. You hear the way they talk to each other like saying 'You're a liar.' And from an early age you get a practical psychological education into the minds of people."
19) "I started at 33 as a manager and sometimes I felt I wouldn't survive. Physically I was sick."
20) "Politically, I am for efficiency. Economically first. Until the 1980s the world was divided into two, people were either communist or capitalist. The communist model does not work economically, we all realised that, but the capitalist model in the modern world also looks to be unsustainable. You cannot ignore individual interests, but I believe the world evolves slowly. The last 30 years have brought a minimum amount of money for everybody in the west, the next step, politically, would be a maximum amount of money earned by everybody."
21) "As long as no-one scored, it was always going to be close."
22) "If I asked you who was the best team in the world you would say Brazil. And do they play good football? Yes. Which club won everything last year? Barcelona. Good football. I am not against being pragmatic, because it is pragmatic to make a good pass, not a bad one. If I have the ball, what do I do with it? Could anybody argue that a bad solution like just kicking it away is pragmatic just because, sometimes, it works by accident?"
23)"Everyone thinks they have the prettiest wife at home." In response to Sir Alex Ferguson's claim that he possessed the best team in the league despite Arsenal winning the title in 2002.
24) "Ferguson should calm down. Maybe it would have been better if he had put us against a wall and shot us."
25) "He [Ferguson] doesn't interest me and doesn't matter to me at all. I will never answer to any provocation from him any more."
26)"What I don't understand is that he does what he wants and you are all at his feet." To journalists regarding Ferguson
27) "Ferguson's out of order. He has lost all sense of reality. He is going out looking for a confrontation, then asking the person he is confronting to apologise. He's pushed the cork in a bit far this time."
28)"No. Perhaps he sent it by horse." Upon being asked if he had received the apology that Sir Alex had announced he had sent to Wenger.
29) "I'm ready to take the blame for all the problems of English football if that is what he wants."
30)"It's like you wanting to marry Miss World and she doesn't want you. I can try to help you but if she does not want to marry you what can I do?" After Jose Reyes announced he wanted to leave Arsenal.
31) "Despite the global warming, England is still not warm enough for him."
32) "Gerard Houllier's thoughts on the matter [international football] echo mine. He thinks that what the national coaches are doing is like taking the car from his garage without even asking permission. They will then use the car for ten days and abandon it in a field without any petrol left in the tank. We then have to recover it, but it is broken down. Then a month later they will come to take your car again, and for good measure you're expected to be nice about it."
33) "Gerard is an open-minded and passionate man. I am the opposite: stubborn and stupid. But sometimes stupid behaviour makes you win."
34) "I do not think about the national team too much because footballistically it is not of too much interest."
35)"It's like a child who is used to having ice cream whenever he wants. When it doesn't come when he asks he tends to get confused and nervous." On losing the lead of the league in November 2004.
36) "Any man who concentrates his energies totally on one passion is, by definition, someone who hurts the people close to him."37) "We were considering him [Ruud van Nistelrooy] and Francis Jeffers and, in the end, we went for Jeffers."
38) "Maybe people will be surprised that I have signed an Englishman but I looked at his quality and not his passport. Francis is a 'fox in the box'."
39)"He can only cheat." On Ruud van Nistelrooy in 2003.
40) "I think in England you eat too much sugar and meat and not enough vegetables."
41) "I lived for two years in Japan and it was the best diet I ever had. The whole way of life there is linked to health. Their diet is basically boiled vegetables, fish and rice. No fat, no sugar. You notice when you live there that there are no fat people."
42) "One of the things I discovered in Japan was from watching sumo wrestling. At the end you can never tell who has won the fight, and who has lost, because they do not show their emotion because it could embarrass the loser. It is unbelievable. That is why I try to teach my team politeness. It is only here in England that everybody pokes their tongue out when they win."
43) "What's really dreadful is the diet in Britain. The whole day you drink tea with milk and coffee with milk and cakes. If you had a fantasy world of what you shouldn't eat in sport, it's what you eat here."
44) "If you do not believe you can do it then you have no chance at all."
45) "If I give you a good wine, you will see how it tastes and after you ask where it comes from." On Arsenal's recruitment policy.
46) "I don't kick dressing room doors or the cat or even football journalists."
47) "At some clubs success is accidental. At Arsenal it is compulsory."
48) "Nobody has enough talent to live on talent alone. Even when you have talent, a life without work goes nowhere."
49) "You have to be a masochist to be an international manager."
50) "For me, when you change more than three players in a team, you always take a technical risk because you change the deep structure of the team and the deep balance of the team, mentally and technically."
51) "We do not buy superstars. We make them."
52) "The real revelation of a player's character is not in his social life but in how he plays. In my social life I can hide my real personality."
53) "The guy should never ever play football again." After Martin Taylor snapped Eduardo's leg in half.
54) "Days not weeks." On how long Tomas Rosicky would be ruled out for at the start of his 18-month recuperation.
55) "I am in a job where you always look in front of you. Unfortunately, the older you get, the less distance there is in front of you."
56) "We try to go a different way that, for me, is respectable. Briefly, these are the basics. I thought: "We are building a stadium, so I will get young players in early so I do not find myself exposed on the transfer market without the money to compete with the others. I build a team, and we compensate by creating a style of play, by creating a culture at the club because the boy comes in at 16 or 17 and when they go out they have a supplement of soul, of love for the club, because they have been educated together. The people you meet at college from 16 to 20, often those are the relationships in life that keep going. That, I think, will give us strength that other clubs will not have."
57) "What motivates me is an ideal of thinking about how football should be. And to try to get near this way of playing. And to try to improve all aspects of my personality that can help me get near this ideal way of playing football."
58) "I watched it when I got home and it looked very bad. You ask 100 people, 99 will say it's very bad and the hundredth will be Mark Hughes." On Emmanuel Adebayor's stamp on Robin van Persie.
59) "I did not see the incident."
60) "I do not like to make a fuss, it'll just be another day. I want to stay 59."