Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has had some time to digest his divorce from the club where he 22 years managing, and in a candid interview with French news outlet RTL, the 68-year-old revealed some of his regrets during his stay at the Emirates.
Wenger was asked what the biggest mistake of his career was and, pointedly, he confessed that maybe staying at Arsenal for the length he did was his biggest oversight:
Perhaps staying at the same club for 22 years. I'm someone who likes to move around a lot, but I also like a challenge. I've been a prisoner of my own challenge at times.
The Frenchman also admitted that his obsession with football was to the detriment of his personal relationships stating that "you wake up at 3am thinking about team selection, tactics, formations".
He expressed regret at having neglected his family during his career in management, and warned the likes of Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira that a massive amount of of sacrifice is needed to be a top coach:
I've neglected a lot of people. I've neglected my family, I've neglected many close ones. Deep down though, the obsessed man is selfish in his pursuit of what he loves. He ignores a lot of other things. But it's a bone to chase at the same time.Often, I'm asked if Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira will be good managers and I always answer yes.
They have all the qualities; they're intelligent, they know football, they have excellent skillset, but do they want to sacrifice what needs to be sacrificed? It's an obsession which bounces around your head day and night.
Wenger also divulged that he has been approached 'numerous times' to become the France manager, but argued that he much prefers the constant work that comes with club management:
I've always been more interested in the day-to-day aspect of management. I find it much more stimulating.
It is a question I've been asking myself, if I should become a national team manager. A national team manager takes charge of ten games per year. In a club, you take charge of 60. My drug is the next match, so…
Unai Emery is that man tasked with taking over from Wenger at the Emirates and the Spaniard has already told the press that he plans to respect many of the practices that Wenger brought through during his time at the club:
I said at the first press conference at the Emirates, for me I have high respect for Arsene. In Nyon every year, he spoke and the other coaches were quiet and listened to him.
I am going to do my work here, but respecting many, many things here that he did well.