By Chris Harris

Arsène Wenger believes he is a stronger man and a better manager for suffering adversity during his career.

The manager has endured a testing start to the new season but his Arsenal team are fresh from a vital win in the Premier League and will look to extend their unbeaten start to the Champions League Group Stage when they face Marseille on Wednesday night.

The French side were Wenger's closest rivals when he was in charge at Monaco from 1987 to 1994 and a return to the Stade Velodrome prompted questions about the highs and lows of his long managerial career. The Arsenal boss has learned from both.

"A career in management prepares you to fight against adversity," he said. "That is for sure.

"When a young manager asks me for advice all you can say is ‘survive disappointments’ because that’s all you can say. You cannot imagine a career of any manager without disappointment. At the end of the day, it is that.

"It makes you stronger or you get out of the job. It is as simple as that. What helps you is that you believe in your passion and mental strength."

Wenger secured the title in his first full season at Monaco - as he did at Arsenal - plus the Coupe de France twice. Marseille were found guilty of improper behaviour during Wenger's tenure but he insists that a return to the south of France does not stir bad memories.

"That is over now because the owners are not the same," he said. "Now it is completely different. Football has changed in France. I don’t think there is any need any more to speak about this period because it was not the happiest period of French football.

"I’m happy to go to back to Marseille because it gives me memories of passionate games. Of course since I was there times have changes. It’s good, I love Marseille as a city. It is a real football city. I’m happy to go back there."

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
18 Oct 2011