By Richard Clarke

Respect is the new buzz word in English football.

Last season, the Football Association started a new campaign asking for consideration between everyone involved in the game – referees, managers, players and supporters.

Like everyone else, Arsène Wenger agrees with the principle of the scheme but the practice is always a little harder.

“It is always very nice in pre-season and everyone wants to respect each other,” said the Frenchman. “When it comes to points it becomes a bit different.

“It is like when you go to Church on a Sunday. The priest says everyone has to be respectful and generous but when you come out of the church, everyone is not generous and respectful.”

Wenger is known for his principled stance on many big issues in the game. However, having gone three seasons without a trophy, would he temper his flowing football and strengthen his side’s tackling in order to win silverware?

“We are prepared to do whatever it takes to win a football game but within the respect of the game,” he said.

“Are we ready to kill someone to win a game? No, because you have to respect the rules in football.

“The beauty in the game is to win within the respect of the rules, but we will do whatever it takes to win a football game.

“And, as for whether you can win the League by playing completely non-football? I don’t believe so. Historically it is proven that the teams who win the League are the better technical teams.”

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
15 Aug 2008