By Chris Harris

Joe Kinnear's recent health scare is a stark reminder of the pressures of football management, according to Arsène Wenger.

The Newcastle manager is convalescing at home in Hertfordshire following a triple heart-bypass operation. Kinnear was taken ill before a game at West Brom on February 7 and is expected to return to the touchline for Newcastle's trip to Tottenham on April 18.

Wenger is a neighbour of Kinnear and sent a letter of support after his admission to hospital. Before heading north to face his friend's team at St. James' Park, the Frenchman admitted that Kinnear's plight was a wake-up call to the stress involved at the top level.

"It makes you realise that the pressure is there," said Wenger. "Sometimes you are so used to dealing with the pressure you do not realise [it is there] any more, and maybe that is not a completely normal state.

"I live so long with that now that I am addicted to it, and would miss it if I did not have it. Of course you have to be lucky and have health, that your body resists that.

"There is an addiction [to pressure] because it is all linked to the pleasure of the games, the hype. You live with that for years."

The League Managers Association have set up a free scheme to help diagnose health problems caused by football. Wenger is a staunch supporter of the programme.

"I would support that highly," he said.

"When you are a manager, you have to live with the exact same rules as a player - to prepare every game like you would play. I have done that for years now, but never managed to pick myself in the end, so I sit on the bench."

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
20 Mar 2009