Arsenal Football Club announced on Friday morning that manager Arsène Wenger had signed a three-year extension to his contract.

In October 2006, Arsenal supporters were given the chance to direct their questions to the Frenchman when he took part in an Arsenal TV Online webchat to mark the 10th anniversary of his appointment as manager.

Below is a transcript of the best questions put to the two-time Double-winning boss.

Can you see yourself staying 10 more years? (from Rachel Gilbert, Isle of Man; Francois Deguise, Switzerland; Anton Galperin, Israel; Kenny Hurley, Ireland)

Well that would look a bit pretentious but I will try as hard as I can and try to be honest enough to see the day when I am not good enough anymore. You have to give everything and to feel as if it will be for your life, but also that it can stop any day. That is what I want to continue to do.

What do you do to unwind and take your mind off football?

I rarely do that because it's almost impossible, football is always on my mind. You think about the next game, the next team you will play, the next training session, how the players are. It's very difficult to switch off but then a big part of the job is to handle that stress.

What is the pinnacle of your time at Arsenal? (Tad Swaryczewski, Borehamwood; Harold van Maaren, Philippines)

It is difficult to say but maybe my best performance was to play through the whole season unbeaten. It became pure happiness just to watch the team. There is not much room to do better. But you always want to be even closer to your best again. When the desire to win is inside you, it never stops. You just want to win again. You have done something great and you want to do it again and repeat it. That is motivation for your whole life - to always do better.

How has your experience in Japan affected the way you manage Arsenal?

Because you are isolated and far from all your connections it makes you stronger. It's a strong experience to be isolated and having to motivate everyone around you, and somewhere I felt it gave me the strength of character to resist the pressure and deal with the frustrations you can get in this job.

How do you know when it's the right time to let a good player go? (Claes Andersson, Sweden)

There are a few reasons. Sometimes you see that a player needs a change because does not get enough games, sometimes you feel he wants another challenge and sometimes there is someone behind him [in the squad] who cannot come out into the first team because he is in front of him. It is part of my job to make these kinds of decisions.

Who could be the future captain of Arsenal and why? (Nicole Beale, South Africa)

Well we have a young captain now, Henry is only 29. At the moment we have three experienced leaders - Henry, Gilberto, Lehmann. In the generation behind we have Gallas, who is a leader type, and Kolo can be too. After that you have Fabregas, certainly in a few years. Senderos as well, you forget a few because you have so many. A big team is made of many leaders and a good captain is somebody who is respected by his partners, someone who can lead the way, sets an example and wants to win every game. A captain is judged on what he delivers for the team, not just his own performance.

Can you describe a typical matchday?

Usually, I get up at 6.30am and go for a run, after that I come back and have breakfast and then prepare the team meeting. At 10.30 we meet with the players, have a walk, a stretch, and then a meeting where we sometimes watch what was good or bad in the last game. At 11 we have lunch, then most of the time we go back to our [hotel] rooms again. At 12.45 we go to the stadium... Afterwards I watch all kinds of matches, through the night until three or four o'clock I watch European football. I go to bed when I am dead tired, for managers it takes time to recover from a game and sometimes you don't sleep at all.

How have you set up such an effective scouting system? (Josh Ringer, Norwich)

By having scouts in every country which has good potential to develop football players of top quality and by being in touch with them always, having a lot of assessments and working very hard. Our scouts are highly motivated, there are a lot of people inside the clubs who don't get the praise but our scouting team is absolutely fantastic. We choose quality people all over Europe and all over the world. I wanted that system and put it together as soon as I arrived, with [Chief Scout] Steve Rowley because I felt that the continuity inside the club depends on the level you have with your young players.

Name one player who you would love to have signed but didn't. (Chris from New York, Vinay Solanki from New York)

Well there was [Claude] Makelele who was close to signing, [Samuel] Eto'o too, they are two who would have done well here. I have missed a few, I was offered [Petr] Cech, another player who could have done well. Makele was [available] straight after Vieira arrived when he was still in Nantes. Eto'o was when he joined Barcelona, it was between us and Barcelona.

You are portrayed as a football fanatic, but do you have outside interests away from football? (Jean from South Africa)

Yes, I am interested in all kinds of politics, international politics, but most of the time I spend my time in the game.

Would you be prepared to win the title by playing 'ugly' football?

I personally believe you cannot be in a big club and have an ambition to play 'ugly' football. Football has changed but people who watch football have changed as well. They have different standards from 20 years ago because they have a choice of two or three games on some occasions. We have a responsibility as a big club to play with style and have a certain ambition in the way we play.

Is there any player you wish you had not sold?

Well, I felt that for us to lose Vieira and Edu in the same year [2005] was one player too many. That was not really planned. They were two fantastic players and losing them at the same time when Cesc was still very young and I could not give him a breather, maybe that was one too many.

Who is the best pure finisher you've ever had at Arsenal?

I think Anelka was a quick finisher with a short backlift but I think the purest finisher was Ian Wright. He was obssessed with finishing. For example, Anelka would never have pushed a partner away but I think Wright was ready to kick someone in his own team to get into a position to score! Wright was an unbelievably clinical finisher with both feet and his head, he had that burning desire to score.

If you could pick any player from the last 30 years to play in one of your teams, who would it be? (Robert Wheeler, Braintree)

I would say Pele, he would fit perfectly in our team. I would play him up front - we could maybe play with a three! It would be interesting to see if he was as good as everyone says he was. Would he adapt to the modern game? There are all sorts of questions, but he looked to be an athlete before football became as athletic as it is today.

Who is the biggest 'find' of your Arsenal career?

Maybe my biggest find was Anelka. When Henry came here he was already in the World Cup squad but Anelka gave me the credibility to do some more got me the trust from people because he was a big success. Vieira as well, he was the first player who nobody knew but he made a huge impact in the Club. He stayed for nine years and nobody could imagine the Club could continue without him. He had a big impact.

If you could reverse one decision, what would it be? (Suzy, Brighton)

I have made many wrong decisions and I will give you one example. When Robert Pires got injured in 2002 on the left flank he was the best player in the world. That week I had decided not to play Pires against Newcastle but the closer we got to the game the more I thought I would play him because if we won that game we would nearly be there [in the FA Cup]. I changed my mind 24 hours before the game and then he got injured. I went home and thought I was stupid because I should have done what I had planned... He missed the World Cup and I feel afterwards it was a bad decision. It is not fate because I was convinced it was time for him to be rested because he had shown signs of fatigue, so your coordination drops and then you get injured. Deep down I knew I was right not to play him but I was weak when it came to pushing the decision through.

If you could reverse one refereeing decision, what would it be? (Suzy, Brighton)

I feel the penalty awarded by [Mike] Riley at Manchester United in our 50th game [after 49 unbeaten] was a completely invented penalty. That is a decision which I regret. [Wayne] Rooney dived on that occasion. It was on a day when we did not deserve to lose.

Do you keep in touch with your ex-players?

Yes, whenever I can. I was interviewed by Patrick Vieira, Emmanuel Petit and Remi Garde yesterday in France. I was on the phone to Robert Pires today. I was asked some difficult questions yesterday, Patrick asked me about our nine years together!

Which manager do you get along with best in the Premiership?

Well basically I have very little relationship with other managers. I respect everybody but we don't see each other - never. So there is no real relationship with other people. [With Sir Alex Ferguson] there is less aggression than there was before because we have both calmed down, and our relationship has become in a much more normal way now. I hope we can keep it at that level.

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
4 Oct 2006