By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger's reluctance to drink with his fellow managers is not down to shyness, aloofness or a lack of camaraderie – he simply prefers self-reflection after away games.
The Frenchman has spent 14 years in the Premier League but he rarely shares a post-match tipple with his opposite number. Wenger's resistance to that particular English tradition has created a perception that he can be distant and detached from his rivals.
But the Arsenal boss insists that is not the case. Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Wenger explained that socialising after matches can be difficult for a number of reasons.
"I've got nothing against it [the tradition]," he said.
"When you play away from home you are in a hurry to catch the plane and you are playing three days later. Once I do my press [media work] - and my press can last quite a while - I have no time. Most of the time my assistant will go and have a drink.
"I recognise that [can make me seem aloof] but there's no bad feeling in that, I just feel after the game you stay on your own and you don't want to disturb people. I've always had that philosophy, even in France.
"When I arrived here I didn't know anyone. The managers all knew each other and played alongside each other but when you arrive from a foreign country you don't know anyone.
"I'm not shy," Wenger added. "I didn't even know this tradition existed before I came here. And it's not that we have nothing in common - we love football and we both love to win.
"I'm always happy to meet people at the Emirates but away from home we want to get away as quickly as possible. After the game my mind is on the next game but sometimes other managers go quickly as well. When we are at home we always invite them in."Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source