‘It’s easier when you’re on touchline’

Arsene Wenger believes that being able to direct his team from the touchline has major benefits that are difficult to replicate from the stands.

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew will be back in the dugout on Monday night when his team visit Emirates Stadium after serving a seven-match suspension.

Wenger believes his opposite number will be much calmer now and says the north-east side will be better off for his presence on the touchline.

“You feel frustrated when you are not close to your team physically because you are used to it and you feel you still have a level of intervention,” the Arsenal boss said. “Maybe it’s purely subjective but it exists in your mind.

"You feel frustrated when you are not close to your team physically because you are used to it and you feel you still have a level of intervention"

“You can also be quicker in your decision-making. Sometimes you want to make a decision but it takes time to get [the message] down. You feel your speed of intervention is too slow.

“This is a job where you are under huge pressure. At the Emirates we have had no incidents because the distance between the two managers is big. Sometimes you get upset because you hear what the other manager is saying and you go ‘what is he doing, why is he talking to the referee and the fourth official?’ At Liverpool, Chelsea, Spurs, you basically are very close.”

Wenger added his belief that touchline tension noticeably rises later in the season when there is more at stake for managers.

“It’s easier to be calm in September than in March because every game is kill or be killed,” he said. “At this period of the season you feel much more under pressure as a manager.

“In September you think, ‘OK we lost this game but we still have time to catch up’. Now, one, two, three games to go you look at the table, at the bottom and at the top, and everybody feels a bit like playing Russian Roulette.”


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