'He was brave, competent and honest'

Arsene Wenger has paid tribute to Graham Taylor, the former England manager who passed away on Thursday at the age of 72.

A minute’s applause will be held before our Premier League fixture at Swansea City and Wenger has fond memories of the man who enjoyed success with Watford, Wolves, Aston Villa and Lincoln City.
“It is very sad,” said the boss. “I was absolutely surprised because I never heard that he was sick. 
“We were close at one stage because he was manager at Watford, and I had lunch with him once or twice. He was a man who had a big passion, was brave, competent, and absolutely totally focused on the game. 
“I could feel as well that he suffered a lot as manager of England, and we never know how much the violence of this job has an [effect] on our health. I must say it is a very sad day for English football.
“He was an honest, educated man,” added Wenger. “Pat Rice was my assistant here for many, many years and he had him as his manager and told me how passionate he was and how interesting it was to work under him at Watford. They had John Barnes as well at the time at Watford, they had a good team.
“Graham was a very nice man and a very welcoming man. I had a big respect for him and [the news] took me really by surprise yesterday.”
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