Press conference

Read Wenger’s final words at Emirates Stadium

Arsene Wenger has given his final press conference at Emirates Stadium - at least as our manager.

The boss faced the media after a thumping 5-0 win over Burnley and an emotional farewell to the fans. Here’s what he said to the media:

on a good game and a good day...
First of all we had good weather, then it was a game that was in the continuity of our home season, because we played 19 games, won 15 at home, had two draws and two losses only and scored more goals than ever. So it was in the continuity of what we delivered at home. The team played with great spirit as they have, apart from that it was as well a very sad day. This stadium I have seen worked on from every single part, from the press conference room to the technical areas, of course it is part of myself. But as well it is a day where people behind me can work in good conditions and I am quite happy for that.

on the advice he’d give his replacement...
I think it is better I don't speak publicly about the next manager because I'm not involved in the story and I do not want to put any pressure on the club to choose this guy or this guy and give already a handicap to the guy who comes in. I am nothing to do with that. I just think he inherits a team that is much better than people think it is. I'm convinced, you can see the togetherness of this team is special and with the right additions this team will challenge next year.

on his emotions in the centre circle...
Fortunately, in my job you learn to disconnect from yourself and you don't analyse any more how you feel. For 20 years I just felt ‘OK, forget about you and care about the problems you have to sort out’. When you have such a long time in the job and people ask you how do you feel, you think 'why does he ask me that? I don't know how I feel anyway.' I have to learn to reconnect with myself now I have a bit more time.

on Alex Ferguson…
I was with him on the pitch last week, I went to see him in the box after the game on Sunday. One week later, he looked in perfect shape. He told me he’s doing a lot of exercise, he looked very happy, but that kind of accident can happen. We wish him very well and that he recovers very, very quickly. He’s a strong man and an optimistic man. Nobody knows exactly… I got calls last night from Manchester and nobody knew exactly what it is.

on coming to terms with leaving...
You will be happy you have another face in front of you next season, a younger face! I have to deal with that, it is a story that ends and I see it in one way. Look, guys who managed 22 years a club of that stature, you have not many, so I can only say ‘my friend you have been very lucky to have come to work for such a long time for a club of such stature.’ On the other hand I have to think as well I cherish every minute I was here but it is a new start for me.

on the fans in the stadium...
It means that even if they were not always happy, they still respect me and wanted to show me that at least they think I gave my total commitment to do well. That is of course how I see it and how I take it, they know that my commitment was genuine, total and with complete integrity, so I take it as a big compliment.

on what it means to have the gold trophy…

I don’t know, I’ll have to see where I put it. It was a surprise to me. So many things have happened today from the moment I woke up until now. I have to organise my life a little bit. I want to finish the season well because we have two away games. Maybe for next season, it’s better we win the two away games now.

on whether there will be a statue of him outside of the stadium…
I don’t know.

on the top three highlights of his 22 years…
I cannot [summarise]. I don’t know. It’s too short for me. I have to take a little bit of distance with that. After sorting it out, there will be many highlights. The moments… I have to think about that. In 22 years I think I’ve played 840 Premier League games. Do you know what that means? How many sleepless nights that means? Before the game, after the game… I have to think about all of that.

on how long until he’s sat in the North Bank…
I don’t know. I would be happy to sit in the North Bank. It depends whether I work somewhere else or not. What do I do in the job I do? Will I be free on the days Arsenal plays? I will be happy to be in the North Bank if you can offer me a ticket. If you have one, it would be fantastic. The positive of that [being a fan] is that I can shout at the next manager from the North Bank!

on him always wanting to make people happy over 22 years…
Sometimes, to make people happy you have to go somewhere else! I want to make people happy because I have a certain idea of how football is to be played. My ambition was always to win with style. When you’re a big club I think you have that responsibility and for the supporters to have a special experience when they come to the club. That was always my target, and that’s what I mean by making people happy.