Quotes

Read Wenger’s quotes from his final press briefing

Arsene Wenger

Arsène Wenger gave his final press briefing as our manager on Thursday afternoon.

The boss discussed his relationship with David Dein, our move from Highbury to Emirates Stadium and how long he gave himself when he arrived in north London.
 
Scroll down to read a full transcript of Wenger’s final press briefing:

on David Dein…
Ideally I would have loved to continue working with him. I think it was down to the fact that the football world has changed and that you build a stadium. I signed for five years accepting it will be more limited resources. When you have that you have less good players.

on him staying at the club during the stadium move…
I didn’t want to walk out in the middle because I accepted the challenge. That is an important part of my life that I am very proud of.

on whether he regrets not leaving…
Maybe. I don’t know how I will respond. The only thing I can say is that I turned everybody down, all the big clubs. People cannot question my loyalty to this club.

on where he considers home…
Here. I lived here for 22 years, my daughter has spent her whole life here, she is going to university here. I feel at home here. When you say I like London, I honestly don’t know how you get to the centre. You have to teach me that because in 22 years, I’ve never been unless with a driver.

on Tottenham potentially facing similar problems with a new stadium…
There are some things that have changed. The impact of the transfers has increased a lot. The prices have gone up and the prices for the stadium have doubled. The transfers of the players have tripled or quadrupled. A £10m player when we built the stadium was huge. Today a guy like Kane, I don’t know for much they can sell him for. Maybe £100m? So they might get more finances, but they have to face it.
 
on whether they’ll have to sell players…
To Arsenal, maybe!

on the idea of building a new stadium raising funds to buy more players…
It’s not really happened because other clubs have used outside resources. We had a double handicap. We had to pay back the debt and had to face the competition where clubs have even more resources than they usually have.
 
on whether he would sacrifice the Emirates to have stayed at Highbury…
We had to do it. There is no club that can turn people who wanted to attend the game down. At the time I thought we were a bit too ambitious with 60,000 but at the end of the day it worked.

on Dein having his reservations over the move…
Yes. Wembley was a possibility at the time because we didn't find a site for a long time. We travelled everywhere, visited and visited and finally found a site near Highbury which was ideal. At some stage we wanted to come out here to the M25. But people had their habits already.
 
on whether he separates his two decades in two…

Yes.
 
on whether that’s difficult…

Yes, I believe Highbury had a special spirit. It’s a cathedral, a church. You could smell the soul of every guy that played there. So it was special. It will always be special for me. The Emirates for me was like buying a new house. It took us a while to feel at home there. Its a fantastic stadium - but there was something special at Highbury that you could never recreate when you build something new.

on there now being foundations at the Emirates…
Yes, it’s all there. The financial situation, we have good players, the stadium - its all there.

on how long he gave himself when he arrived in England…
Three years. I thought if all goes well I would make three years - and it did go all well.