Press conference

Wenger - Herbert Chapman smiled at me today

The manager's final game in charge was at the former home of another visionary Gunners icon, Herbert Chapman, and Wenger said it made for a 'special' occasion.

After the game our departing manager thanked Huddersfield for the reception, spoke about his cherished memories from his time in charge, and looked ahead to the future.

on if he absorbed the afternoon…
Yes, I wanted to get a bit out (before the game). It’s my last day, I thought I deserved a bit of oxygen, and it was nice weather. The people were nice, Huddersfield was happy. I must say they offered me a nice present before the game. It all worked well. Herbert Chapman, who was maybe our greatest manager, came from here. For me to come here on the last day had a special meaning. When you know the history of our club, for me it has a special meaning. In fact there was a photo just in front of the dressing room where Chapman smiled at me, because he was on the photo.

on if he’s thought of having to play against Arsenal…
I’m not ready for that at the moment. That would be very difficult. I think on the day I would stay at home. I don’t envisage that at the moment.

on if he’s had the offer to do that…
I’ve had offers, yes, of course. But at the moment I haven’t even spoken to anybody. I’ve had many offers but when you come out of such a long process, you cannot jump out and the next morning say ‘I go somewhere else’. It is impossible. 

on whether he could work again in English football…
I don’t know. Maybe it’s better I go somewhere else. 

on what Huddersfield gave him as a present… 
A big remembrance of 1,235 games and half a Huddersfield and half an Arsenal shirt together. I came here many, many years ago when we played a game in pre-season for Huddersfield who had some financial problems and so I knew this place. At the time I was happy to come in pre-season and since they’ve moved up to the Premier League.

on how it feels to be part of the history of the club…
I’m very proud of having contributed a little bit to give some good moments to people who love the club, but you know what still will remain, I don’t know. The victories or the defeats? But I think what will remain is the formidable human aspect of those 22 years that were special and I will cherish that.

on whether the players have done anything else for him…  
Well, I will keep that secret. We have to keep some things together and I told the group of players I love to work with them and when you look at our season, there is something in our group that is waiting to come out. We were very close this season and despite all that, we went to a League Cup final, the semi-final of the Europa League ,that we should have qualified from, and at home we had a fantastic season. It’s away from home that the team needs to improve and they will.

on the contribution of African players to his career…
I had in my whole life African players and I opened a school in Africa with one of my friends. People like Yaya Toure, like Kolo Toure, like Eboue and Gervinho, they came all out of this school! So I had George Weah at a very young age, Lauren from Cameroon and all these African players in my team and they made a huge contribution.