Press conference

Wenger - It was a human adventure for 22 years

Arsène Wenger's final press conference as Arsenal manager covered his emotions, the fans' reactions, and how English football changed him.

Here’s a transcript of what he said:

on how he feels…
It’s a real special day. I think I should have announced every week that I leave because people are so nice to me since I said that! I would like to thank the people here - our fans, the Huddersfield people have shown a lot of class. It was a great day, a happy day, because they celebrated staying in the Premier League. It was my last game after 1,235 times, it’s maybe time, but it was a special day and the players wanted to win the game. Overall I would like to thank everybody. I had fantastic human experiences at the club, above the results. I believe that it was a human adventure for 22 years and I wish everybody well and a lot of success to my club in the future.

on bowing to the fans before the game…
It was spontaneous. I know that we disappointed the away fans this season. Many of them live the whole week and save money to travel up to games. It’s part of respect. We had disagreements, which I can accept, but we had one thing in common: we love Arsenal Football Club. I just wanted to share that with them today.

on planes flying over the stadium…
They had the wrong banner out today!

on if he has a sense of the respect staying in spite of frustration…
Yes, I get that. I feel like I got a lot of respect, not only from our fans, but from England. I reiterate that I love English football but I learnt as well to love England over the 22 years. You do not stay in a country like that if you don’t like it. For me that’s as well a good return from people who love football here. It’s a special country, especially for football. That’s as well why I stayed such a long time.

on if English football changed him…
Yes, look at my face, it has changed me a lot! It’s difficult to understand when you don’t live in this country how deep the love is for the game. It was a fantastic experience for me, I must say. Where do I go from there? That’s difficult. When you have experienced such an intensity for such a long time, it will be difficult. But even not managing the club, I will remain a fan of the club.