Arsene Wenger has discussed the changes Arsenal have undergone since his arrival in September 1996, saying he ‘felt the club slip away’ from him in his final years as manager.
He won three Premier League titles during his 22-year reign as Gunners boss, with the Frenchman also collecting seven FA Cups. Through his guidance, the north London side altered the footballing landscape in England, challenging Manchester United’s dominance and employing a revolutionary approach.
Under Wenger, Arsenal forged a heated rivalry with Sir Alex Ferguson’s Red Devils at the top of the English game.
However, the 70-year-old has been disheartened by the path the club has followed in recent times, saying (as quoted by Goal): “These days, the size of the clubs sometimes stops them from keeping the culture of performance.
“When I arrived at Arsenal, we were 80 people. When I left, there were 750, and when there’s 750 people in one organisation, each one thinks about saving themselves rather than improving.
“I think there’s a degree of reflection for me: how do you keep that desire to perform? Up to about 150 people, I think you can stay human. You know the name of the wife, of the kid of such and such.
“My regret at Arsenal is to have gone from human size to inhuman, with a larger administrative weight. Everything accelerated. Ten years ago, you’d see a guy who was good, you’d get him in, give him a tracksuit and he’d be a part of the team.
“That’s long gone. Now, if you want a new physio, you go through 300 applications. That’s how, at Arsenal, bit by bit, I felt the club slip away from me.”
Though he’s been saddened by the current running of Arsenal, Wenger remained upbeat about the chances of interim manager Freddie Ljungberg, with the ex-Gunners boss saying his old side should give the Swede ’five or six games’ to prove himself.
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