The former vice-president left the club in 2007 having overseen an unprecedented era of success, and has now admitted that he is missing working with the Frenchman
Former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein admits he misses working with Arsene Wenger, and has hinted that he could return to the Emirates Stadium in the future.
Dein assisted Wenger in the transfer market as he set about building his ‘Invincibles’ squad, with the likes of Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Robert Pires and Sol Campbell all thriving as the club won the Premier League without losing a single game in 2003-04.
Dein left the Gunners in 2007 having overseen a period of unprecedented success in north London, with Wenger expressing his “huge disappointment”.
And, on the 10th anniversary of the Londoners sealing their title success, the 71-year-old has revealed that he is missing the day-to-day relationship that he used to share with the Frenchman.
“Do I miss it? The truth is, yes. I miss it on a daily basis,” he told the London Evening Standard. “I miss the jousting, the daily relationship with Arsene. Of course I do. But I enjoy watching the team. I want them to do well. I am an Arsenal fan.
“I am a devoted Arsenal fan and attend every game I can. I love the club. It is in my bones. Would I ever go back? Who knows? I am at a stage in my life now where I am doing other things.”
Wenger signed a three-year contract extension on the back of Arsenal’s FA Cup victory at the end of last season – their first trophy success in nine years – and Dein admits there is no succession plan in place for when the 65-year-old finally departs, because it is so difficult to look to the future in football.
“It is very difficult to talk about succession planning when a manager has just been given a contract for three years,” he added.
“In the modern game, no sooner has a manager signed a contract than within a year they will probably be out of a job! Who knows what will happen in three years’ time?
“It is very difficult when you have got someone with such a big personality as Arsene, it is very difficult to think about replacing him.
“I’ve always said that Arsene won’t be a difficult act to follow, he will be an impossible act to follow. For what he has achieved, he has left his mark on Arsenal forever.”