Running fan an Arsenal inspiration, says Wenger

Vietnamese fan Vu Xuan Tien has become an internet sensation after chasing the team bus for miles and the Frenchman has been blown away by the side’s support

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed his players are taking inspiration from local Vietnamese fan Vu Xuan Tien.

The Gunners supporter became an internet sensation after he ran alongside the team coach for several miles before being invited on board to meet the players and staff.

And Wenger, who saw his side put seven goals against the Vietnamese national team on Wednesday, says the local fan is proving to be an inspiration to his players in tough training sessions.

“He kept running when all the others stopped and he refused to give up,” Wenger told The Daily Mirror.

“The players were calling out to him, ‘Hello, how are you?’ Because he refused to stop, we invited him on to our coach. And today he is a star all over Vietnam.”

The 63-year-old has been encouraged by his side’s pre-season preparations, and, after being blown away by the club’s support in Vietnam, hopes to return to the country in the future.

“We learned to play at a high pace and we learned to suffer physically, which is what we needed to do,” added Wenger.

“We had hard sessions on Tuesday, and the climate is very difficult for us. So we suffered physically, but we kept our concentration high.

“When Vietnam scored, it was one of the few times in my life that I enjoyed it when our opponents scored.

“It was such a great moment in the stadium and they deserved to be happy.

“We’ll try to come back here because it has been such a positive experience. But the decision is not only down to me. Vietnam must want us to come back too.”

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