Wenger: ‘I’m A Facilitator of What is Beautiful in Man’


If you haven’t got a chance to read the full transcript of Arsene Wenger’s recent interview in L’Equipe then stop reading this IMMEDIATELY  – and click this. It really is a fascinating read and well worth the 20 minutes or so it will take you to go through the back and forth nature of the transcript. 

What stands out from the interview for editors will surely be the reference to doping in football, but the whole thing is fascinating, and for me, only reasserts the belief that Wenger is the deepest thinker, the most philosophical man, in football today.

Straight away we’re provided with an interesting point Wenger had – until about a week before Spurs – managed Arsenal for 6945 days – more than all of the current Premier League managers tenures put together. Wenger has overseen several ‘eras’ in English football, has ridden many waves, fought many fights, and took barrages of abuse. It has been a football life.

“I’m always afraid of being late. Of not being ready. Of not being able to accomplish what I’ve planned. My relationship with time is distressing in every way. Going back in time, looking back is just as scary”.

“The only possible moment of happiness is the present. The past gives you regrets. And the future uncertainties. Man understood this very fast and created religion. It absolves you of what you’ve done wrong in the past and tells him not to worry about the future, because he’ll go to paradise”.

Very early on you get a sense of Wenger, or at least the mood he was in on the day. Answer after answer he retorts with such deep and genuinely interesting answers as he looks back upon a life in the day, where he has revolutionised English football, and today, whisper it, perhaps fallen behind a little.

” I don’t deny that I’m first and foremost an educator”, says Wenger. Soon he comes out with the doping quote which, if you read the full transcript, wasn’t at all prompted by the interviewer.

"“In thirty years as a manager, I’ve never had my players injected to make them better. I never gave them any product that would help enhance their performance. I’m proud of that. I’ve played against many teams that weren’t in that frame of mind”, the Arsenal manager said."

Has this been on Wenger’s mind? Certainly while manager of Monaco he came in close contact with notorious teams for doping, but what about his team with Arsenal, and specifically in the Premier League? One wonders whether behind the concrete wall of professional football lies deeper secrets and rumours, kept away from the prying eye of the public and mass media.

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  • The interview goes on and on, so I won’t go through it, all, do click the link above. It’s just so fascinating and encapsulating it is a must read for any football fan who sees the game with a little more colour and depth than you’re average fan. Here, Wenger illustrates how football can be a vehicle for societal development, for human growth.

    Here, I will leave you with the following quote..

    "“Religiously, it is said that God created man. I am only a guide. I enable others to express what they have within them. I didn’t create anything. I am a facilitator of what is beautiful in man. I define myself as an optimist. My never ending struggle in this business is to release what is beautiful in man. I can be described as naïve in that sense. But it allows me to believe, and I am often proven right.”"