Arsene Wenger was not just asking the Arsenal fans to look back on his time as manager and the good times he brought to the club and the way he transformed the team into such a successful one after arriving in London from Japan in 1996, as revealed in a Sky Sports report.
The Frenchman also insisted that he is still as motivated as ever 20 years later, maybe even more so. And he was bullish about the Gunners’ chances of overturning the two goal deficit from the first Champions League leg when we face Barcelona in the Nou Camp tonight.
The main thrust of Wenger’s comments, however, seemed to be aimed at reminding the unhappy Arsenal fans about how he made the club the powerhouse it is today after coming in and never really being backed with big money to spend. The only reason we have the financial clout now is because of him, he claims, and the good work he has done over the years.
Wenger said, “I built the club with hard work, without any external resources and, if you compare where we are today to when I arrived, we have moved forward and without any money from anybody, just the money we produced from the work.
“The problem when you’re a long time somewhere [is that] you are questioned about your dedication, but I don’t question my dedication at all and I give more time to my club now than when I arrived.
“I have no doubts about my huge motivation. I am even more motivated from the first day I arrived and feel the pressure and the responsibility to keep moving this club forward more now.
“I am honest enough to make sure that I give my best. I’m not too much of an image person, I just want to think I give my best for this club and I’m determined to do that. Honest dedication and total commitment is the most important thing.
“We have gone through a disappointing spell recently, with our results, but it’s important to stay calm and strong.
“I have played 200 Champions League games. We have won everywhere in Europe but not here yet. So we have the chance to achieve that tomorrow.
“I’m convinced that the players have decided and are united to give a strong response tomorrow and I’m convinced that a great result tomorrow would be a big boost for the rest of the season.”
I certainly hope so, as that may be the only thing that stops the anger and frustration of the Arsenal fans from boiling over. More likely is that Arsenal put up a good fight but go out again. Will that be enough ? And should we think more about what the prof has done for the club than what has happened this season?