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October 2016
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Arsène Wenger admits he turned down PSG in build up to tonight’s game

By Tony Attwood

Arsène Wenger has confirmed that he was has offered the chance to manage Paris Saint-Germain multiple times, in the interviews leading up to tonight’s game.

PSG has long been thought to be after Mr Wenger and L’Equipe said yesterday that Mr Wenger was offered the job in 2011, 2013 and 2014.   Mr Wenger of course is famously one of the few managers in the game who never breaks a contract (he even stayed in Japan to see the season through as champions, before joining Arsenal with the season already started) and who is keen to show that he can not only win doubles, and then keep the club in the top four while funding the new stadium, but also build another great team to match those of the earlier period of his managership.

In an interview Mr Wenger said that he stayed at Arsenal, “because I love where I am.  I know well the owners at PSG, but I feel always I remained loyal to Arsenal Football Club because I think it’s a club that has the qualities I love. And, that’s why.”

Mr Wenger has also turned down the possibility to manage England this year and previously rejected approaches by Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Manchester City and the France national team. Indeed he has opted to stay at Arsenal even with some “fans” objecting to his presence at the club.

At the moment of course we don’t know if he will stay with Arsenal after the end of the current contract next June, but he has said several times now that he feels he has never had more strength in depth.  Indeed this is the point made in earlier Untold articles where we noted that for the first time all 25 slots in the first team allocation have been taken up, while Chelsea, by way of example, have significantly smaller squads.  (Although before anyone shouts we are all still waiting to see what the implication is of having Sanogo in the 25).

What is interesting in all this is that Mr Wenger is setting up a scenario where he is saying that he expects to succeed adding comments such as, “It’s the most mature squad I’ve had for a long time, because they are men.   They are not 19 or 20 years old, they are 24, 27, 28 and the whole squad is quite mature. It’s the first time for a long time that I’ve had a team of what you can call men ready to compete.

“I was used to playing with my younger squads when you build a stadium because you don’t have the resources. Now I have a team with more experienced players. The squad is between 24 and 30. That’s where you have a good combination of physical strength and experience.”

He also has said that the early defeat and draw came about because of so many Arsenal players reaching at least the semi-finals of the Euros. And of course two of the players in the squad have only just arrived and are having to adjust to the speed, aggression plus the eccentric refereeing behaviour to be found in the premier league.

There has also been a lot of talk about Laurent Koscielny whose cost of £8.45 million in 2010 looks laughably small for a player of such stature now.   But that is a typical Wenger ploy and allowed Mr Wenger to say, “Laurent has taken on a new status with us – I think he’s one of the best in the world.” “Mentally we are ready; physically we are not quite ready so far.”

Of course positivism is not the natural status of commentators looking at Arsenal in Europe despite year after year of qualifying beyond the group stages – something Man U and Chelsea can only dream of.   Mr Linekar called Leicester’s draw “beautiful” (close by and no big clubs to play), but suspected that Tottenham will have problems playing at Wembley.   (He seemed in interviews to be quite unaware Arsenal had trodden this ground years ago – but then research was never his forte).

His analysis of Arsenal is hardly worth bothering with, but then since many people say that of most of my writing, here it is anyway.

They are lovely to watch, great on the eye. On their day, they’re wonderful. But Arsenal cannot always dig out a result, and have not necessarily got presence. They have not got a [Sergio] Agüero or a [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic – or even Harry Kane if you like – one of those prolific goalscorers, and they have always been a little bit flimsy at the other end.

And then he was back to Leicester

I think Leicester will get cheered on in Europe more than any of the other English clubs because people have enjoyed the story and because people really, really, really like Claudio Ranieri. People will always follow their own team, but whereas generally we don’t like other teams to do well, I think Leicester will be a bit of an exception.

The latest team news is the Koscielny will play and Giroud will start.  Granit surely will play having had a rest at the weekend.

From the Arsenal History Society

Arsenal in the 1930s – Probably the most detailed analysis ever published.

Recent series now completed…

The full index to all the series is on Arsenal History Society Web Site 


10 comments to Arsène Wenger admits he turned down PSG in build up to tonight’s game

  • Florian

    I seem to remember that Arsène was a consultant for PSG a few years ago, before they embarked on the sugar daddy train. They took him on the job specifically to help them find ways to compete in France and in Europe. His conclusion was that they underperform because they lack local competition. There is no football club in Paris of a size anywhere close to PSG, and this was true even back in those times. RC de Paris, the only other football club close by, is an obscure organization who spends its time in the lower leagues. They even change names once in a while – they have been named Racing Club de France Colombes since 2012. It becomes now clear why PSG went down the road they are on right now – it was their only option, short of absurdly setting up another club to compete with them, with the added-on saga of a stadium to be built and paid for.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Giroud would be a good call….by accounts, PSG have not been dealing well with crosses this season.
    As for Wenger, what more can you say….a pretty unique figure in top level football. He sounds bullish, they are clearly building the first team, squad, and from what I have read, behind the scenes. Nothing should be taken for granted, but unless there is something unforeseen, something we don’t know about, I believe the man himself will sign a new deal at the end of the season, way too many exciting things going on for him to walk away. I am quite sure the board would have him sign up before that, but Mr Wenger will move in his own time.
    Think we can get a draw at the very least this eve. Wenger will know the importance of winning the group, because if we finish second, we all know one of two familiar teams most likely await in the next round. Better leave those teams until later on in the tournament, preferably the final if we have to face one or the other.

  • nicky

    The projected Arsenal
    team for tonight is very impressive and in my book will be too strong for PSG…provided they all play to their potential.
    When one consider the likely beach plus the remainder of the 25, there can be little doubt that Arsene Wenger now has his strongest and most experienced squad for many years. 😉

  • Rosicky@Arsenal

    By chance i was reading a wob site slating Wenger for not doing tactics and was laughing at the ignorance of the Aaas.

    The aaas think that Wenger cant do tactics without realizing how on earth Arsenal finish in top 4 for 20 years if Wenger did not knew about football?

    These fools didnt see the tactical nouse of Wenger switching Henrys position,shifting Santi from an CAM to a CDM last year to name a few.

    These idiots didnt watch the master class from Wenger when we beat

    City at Etihad in 2014/15 season
    United last year 3 nil

    And the WOBs might be sleeping when we outclassed

    Peps Bayern Munich last year at the Emirates.Brilliant 2 nil.

    Oh and Wenger doesnt do tactics.


  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Arsenal will tonight at Parc de Prince extend their winning run to 3 games but this time in all competitions. This run had kick started at the Vicarage Road to Watford FC and continued to 2 games in our home game against Southampton.

    My own starts and bench against PSG:
    My 1st option.
    Bellerin Koscielny Mustafi Monreal.
    Xhaka Cazorla.
    Walcott Ozil Iwobi.
    My 2nd option.
    Bellerin Koscielny Mustafi Gibbs.
    Coquelin Cazorla.
    Walcott Ozil Sanchez.

    Bench: Ospina Debuchy Holding Monreal/Gibbs.
    Xhaka/Coquelin Elneny.

  • para

    I think Perez should be in the team tonight, at least on the “beach”, as he was ok in his first game and needs to bed in quickly. Anyway whoever plays, hope we get the midfield pairing right for this game. A nice win would be good for us right now.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Rambo dint travel??

  • Polo

    Both attacking teams so it’s going to be great to watch. AW know PSG and their new manager tactically well so hopefully Arsenal can get the win.

  • Josif

    Speaking of Wembley, one of the “meanest” teams Mr Wenger has ever had at Arsenal (just 17 conceded goals over 38 league games) was a victim of playing European football at Wembley (plus not having Kanu before the second half of the season plus not having Dennis for away games). Manchester United won the treble that season and yet they couldn’t beat us inside 90 minutes in none of their five attempts.

    Again, it was Wembley where our CL campaign had ended before The Second Group Stage started in 1999-2000 (defeats to Barca and Fiorentina at home after promising away draws) and return to Highbury saw us reaching UEFA Cup Final.

    Given that, Lineker might have predicted it right for Spuds.

  • Alex

    Is going to be a draw one goal.

    Hope no injury specially left back.Monreal really under rated.

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