Arsene Wenger announced on Friday he is bringing down the curtain on his reign for 22 years as Arsenal Manager, that have been full of trophies but tarnished by struggles in recent years to challenge for the Premier League title.
The 68-year-old arrived at the London club in 1996 a relative unknown but leaves widely hailed as the greatest manager in Arsenal’s history after three Premier League titles and a record-breaking seven FA Cup triumphs.
Wenger, who completed the Premier League and FA Cup double in his first full season in England, was hailed as an innovator in his early years and his spiky clashes with former Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson and, later, with former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho became the stuff of legend.
Here are some of the best Arsene Wenger quotes.
“We don’t sign superstars, we make them.”
Wenger said this while defending Arsenal’s tight purse strings with respect to the transfer market in 2007.
“If I give you a good wine, you will see how it tastes and after you ask where it comes from.”
Once again defending Arsenal’s transfer policy.
“Everyone thinks they have the prettiest wife at home.”
This was in response to Ferguson’s jibe that Arsenal weren’t deserving Premier League and FA Cup champions in 2002.
“A football team is like a beautiful woman. When you do not tell her, she forgets she is beautiful.”
Arsene Wenger’s teams were always renowned for their attractive style of play.
“I don’t know what you mean by parking the bus. I don’t know who created this expression but it has not a lot to do with football.”
Wenger trying to say that he would never subscribe to a defensive strategy.
“I’m ready to take the blame for all the problems of English football if that is what he wants.”
Another barb at Ferguson after the Scotsman took a dig at Arsenal for their lack of homegrown players.
“When you give success to stupid people, it makes them more stupid sometimes and not more intelligent.”
This was said in the midst of a war of words with Mourinho in 2005, following which the former Chelsea boss said he had a 120-page file on Wenger’s comments about his club.
“He has to know that, no matter how much money you earn, you can only eat three meals a day and sleep in one bed.”
Aimed at the Premier League journeyman Nicholas Anelka after he left Arsenal in 1999.
“In my job, you expect to suffer. That’s why when I go to hell one day, it will be less painful for me than you, because I’m used to suffering.”
A frustrated Wenger said this after the Gunners sold Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy to Barcelona and Manchester City, and had started the season in poor form, including a humiliating 8-2 loss to Manchester United.
“Everybody has a different opinion in this league and nobody is a prophet. I personally don’t know who will win the league. I managed 1,600 games so, if Nani knows, he must be 1,600 times more intelligent than I am.”
Nani had said in December 2010 that only Manchester United and Chelsea could still win the league. Wenger felt it was a premature assessment as Arsenal were at the time only two points off the top.
“It’s like you wanting to marry Miss World and she doesn’t want you, what can I do about it?”
Arsenal’s Jose Antonio Reyes had been vying for a move back to La Liga in 2007 but none of the Spanish clubs seemed to want to buy him. Wenger was brutal.
“What’s really dreadful is the diet in Britain. The whole day you drink tea with milk and coffee with milk and cakes. If you had a fantasy world of what you shouldn’t eat in sport, it’s what you eat here.”
Wenger was clearly used to the healthier diet of Japan, where he coached before taking over at Arsenal.
“I said ‘Good afternoon,’ and he replied, ‘I’m your gardener at your house’. I didn’t even know him. I do have a big garden.”
Wenger did not recognise his gardener while sitting next to him in the stands after he was handed a touchline ban in 2017.
With inputs from AFP