ARSENE WENGER has revealed he could have quit Arsenal back in 2007 – 11 years before his exit.
Arsene Wenger has revealed he turned down two approaches from Real Madrid, plus two or three from England and PSG to stay at Arsenal
But Wenger, 71, choose to stay on until he was eventually left amid a fans’ campaign which divided supporters.
He was a Los Blancos fan as a child – and the Spanish giants TWICE made him an offer to take over.
But he remained in North London.
Although he never quite managed to eclipse his first nine years with the Gunners.
He failed to win another Premier League title after the Invincibles unbeaten season of 2003/04.
But he did win three more FA Cups, making Arsenal the most successful side in the history of the competition.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Wenger revealed he was torn after his ally, former Gunners chief executive David Dein was axed by the club in 2007.
The Frenchman, known as Le Professeur, said: “Maybe when David Dein was sacked in 2007 that was the moment when I could have said bye-bye.
“I felt torn between my loyalty to the club and my loyalty to David.
“He asked me to stay but at first I didn’t feel comfortable with the idea.
“I didn’t understand why he had to go. But I knew as well that the club was going into a new stadium, the most sensitive period of its lifetime.
Arsene Wenger during his Arsenal hey-day at the 2003 FA Cup final
“I could have really hurt Arsenal had I left then. And I did have options.
“Real Madrid twice, Paris Saint-Germain two or three times, England two or three times. It was difficult.
“You want everybody to support you, and when they don’t it’s quite difficult.
“You do think, “Why am I here? Why am I doing this? What do I want to achieve?”
Wenger started his golden reign in North London back in 1996, revolutionising the English game by changing the diet of footballers and with a new passing style of football which was the complete opposite to the Gunners’ direct tactics under previous boss George Graham.
But as Arsenal struggled to compete with the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea financially after they moved to the £390million Emirates Stadium, they started to lose their grip on their domination of the Premier League.
Wenger remained in charge even though he was a target for disenchanted Gunners fans as their title drought dragged on.
When Real Madrid came a courting a second time, Wenger admitted he considered the ‘dream’ move strongly but ultimately turned down his childhood club.
Wenger’s interview has coincided with the release of his autobiography.
My life in red and white: My autobiography is published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson at £25.
By: Alan Scott
Title: Arsene Wenger admits he could have left Arsenal in 2007 – 11 YEARS before his exit – with Real, PSG and England calling
Sourced From: www.thesun.co.uk/sport/football/13011759/wenger-quit-arsenal-2007-madrid/
Published Date: Sat, 24 Oct 2020 07:56:48 +0000