The legendary Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted that he regrets not leaving Arsenal early. Wenger revealed the details of his expected departure from Arsenal in 2007 in his new documentary “Arsene Wenger : Invincible”. Wenger remarked that he could feel “tensions” within the board in the summer of 2007. Arsenal’s famous ex-owner David Dein was selling a majority of his shares to Stan Kroenke and Wenger sensed that things would not be the same anymore.
“He wanted to leave, but I persuaded him to stay”, said David Dein in the documentary. In the end, Wenger did stay but the 11 seasons that followed did nothing to add to his legacy. In total, Wenger spent 22 seasons at Arsenal and won three league titles and seven FA Cup titles. After the departure of Bergkamp, Henry and Vieira, Arsenal struggled to reach the heights of the past. Arsenal’s slump during Wenger’s last few seasons were also because of a lack of proper investment.
Wenger’s remarks in his documentary makes it clear how he did not fully enjoy his job once Kroenke took over. Wenger also revealed the various managerial jobs that came his way when he was at the peak of his powers. “I should have gone somewhere else. I identified myself with the club and that was the mistake I made. Could have gone to France, could have managed England, two or three time easily. Could have gone to Real Madrid, PSG or Juventus“.
Arsene Wenger and Arsenal were almost synonymous with each other during his reign at the club. The bonding was so close that many casual fans believed that Wenger owned the club. Under Kroenke, the relationship between Arsene Wenger and Arsenal became complicated. In the documentary, he admits he was “split” between following his heart and doing what was right for his career in 2007. In the end, it took another 10 years for the bonding between Wenger and Arsenal to come to an end.
“I still today wonder whether I did the right thing, because things were never the same again” concluded Wenger. Indeed, it would have been really interesting to see the Frenchman at Real Madrid or Juventus. But fans of Arsenal will forever remember Wenger’s contributions to the club with great affection.