Arsene Wenger has finally admitted his regret at not leaving Arsenal sooner than 2020.
The legendary Arsenal manager left Arsenal in 2020 after an incredible 22-year stint at the club but his last few seasons were defined by fan anger and acrimony towards his continued reign at the club and now the Frenchman has admitted he stayed too long in the club.
During his reign he became the most successful head coach in the club’s history, landing three Premier League titles – including the memorable 2003-04 Invincibles campaign – and seven FA Cup triumphs.
But in a new documentary titled Arsene Wenger: Invincible, the 72-year-old has admitted that he was wrong to stay at the club for as long as he did.
‘I identified myself completely with the club – that was the mistake I made,’ said Wenger, as per the Telegraph.
‘My fatal flaw is I love too much where I am… where I was. I regret it. I should have gone somewhere else.’
Stating where his time in north London took a turn for the worse, Wenger pointed towards the departure of David Dein from the Arsenal board in 2007.
In his first decade at the club, Wenger’s three Premier League titles all came in his first 10 years.
Wenger admits that while Dein made his own decision to move on at that time, he should have also reflected upon his own role.
‘Sometimes I wonder – was something broken after that Invincible season?’ said Wenger.
‘2007 was a decisive point. It was the first time I could feel there were tensions inside the board. I was torn between being loyal to the club and being loyal to David [Dein].
‘I still today wonder if I did the right thing because life was never exactly the same after. I thought, “I have now to go to the end of this project”.
‘I could have gone to the French national team. The English national team twice or three times even. I could have gone twice to Real Madrid. I could have gone to Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, even Man United.’
Wenger has not been back to the Emirates since leaving three years ago something he admits he finds sad.
‘Now there is no special reason for me to go there,’ he said.
‘All the rest is purely emotion, and that is less important. It is the end of your life – at least of one life – like a funeral. The end of a love story is always sad.’