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How I Caused Arsenal Failure Last Season - Arsene Wenger Explains

Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger has explained how his attitude negatively affected the club last season.

He said the indecision over his future cost the club a great deal.

The Gunners did not qualify for the UEFA Champions League for the first time since the Frenchman became the club’s boss in 1996 as they finished fifth at the end of last season.

Wenger told France Football that his players may have been adversely affected by the months of uncertainty over whether or not he would stay at the club come the 2017-18 season.

He said, “Perhaps my attitude had an impact on our season, because there came a time when the players came to me and asked, ‘What’s happening boss?’ With my indecision, I created a lack of clarity in the dressing room.

“And there is nothing worse than when the players feel you’re not totally committed.

“So, at a given time, I had to tell them, ‘I’m with you boys, but we have to win matches.

“The fact I hadn’t taken the decision to leave or stay created uncertainty. And when you don’t win, you know, other problems come to light.”

There were protest marches and repeated calls for his departure throughout the season.

He added, “Sometimes they expressed themselves in a ridiculous way, like when a plane flew over the Emirates with a message that was hostile to me.

“Every defeat is a nightmare. One of the handicaps when you stay for a long time at a club is that you carry in you a huge feeling of guilt when you lose a big match.

“And the longer you stay at a club, the more difficult it becomes because you know just how much it will affect people, what a bad weekend they will have, perhaps they will cry.

“When you sign a two-year contract, you don’t care quite as much, because you don’t understand how much the club means for some people. But the more time passes, the more difficult it is.

“Each time, you feel so guilty.9

“People don’t step back with regard to what happened. For me, the environment changed between 2006 and 2015, because we had financial restrictions whereas a lot of money was being injected into English football.

“We had less money, we had to sell our best players while others reinforced their teams, sometimes with our players. But the demands stayed exactly the same. Quite honestly, I have never worked as much as during that period, from 2006 to 2015.

“I had signed for five years, because the banks demanded it when we built the stadium. We had no guarantee, and I saw through my contract because I wanted to respect that challenge. But it was difficult. I’m proud to have done it.

“You always ask yourself questions. Am I the right person to continue doing good work? When I face uncertainty or sadness, I try to focus on what really counts in football.

“I ask myself questions. I work harder, I try to move forward, to become better, but I can’t say the criticism doesn’t affect me. Everyone wants to be loved, loved by the fans especially.

“You have to continue battling, focussing again on your motivation. Resistance to stress is an important quality in modern football, and not only for coaches.”

When asked whether he would see out his new deal, Wenger replied “I don’t know”, but he hopes to leave whoever takes on the heavy burden of succeeding him the prospect of a rosy future on and off the pitch, when his reign, which has also brought three Premier League crowns, finally comes to an end.

“It’s not my job [to name his successor]. Help someone find their feet and feel at home, yes. But it’s the board’s responsibility to choose the next Arsenal manager. I would like the person who succeeds me to take the club to the next level. I sincerely hope the club will manage that.

“I wish only to reassure myself that the person who takes my place will be put in the conditions required to work well.

“That means inheriting a good team, a healthy financial situation, a squad in which there are youngsters who promise to be excellent players. That’s my desire.”

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