Emmanuel Petit has revealed Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was never planning on a career in football management.
Wenger is renowned as one of the best managers in world football having experienced unprecedented success during an 18-year spell in charge of Arsenal. But it could have been so different for the Frenchman if he had followed his intended path.
Petit, who played a key role for Wenger's Arsenal between 1997 and 2000, says Wenger always considered a career in football as his second option and was more inclined towards economics.
Article continues below
"He never had the intention of doing this job. Before, he studied economics and management"
The former France international told France Football: "For me, he is a visionary and someone who is very pragmatic.
"He leaves nothing to chance, he calculates everything.
Article continues below
"He approaches the job in a very professorial manger, almost scientific and that is of course very paradoxical for someone who didn’t want to pass his football manager diplomas and who always considered football as a second option.
"He never had the intention of doing this job. Before, he studied economics and management."
Famously, Wenger experienced limited success as a player, failing to take the path trodden by the vast majority of today's managers. The Arsenal boss spent the final two years of his playing career running Strasbourg's reserve side before packing in early to pursue a career in management.
Spells at AS Monaco and Japanese outfit Grampus Eight meant he arrived in England as an complete unknown. But his Arsenal tenure has been enough to elevate him to status as one of the game's greatest ever managers.
Time to leave?
With a degree in economics, Wenger would have had plenty of career options when hanging up his boots, but his revolutionary style of football management came at time the game was itching for change. Players in Arsenal's squad were still enjoying takeaways and pints of beer before he arrived.
He has changed the way football is done, but following Arsenal's Champions League exit, he has more critics than ever. Many think his once revolutionary techniques are now updated and his stubbornness is holding Arsenal back.
What do Arsenal fans think? Is Arsene Wenger past his best or can he still bring major trophies to north London? Give us your thoughts in the comment box below!