Approaching his 20th season as manager of Arsenal football club, Arsene Wenger has revealed what has been the secret behind his longevity throughout the course of his 35-year managerial career, and it really is quite simple. Luck.
Reflecting on his time as a top flight football manager, the 65-year-old Frenchman has been in charge at Arsenal since arriving in 1996 and won six FA Cups as well as three Premier League titles.
But rather than attributing his long stay in north London to those successes, he instead points to good fortune.
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Speaking to the Arsenal website he said: "If you consider the average lifespan of a manager is 12 months, then I was so lucky to have 35 years so far. So I push on."
Perhaps being too modest here about his own abilities as a manager, Wenger has been something of a visionary during his time in football and has been instrumental in changing the culture of football.
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Whereas players' fitness was previously somewhat overlooked, Wenger changed all this when he arrived in London by introducing strict diet regimes.
Alcohol intake was heavily reduced and general fitness drills were increased. Although not popular amongst players at the time these, changes soon began to bear success and are now common procedure amongst the majority of footballers today.
Even if luck was involved, there was clearly a certain amount of skill and knowledge apparent too.
LOVE OF THE JOB
Elaborating on his joys of management, Wenger explained that the day to day role of developing players' abilities is what drives him to continue in his job. With players such as Thierry Henry, Cesc Fabregas and Robin Van Persie all having benefitted from his involvement with them, it is clear that his love of player development has always remained consistent.
"I love football and I love to try to help the players to be better. I love as well that players feel they can become a better player at this club. I think that’s an important part of the job.
"I started at the age of 31, now I am 65 and I've never stopped. Never, not for a day. So I have spent 34 years on the pitches every day. It has been my life and it will be my life as long as I can do it."
GOING NOWHERE YET
Despite winning back-to-back FA cups for Arsenal, there is a mixed response amongst fans when asked the question about weather or not he should step aside from his role.
Often criticised for not spending enough to turn The Gunner's into a title winning team once again, many point to his old-school beliefs that talent should instead be nurtured rather then bought as a reason to suggest he is out of touch with the game and therefore holding Arsenal back.
"I am not naive enough to believe I will be forever on a football pitch. At some stage I will have to do something different"
However, despite having gone nine years without collecting silverware, with two trophies in two seasons there is no longer a cause for such concern.
Particularly as Wenger has begun to address the well documented problem areas within his team - deploying Frances Coquelin as a defensive midfielder that has long been called out for as well as looking to bring in Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech to assure things at the back.
With this in mind Wenger has commented that he has no intentions of stepping aside just yet, although he realises that at some point his time at Arsenal will come to an end.
"I am not naive enough to believe I will be forever on a football pitch. At some stage I will have to do something different," he added.
"But as long as I can, I want to be on the pitch. That’s where I’m happy, that’s where I get my satisfaction, that’s where I feel I can be useful."
Luck or no luck, Wenger has been a success at Arsenal and as far as he's concerned, there's plenty more desire to bring further success to the club.
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