Arsene Wenger reveals how close he came to leaving Arsenal in 2007 - ‘life was never exactly the same after’

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Arsene Wenger reveals how close he came to leaving Arsenal in 2007 - ‘life was never exactly the same after’
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Arsene Wenger has revealed he came very close to walking away from Arsenal in 2007 and he has regrets about not taking another job following 22 years with the Gunners.

Speaking in a new documentary film, which is out in cinemas this week, Wenger has explained how he thinks something may have been “broken” after he guided Arsenal to an unbeaten Premier League season in 2003-04.

The Frenchman has revealed that in 2007, when current owner Stan Kroenke first started buying shares in the club, he came close to leaving.

“2007 was a decisive point,” said Wenger. “It’s the first time I could feel there were tensions inside the board.

David Dein had an agreement with Stan Kroenke, who he wanted to bring in. I was torn between being loyal to the club and being loyal to David.

“Sometimes I wonder was something broken after that Invincible season? Because I had done what I really wanted deeply. Is it a symbol? Is it linked with me that after that when I thought that I had achieved the highest level that I didn’t do it again?”

David Dein, who was vice-chairman at the time, has revealed he persuaded Wenger to stay in charge of Arsenal.

“He actually wanted to leave,” said Dein. “And I said to him: ‘You have to stay, Arsene.’”

Wenger added in the new documentary: “I still today wonder if I did the right thing, because life was never exactly the same after.

“I thought, I now have 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, to Paris Saint-Germain, even to Man United. My fatal flaw is that I love too much where I am…where I was.

“I regret. I should have gone somewhere else. I identified myself completely with the club and that was the mistake I made. Now there is no special reason for me to go there. All the rest is purely emotional and that is less important.”

Arsène Wenger: Invincible is in cinemas from 11 November and on Blu-ray, DVD and digital download from 22 Nov.

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