Arsene Wenger Equals Sir Alex Record, Compares Managing to Russian Roulette

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger equaled the immortal Sir Alex Ferguson today in the record for games managed in the Premier League (810). While reflecting on the achievement at hand, Wenger used a very colorful metaphor to describe life as a manager. He described it as a game of “Russian roulette,” where you just don’t know when “the bullet” will emerge from the chamber and strike down your career.

It was an interesting word choice, given how so many Gunners have been so zealously calling for his head for a couple years now.

Ahead of Arsenal’s 3-2 win over Crystal Palace, the match which tied Sir Alex’s record, Wenger was asked about being in charge for such a long time (since 1996).

“I would have said you’re absolutely mad, absolutely no chance,” the Gunners boss responded.

“I remember when I was 33, 34, I thought that to 60 is 25, 26 years and you’ll never get there because every game is such a gamble. It’s Russian roulette, every game. So you think, at some stage, the bullet will hit you. So that’s absolutely unbelievable. You can never predict that.”

Although Wenger has now matched Ferguson in games managed, he obviously doesn’t have the same glamorous CV as Fergie. Wenger trails the Manchester United legend of club legends by 60 wins, 10 league titles and eight manager of the year awards.

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Wenger reflected on how much the game of football has changed during the two decades plus that he has been in charge of the north London side.

“It has changed but, overall, it is more the decor that has changed,” Wenger continued. “The core of the game is the same. That means the spirit, quality on the pitch and human beings putting their effort together to achieve something.”

“What has changed is the society. We have gone to more individualism. More individual plan of careers, so that is more anxious for the players as well.

The Frenchman then continued to philosophize about football and life, drawing analogies to the medical profession.

“The overall problem in Europe is that the respect for basic things has been lost or is less strong that it was 20 years ago,” Wenger continued.

“You go to a doctor and he is more questioned than he was 20 years ago. Twenty years ago, you go to a doctor, he says you have that, you say: ‘OK I will go home and do that.’ Today, when you go to see the doctor, you have read before on the internet and he has to convince you that you have not necessarily what you think you have,” he added.

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“So that basically means that you are questioned more. In every single job, people are questioned more.”

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.

Follow him on TwitterInstagramSound Cloud, LinkedIn and YouTube.

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