Former Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger says staying at Arsenal for 22 years may have been his biggest mistake and that he regrets sacrificing so much for the job.
Wenger told French radio station RTL in an interview that he may have been better off seeking out a new challenge sooner.
Asked what his biggest mistake in his career was, Wenger said: “Perhaps staying at the same club for 22 years. I’m someone who likes new things, likes change. But I also like challenges. I was a little bit of a prisoner to my challenge each time.”
Wenger added that he has yet to decide what to do in the future and that he may need another two to three months to figure it out.
And he said the sacrifices he had to make for so long was one of the hardest parts of being a manager.
“I regret having sacrificed everything I did because I realise I’ve hurt a lot of people around me. I’ve neglected a lot of people. I’ve neglected my family, I’ve neglected many people close to me,” he said. “But deep down though, the obsessed man is selfish in his pursuit of what he loves. He misses out on a lot of other things. But it’s a bone to chase at the same time.
Wenger said he’d had “numerous” opportunities to take charge of France, but he turned them down because he had “always been more interested in the day-to-day aspect of management”.
Wenger stepped down as the longest-serving manager in Europe in May, having held the Arsenal job since 1996.