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Sources: Marcelino in Arsenal talks, keen on job

Arsenal
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Arsene Wenger: Matching Sir Alex Ferguson record is 'unbelievable'

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said it is "absolutely unbelievable" that he is poised to equal Sir Alex Ferguson's record of managing 810 Premier League games.

Wenger will reach the landmark when he takes the Gunners to Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace on Thursday.

The manager, who joined Arsenal in 1996, likened being in charge of a club to Russian roulette.

And asked about being in charge for so many games, he said: "I would have said you're absolutely mad, absolutely no chance.

"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."

Wenger reflected on how the game has altered in the 21 years since he first took charge, adding: "It has changed but, overall, it is more the decor that has changed.

"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."

Wenger said he believed changes in society had made a manager's job more difficult and added: "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.

"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.

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

Mattias is ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.

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