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Sep 25, 2009

Wenger: Pub life the secret to my success

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says growing up living in a pub helped teach him the secrets of being a successful football manager.

The Frenchman's parents owned a bistro called La Croix d'Or in Duttlenheim where he would spend hours studying the behaviour of the football-loving customers.

Wenger, who has won the Premier League on three occasions with Arsenal, spoke about his early life at the League Managers Association's conference at the Emirates Stadium.

"There is no better psychological education than growing up in a pub," Wenger said. "because when you are five or six years old you meet all different people and hear how cruel they can be to each other.

"You hear the way they talk to each other like saying 'You're a liar.' And from an early age you get a practical psychological education into the minds of people. It is not often that a boy of five or six is always living with adults in a little village.

"I even learned about tactics and selection from the people talking about football in the pub... who plays on the left wing and who should be in the team."

Wenger, who turns 60 next month, became a manager in his early 30s and had thought he would retire from the job at 50.

"I said I'd stop at 50 but now I don't believe in retiring unless you have to. I never have days where I think I can live without it. But I know some day I will do something different."

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