Wenger still hungry for success
Arsene Wenger marks his 15th anniversary as Arsenal boss on Saturday, and has used the occasion to reveal the pain six years without a trophy has caused him while reflecting on his time in the Premier League.
Wenger last lifted a trophy in 2005 when Arsenal claimed the FA Cup, but says he has lost none of the drive and determination to bring the Gunners further success. Arsenal will take on north London rivals Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Sunday, as the Frenchman looks to lift his side back into the top half of the table after enduring a testing start to the current campaign.
"I miss winning titles," Wenger said. "Very much. You only have one way, to fight and win again.
"I feel part of what is very important for us is to transform the club into a top-level club, into a club that has a fantastic future potential with values that we think are very important in the game.
"The style of play, the way we behave to develop young players, to give a chance to people who deserve it in life. That for me is very important in the history of the club.
"The vision is to make this club the best club in the world, it is as simple as that. I'm very proud of the values I defend in the game and we will try to continue to do that."
When asked how long it might take to put Arsenal on top, 61-year-old Wenger added: "In my life I hope. You may say to me I have to live very long, I don't know. I want to try to give my best because only the best is acceptable and if I don't manage to do it I am very sad."
Does Wenger believe he can stay another 15 years at the club after receiving resounding support from owner Stan Kroenke?
"I am up for it but it depends first of all on my club," he said.
"Do they want me to stay? Then on my health as well because that is something that you consider when you get to my level because it demands a lot of energy."
Meanwhile, in the wake of the Carlos Tevez saga at Manchester City, Wenger has played down the notion that modern-day players are prima donnas. When asked if today's crop are harder to handle than 15 years ago, he said: "Not really no, players are very demanding with themselves.
"Top athletes are demanding with themselves as well as their environments and that creates tensions. Our job is to transform this tension into positive energy - that is why we are here and that is why we are well paid."
When asked how he would react if one of his players refused to go on the pitch, he said: "Every manager has his own personality and I don't want to interfere with that. Life at the top level is not without problems."
Looking toward Sunday's derby, Wenger admits the rise of neighbours Tottenham is one of the challenges which spur him on.
The Arsenal boss is likely to receive a boost ahead of the hostile clash, with Theo Walcott looking set to return following a knee injury, along with striker Gervinho. However, central defender Laurent Koscielny is out, with Alex Song likely to feature at the back.