Date: 8th February 2007 at 10:19am
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It’s never a nice subject to talk about, but we all have to accept that one day Arsene Wenger will retire, and according to Le Boss, that should be within the next 10 years.

Mr. Wenger recently celebrated 10 years in charge of Arsenal, but doesn’t think he’ll be able to last another 10, despite believing the Gunners success will surpass the great manager himself.

“I think Arsenal has another 10 years of success ahead of them ? but not me.’

“I need to accept that in 10 years I`ll be 67 and in this job you need a certain amount of instinctive physical power and an animal instinct for winning.’

“It is something which must come naturally to you but you can lose it when your testosterone levels drop or when arthritis hits you or you just go through the process of becoming old.’

“The fact is that you can lose it when you are 45 and I know ? I`ve seen guys who got fed up of coaching in their 40s. There are guys who won the European Cup 10 years ago and now they are just nowhere.’

“Then there are men like Sir Bobby Robson and Giovanni Trapattoni who will go to their graves with the same hunger to win. You need to be sensible, particularly as in my job you have to be absolutely passionate and also very selfish.’

“Any man who concentrates his energies totally on one passion is, by definition, someone who hurts the people close to him. My job takes up 90 per cent of every day of my life and, as far as my family is concerned, they have had to be pretty self-sufficient.’

“As a coach you can never just coast along. You are either flying high or on a terrible low. You must learn to cope with disappointment ? without losing your love of the game.’

“Every defeat is like being jilted in love and you ask yourself ‘Will I ever be able to love again?`”

In this extensive interview, Wenger revealed his human side and his worries and fears about retirement and death.

“I`m obsessed by things like retiring and death.’

“What drives me on is that belief that tomorrow I`ll do things better and be a better person than I am today.Most of my life has gone without me even noticing how fast time was passing.’

“But when you turn 50 you suddenly realise you have reached the top of the hill and that your days are numbered. It`s a very painful realisation. This is the moment when you start reflecting on how best to use the time left to you.

“Is it best to go on as normal without really thinking about the future or should you change direction and adapt as you get older? Do you impose your own limits or do you allow other people to do that for you?’

“But I`m someone who needs to set my own limits. If I ever lose that then my career will be over and it will be the end to my aspirations for my life.’

“I`ve never understood people who say ‘I`m no good at this or that`. I simply cannot understand the idea of settling for what you have or for who you are.”