Wenger talks Brexit, impatience and modern society

Date published: Saturday 28th October 2017 8:44

Arsene Wenger has likened modern football’s need for instant success to Britain voting for Brexit.

The Arsenal boss turned 68 last weekend and has been in charge of the Gunners for over 21 years.

In recent times he has seen an increasing number of supporters wanting him to leave as Arsenal have not won the title since 2004.

Wenger penned a new two-year deal in May despite organised protests calling for the Frenchman to be replaced.

After a recent defeat at Watford, he was once again greeted with chants of “Wenger Out” but a 5-2 win at Everton last weekend has keep the doubters at bay once again.

Wenger believes there has been a shift in British culture since his arrival at Highbury in 1996 and feels the short-term thinking within football is echoed in the decision to leave the European Union.

“In the modern game we lose a little bit the perspective of what is important and what is not,” he said ahead of Saturday’s Premier League visit of Swansea.

“It is always here and now and forever, and the now is permanent, the judgement is permanent and forever – but it is in society as well.

“You have the same example with Brexit – it’s just here, now, but where do we go from there? Nobody really knows. Maybe it is good, maybe it is bad. I don’t know.

“But nobody has explained what will happen in the future if we do that. So what I think about the club that has been created is first about values. I know that nobody cares any more.”

When pushed, Wenger did not offer his views on Brexit but did say society no longer looks to history in the same way as it did when he came to England.

“I have no wisdom to advise people. I just think what I observe is the moment, at the present,” he said.

“What I liked when came to England was that the weight of the past was there and you could feel it was important.

“In the evolution of the modern society the weight of the present has become predominant to the past and the future and no matter is it a football club, you need to get that balance right.”

During an impassioned speech at the club’s annual general meeting on Thursday, Wenger said he would continue to follow the core values he believes lie at the heart of Arsenal.

But he feels there has also been an alteration in how some wish to be seen by society – pointing a finger at the celebrity culture as an example.

“Somebody said 500 years ago the target was to be a Saint for people,” he said.

“Fifty years ago a hero in war. Today a billionaire, even more celebrity. That is instant and here and now. But it has to be sustained by something.”

Arsenal’s present-day form is likely to come under the microscope once again if they fail to beat Swansea on Saturday, no matter how much Wenger would rather look to past glories of future promise.

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