My Life in Red and White: The Sunday Times Number One Bestselling Autobiography

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My Life in Red and White: The Sunday Times Number One Bestselling Autobiography

My Life in Red and White: The Sunday Times Number One Bestselling Autobiography

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In My Life in Red and White, Wenger charts his extraordinary career, including his rise in France and Japan where he managed Nancy, Monaco and Nagoya Grampus Eight (clubs that also play in red-and-white, like Arsenal!) to his 22 years at the helm of an internationally renowned club from 1996 onwards. He describes the unrest that led to his resignation in 2018, and his current role as Chief of Global Football Development for FIFA. As too was the notion of philosophy. That Wenger was a visionary, revolutionary of the game is unquestionable. His first years in particular at Arsenal and in English football changed the course of both, and the book explores some of his key thoughts and ideas that underpinned his management, including his expectations of players, the psychology of the game and player management.

Nonetheless, this book gives a great insight into the various transfers and dealings. I loved the story of David Dein's daughter crying silently into her dinner when she realised her favourite Ian Wright was being sold. I did the same when I heard the news. Prvá časť bola pre mňa najzaujímavejšia - čo bolo pred Arsenalom, odkiaľ Wenger pochádza, ako sa tam dostal, ako v klube zmenil pomery a zaužívané veci, prvé roky. To som nevedela, nezažila, bolo to pre mňa nové, pekný príbeh, autor sa ešte necyklil. I was disgusted at Arsene's hounding by the press after a vicious journalist spread lies which although totally unfounded resulted in his 12 year old step-son being hounded. This hurt him deeply. The pictures include a picture of a banner-trailing plane – but unfortunately not the one I helped crowdfund. Wenger has not returned to the sidelines since leaving Arsenal, but as of November he has brought characteristic rigour to his role as Fifa’s head of Global Football Development. He separated from his wife, Annie Brosterhous, in 2015; their daughter Léa is finishing a doctorate in neuroscience at Cambridge University. He divides his time between London, Paris and Fifa’s base in Zurich, often staying in hotels, and he admits that the hardest part of Covid-19 for him was when most of the leagues around the world were suspended. “I don’t know why but football games are my life and I don’t think that’s ever going to change,” he says. “So I missed it very much.”The writing also it has to be says is a little off - its hard to know if it is the original or the translation, but its an odd assortment of very simple and clunky sentences with rather enigmatic statements (which I suspect are in the French original). Yes ! criticism is part of every managers career but the recent blatant hate and threats faced by Wenger is completely unjustified.

A hugely disappointing book. The footballing content is abysmal, especially the Arsenal part. Wenger spent 22 years at Arsenal and merely glosses over the two decades in such an inconsequential way that beggars belief, though his self-aggrandisement is prominent throughout. From the outset, we embark on a near 70-year retrospective where life is totally interwoven with the sport. He takes as the starting point the family-run restaurant in Alsace where Wenger was first exposed to football, courtesy of the weekly gatherings of the local village team, culminating with the intensity of his time in North London where his sphere of influence ultimately permeated every aspect of Arsenal’s daily activity.

Nikdy som nerozmýšľala ako a kedy prišiel Arsène Wenger do Arsenalu. Jednoducho tam vždy bol. Odkedy sledujem futbal, odkedy si pamätám, odkedy sme s ocinom sedávali po večeroch pred telkou a sledovali Bergkampove parády a obdivovali francúzsko-holandské enklávy Arsenalu a Barcelony.

I always felt that your philosophy as a manager reflected the ethos of the local community. How did you stay true to those principles when it came to be so difficult in football? In the years following they would holiday on Dein’s boat, and the Arsenal board member would watch Monaco’s matches in France. After some time in Japan, the invite to manage Arsenal arrived. He loved Real Madrid as a youngsterIn 2002/03, the season in which Arsène Wenger announced to the press that Arsenal could go the whole season unbeaten, his team fell short. They won the FA Cup, but gave up an early lead in the title race to Manchester United, eventually losing by five points. This book is a great insight into the man. He will always mean so much to me and he is an important contributor to the game that we all love. Instead of detailing his feelings as he goes into key matches he brushes aside huge events in a couple of sentences. Pretty much: “That year we won the double and the following year united won the treble.” Wow, ok thanks for the insight Arsene! It was beneficial for me because it made me more open-minded. Let’s not forget I came from Alsace and I worked in Monaco; Monaco is a different country compared to Alsace. After that, I worked in Japan, then England, which is again very different. These kinds of experiences make you more tolerant, more willing to understand other people and realise that, at the end of the day, the culture in each country [consists of] reflexes that we have built in our childhood. To meet somebody else means you have to get out of yourself and try to see who the other guy is in front of you. And it’s part of the job of a manager.

coming to the style of writing, it's more a compilation of major bits and pieces of Arsenes 20 years, Unlike a traditional biography. summing it up, all the info you need is in the book, how it is judged and interpreted completely relies on the reader. Consecutive managers at Arsenal have struggled to fit Mesut Özil in their teams, for one reason or another. He’s now been left out of the club’s European squad, and many expect him not to make the cut for the Premier League, either. Arsène Wenger was the man who signed the German midfielder from Real Madrid in 2013, and in the book he explains how he got the best from him. French. I speak German and English well, and French very well [laughs]. I can understand Italian, Spanish, some Japanese, but I speak them less well. But if I live for a while there it’s OK. He was manager at Arsenal during a time when football changed dramatically. Traditionally the owners of the big clubs tended to be wealthy local businessmen with a love of the game. Gradually foreign investors injected huge amounts of capital into Premiership clubs, American entrepreneurs, Russian oligarchs and wealthy Asians now own England's top football clubs. Wenger commented on the growing number of staff employed by Arsenal who looked after the marketing and branding of the club. This was an interesting aspect of the book.More than that, Wenger wants to make clear that, when the dust settled, there was always respect. “Every manager goes through good and bad periods. They are human beings,” he says. “It’s difficult to measure the quality of our job. For example, last season, Liverpool won the championship and [Jürgen] Klopp got praised for that. And rightly so. But you must say the guy at Sheffield United [Chris Wilder, whose team finished ninth] has done a great job as well. Who has done a better job? You don’t know.” Wenger, 70, famously led the club to the best period in their history, including the 2003-04 Premier League-winning Invincibles. What I learned is that the way we behaved created huge popularity all over the world. And it made me realise that in sport, football especially, the values we carried through were respected all over the world. It was not only about winning: of course, what created the popular image of Arsenal was the fact that we won the championships, but it was more than that. People respect clubs for the values as well, for the identity of the club. So it’s mixed feelings. Every defeat plays on my mind. And you have to think not what you should have done, but what could you have done?



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