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Arsene Wenger ponders life after Arsenal


Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger does not intend to follow Sir Alex Ferguson and ride off into the sunset just yet, but admits filling his own hard-earned retirement will need some careful planning.

Wenger takes his side to Old Trafford on Sunday, scene of so many infamous showdowns with Ferguson's men when Arsenal and Manchester United slugged it out for Barclays Premier League supremacy – on the pitch, down the touchline and even over the post-match buffet in the dressing rooms.

While the relationship might have mellowed between the two experienced coaches since the days of Pizzagate, the Invincibles and Roy Keane versus Patrick Vieira, at the age of 65 Wenger has no plans to step away from the game as Ferguson did two summers ago.

Wenger last season signed a contract extension following Arsenal's FA Cup final win at Wembley which ended a nine-year wait for silverware.

The Frenchman, though, gave a rare insight into a subject which so often has been taboo when asked to reflect on just what will he do when he is no longer Arsenal boss.

"Sometimes I think, 'What is he (Sir Alex Ferguson) doing all day' you know, but he looks very happy in his retirement," said Wenger, now by far the longest-serving manager in the top flight.

"He is lucky because he is interested in horses as well. When he gets up in the morning, he can go to horses, practice or training."

Wenger, who grew up in the Alsace region near Strasbourg, added: "I love horses as well, but I don't go to races. I like horses in general because I am a farmer, you know.

"(I went riding) when I was a kid of course, but now? No, my back could not take any riding."

Asked what his hobby could be in retirement, Wenger said: "Watching football."

Before any serious talk of filling his time away from the game, Wenger has some unfinished business in moulding an Arsenal side finally worthy of emulating those of a previous golden era.

Wenger, however, is adamant the squad does not need a major injection of fresh blood over the summer, just adding the right calibre of player to an already abundant talent pool.

"People are always having good ideas and it looks good strengthening here, there, but when you go to who (to buy), it is much more difficult," said Wenger, whose side are two points clear of United and can secure a top-three finish with a victory.

"You can always look at possible areas where you can strengthen, but sometimes in your own team the cohesion is important as well, and that is linked to the type of players that play together."

Wenger added: "It always sounds logical. Who doesn't want a good spine?

"But to know each other, to play together at the back, in the heart of the game is important as well.

"To add to the extreme (positions) sometimes it is less risky, but where the heart of the team is, playing together for a long time is very important as well."


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