Wenger: If I'm healthy I'll work
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger maintains he will continue to work in the game as long as his health allows. Wenger, 60, recently penned a new deal to keep him at Emirates Stadium until 2014.
By then the Frenchman, who has revolutionised the north London club since arriving in September 1996, may well have decided enough is enough. Wenger, who would not be short of suitors, revealed he would like to continue his habit of working with emerging talent, even if that was away from a top club.
Speaking to L'Equipe, Wenger said: "I will coach for as long as I am healthy enough. I could finish coaching young players, but not necessarily at professional level. I am planning to remain with Arsenal until the end of my new contract, but at my age I am forced to consider the short term.
"If I am still here it will not be because of a lack of offers from clubs overseas, but because I really appreciate what I have been given here. I am fortunate to work with complete freedom."
Wenger admits a return home would perhaps be appealing one day, for the right project. "In France, there is the club who are close to my heart, Strasbourg," he said. "[Also] here is a club with huge undeveloped potential, PSG [Paris St Germain]. Am I tempted by Paris's challenge? I don't know. So far, not at all. At the moment, PSG does not have the means which matches the size of the city."
Wenger is conscious of the need to land some silverware, having last tasted success with the FA Cup in 2005, while Arsenal have not won the league title since the unbeaten campaign of 2003/04. He signalled his intent with a strong squad for last night's 4-1 League Cup third-round win at arch-rivals Tottenham and knows now is the time for his youngsters to deliver.
"Of course I want to win trophies. Our hopes for the season are always the same, we are fighting for the Premier League title and want to win the Champions League," he added. "The plan is to continue our improvement with the strength of our team and their youth. My players don't have the excuse of inexperience any more. They are eager for titles. I believe they are capable, but they have to show it."
Wenger maintains Arsenal deserve great credit for staying in the top four despite the best attempts of their cash-rich rivals. "People are always saying that we haven't won anything for five years. This is true, but we have always remained at the highest level, even during difficult periods in the club's life," he said.
"Arsenal built a new stadium and we have to pay for that, while also building a new team which had reached the end of a cycle. What would you say to Manchester City if they did not win any trophies this season after investing £200million? To me, the main reason why we have not won anything in five years is the fact we play in the best league in the world against clubs that have unlimited funds."