Arsene Wenger has admitted he has struggled to come to terms with the extra time he had in his life after his departure as Arsenal manager last May.
Wenger’s 22-year reign at Arsenal ended on something of a low note as he left the club with most fans pleased to see his departure and ahead of what he promises will be his return to the game in 2019, the 68-year-old has told beIN Sports that he has felt lost with no games to prepare for.
“I was a bit lost because you have time in front of you, which was never the case before,” Wenger said.
“You always have a problem to sort out and when you have sorted it, there is another one coming straight away. The next game is always a target in your life.
“It’s very difficult, but I took it as a challenge. I don’t feel retired at all, I’m basically a competitor.
“The problem is that people want to put you always in cases; ‘retired’ or ‘finished’. As long as you have an appetite for life, you always want to be useful and do something which is useful.
“There are many things I don’t miss at all, like all the stuff around the game you have to deal with nowadays, but the day, the competition. The achievement that you can do it together, sharing emotions, sharing competitions, ups and downs – you miss that.
“The big advantage I ever – in the game 35 years without stopping – is sharing what I know with other people. If you don’t do that, life is a bit useless. If you cannot share what you’ve accumulated or, at least, try to give some of it to other people, everything you’ve done looks useless.
“You should not leave this world without trying to give something to other people. When I look at my life I had one quality: to listen to other people who had been there before me.”
Wenger has confirmed that he expects to return to the game in January and has been strongly linked with a move to Germany amid reports he turned down the chance to take over at Premier League side Fulham earlier this week.