Despite many Arsenal fans feeling a little disillusioned with Arsene Wenger at the moment, he is still a highly sought after manager. He has been pursued by Real Madrid in the past, and former president Ramon Calderon claims talks were held regarding a move, as reported by the Mirror.
Calderon claims he tried to bring Wenger to Spain on a number of occasions, but found the Frenchman was always loyal to Arsenal.
“I imagine that anyone – be it a coach or a player – at some time in their career is interested in coming to a club like Real Madrid, especially when you have been at a club for fifteen years, or however long, in England,” said Calderon.
“Anyone working in any other industry would be interested in change. I think it’s a good idea to have a coach who has a long-term plan.
“He [Wenger] was talking to me about Real Madrid and, at that time, he was very interested in the club and what was happening. I remember he said: ‘Are you going to Hollywood again, or to make a football team?’ He meant are you going for film star Galacticos or to make a proper football team.”
During the interview Calderon also compared the Arsenal boss to his Chelsea counterpart Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese manager was in charge at Real Madrid for a spell, and Calderon had plenty to say about him.
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He suggested that the Blues boss was far more volatile than Wenger, and could regularly be seen getting into arguments. This is not something Wenger is known for, with Mourinho being the only manager who really pushes his buttons – understandably so.
“Things didn’t work out and he has clearly loved his time at Arsenal… Wenger … is respectful. You never see him in arguments. There might be occasions where he complains about referees but not in the way that Mourinho does,” Calderon continued.
He also stressed just how difficult the Madrid job was, and highlighted the pressure piled on by the fans. The 65-year-old is obviously not enjoying the support of all Arsenal fans at the moment, but would things have been different for him at Madrid?
“Look at Mourinho. He won one King’s Cup and was sacked, also. When I had Capello… he was successful, but the supporters were not happy with the way the team was playing and we had to sack him… They also had the problem with Mourinho,” Calderon finished.
“Arsene Wenger is not that kind of coach. His team also tries to play in an attractive way for the spectator and for the people.”
Although many fans feel it’s time Wenger moved on, we can be proud to have had a manager who remained at the club for so long.
It’s rare to see a manager remain with a club for more than a season or two in the modern game, yet Wenger remains the longest serving manager in the Premier League by some margin.
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The fact that he turned down a job with Real Madrid – on multiple occasions – shows just how loyal he is to the club, and you certainly can’t fault him for that.