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Page last updated at 16:00 GMT, Monday, 29 September 2008 17:00 UK

Wenger proud of attacking legacy

Arsene Wenger
Frenchman Wenger favours bold attacking football played on the floor

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger thinks the club's next boss must maintain the stylish brand of play he has established - or risk a backlash.

Reflecting on his 12th anniversary at the club, Wenger said their open attacking play would be his greatest legacy when he eventually leaves.

"The crowd are used to it and demands it now," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"It would be very difficult to change. We have created that [style] at the club and are rather proud of it."

He added: "You can see that the way we see the game will survive me and the staff.

"It will last, which is a very good thing. Inside the club now you have a real culture to play the game and bring players through the ranks.

"They play the game I love and that we love here at the club."

Referring to last week's 6-0 Carling Cup win against Sheffield United, which saw Arsenal field a team with an average age of 19, he added: "When you go through the whole team you don't see a weak position.

"It's maybe the most complete young team. That's why you suddenly realise the work we have done every year is paying off."

A former Monaco coach, Wenger joined the club in 1996 from Grampus Eight in Japan as a relative unknown and transformed the way its teams played football from a more traditionally defensive approach.

Under his leadership, Arsenal have won a host of trophies and moved from its old ground at Highbury to a new home at the Emirates Stadium.

"I am enjoying it more than ever," he said, insisting he is more focused than ever on winning the league after three trophyless seasons.


Though the 59-year-old was looking ahead to a time when he is not manager of Arsenal, he insisted that day may be a long way off.

"It has not crossed my mind yet to consider a retirement age," he said. "I don't feel any fatigue or desire to stop. I am very happy with what I do.

"Managing or coaching will stop one day and I don't know what I will do after that."

The Frenchman also said that he only recently realised how deep his affinity was with the country in which he now lives.

"I realise that I am much more English now than I thought I was," he said.

"Especially when I look at what happens in other countries and the way I respond to problems.

"Being here for 12 years has had a big impact on my spirit. My love for the game here is so high that to walk away from that would be difficult."

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