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Page last updated at 21:14 GMT, Thursday, 24 September 2009 22:14 UK

Wenger has 'no plans to retire'

Arsene Wenger
Wenger is the Premier League's second longest-serving manager

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insists he has no plans to retire from football as he approaches his 60th birthday later this month.

The Frenchman, who has been with the Gunners since 1996, says he still has the hunger and physical strength to bring trophies to the club.

"I don't believe in retiring unless you have to," he told a League Managers Association conference.

"I have never had a day when I think I could live without football."

Wenger has come under pressure over his failure to win a trophy since the 2005 FA Cup but, although he believed he would retire at 50, he will celebrate his 60th birthday on 22 October.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who is the league's longest-serving manager, was talked out of his plans to retire when he turned 60 in 2001 and the Gunners boss says he will keep going.

"In our job you need physical strength and to be a bit of an animal to convince people it's important to win," he said.

"But once that physical strength goes it's a handicap, although you can compensate to an extent with experience.

"But you need in some way to be an animal and you need physical power.

"You will know if you are not hungry enough any more but other people will tell you if you are not good enough any more.

"It's not for a manager to know - it's for other people to know and to tell him.

"I know one day it will happen when I have to live without football but you shouldn't live every day knowing you are going to die - you live knowing that you want to live."

606: DEBATE

Wenger, who admitted his proudest moment was guiding Arsenal to an unbeaten Premier League season in 2003-4, also accepted that this season is a key one for his new-look side.

"Without a doubt going the whole season unbeaten is my greatest achievement," he said.

"If you win the championship you feel someone else can come in and do better than you.

"It was always my dream to go the whole season unbeaten because there's not much more anyone can do to beat that.

"But this is an important year because we feel the team is now more mature and can compete at the top, top level."



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see also
Wenger to get sending off apology
30 Aug 09 |  Premier League
Wenger defends youth player moves
10 Sep 09 |  Arsenal
Wenger admits to 'selective vision'
14 Aug 09 |  Arsenal
Wenger demands respect from fans
22 May 09 |  Arsenal


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