Wenger: It’s easier for foreign managers

Aung Thu at Muangthong United

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger claims he faced harsher criticism when he arrived in England compared to Pep Guardiola in his first season at the helm of Manchester City.

Wenger feels that foreign managers got a raw deal from the press when he first joined the Gunners in the 1990s, while English managers were treated more sympathetically.

However, the Frenchman says that has now changed, with foreign managers seemingly given much more leeway by local reporters.

Speaking to the assembled press ahead of his side's clash with the Citizens at the Etihad on Sunday, Wenger said: "I should get some newspapers from when I arrived here and you will see that it's much easier today for the foreign managers.

"I would say when I arrived here it was difficult for the foreign managers. Today it is difficult for the English managers. That's what has changed.

"Have I been surprised by the criticism? Yes and no. Yes, because his CV is impeccable and no because that's part of our game and modern life in our job.

"People really love football in this country and there's a big passion for the game. I respect that hugely, but people also want their team to win.

"On top of that, people are impatient as well – modern society is like that."

Wenger went on to praise Guardiola, though, adding: "I must say he has done extremely well and he is one of the most respected managers in the game, if not the most and maybe rightly so.

"But every manager has a personality and can only act with his own personality.

"You cannot copy a manager, you can only be who you are, and he has been influenced at Barcelona by the [Johan] Cruyff period when he was a player.

"I think he has strong beliefs and that for me is the most important thing for a manager. You want every manager who has a positive philosophy to succeed.

"People are always resistant to radical change. They are also ready to cope with it if it is successful.

"Our job is to always accept that you want your own philosophy but at the right pace, and when you go somewhere, sometimes you have to analyse what is going on and to bring in your own philosophy at a pace where you think they can cope with it."