Arsene Wenger: Spell in Japan primed me for Arsenal success

Arsene Wenger believes that his experience as a manager in Japan served him in good stead before he took over at Arsenal

arsene wenger
Arsene Wenger spent 18 months in charge of Nagoya Grampus Photo: Back Page Images

Arsene Wenger believes that his experience as a manager in Japan served him in good stead before he took the reins at Arsenal.

Wenger spent a year-and-a-half in charge at Nagoya Grampus before joining the Gunners in September 1996 and says his spell at the club had a “profound effect” on him.

“It was a welcome change in my life, a fantastic experience,” Wenger told Arsenal Player.

“It’s something that changed me profoundly as well. The vision I have of life changed in Japan.

“It was absolutely a deep, profound and very, very positive experience. I’m very grateful that I went. Perhaps it was a bit crazy of me at the time to decide to go, but I’m thankful for that moment of craziness.

“Maybe [my time in Japan helped me succeed at Arsenal], because I took a distance from the pressure in Europe and came back with a different viewpoint. I can take more distance from decisions now than I could before.”

Arsenal will face Wenger’s former team Nagoya Grampus in Japan in a pre-season friendly on July 22.

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