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Premier League different from when I arrived, says Wenger

“Secondly, the ownership has changed completely. The structure of the game has changed and the referees have become completely professional. The league has become much more professional overall while the pressure has become much bigger and the financial input has become much bigger. That means the quality of the game has become much better.”

The Frenchman believes that the game in England has morphed into a hunt for glory and European football. He added: “In some ways (these changes are) for good, in some ways for a little bit more negative because it’s less relaxed.

“Everybody is a bit more tense and life is, as well, about enjoyment. I felt that 13 years ago a defeat was less dramatic than it is now. It is all about Champions League now and being in the top four.”

In another interview yesterday, Wenger claimed that Arsenal’s last four trophy-less seasons had given him more satisfaction than any other spell in his long career with the Premier League team.

His side has failed to win major silverware since lifting the FA Cup in 2005, but the Gunners boss, who arrived in north London in 1996, believes the progress the club made on and off the pitch makes it the most rewarding time. The Frenchman has overseen Arsenal’s move to the Emirates Stadium, the construction of a new training ground and the development of a hugely successful youth academy.

“For me, the best period at the club is the last four years but unfortunately it is also the period when we have not won trophies,” Wenger said. “But people forget we have been reasonably consistent and it has been the most difficult period, but as well for me, the period I worked the best.

“Moving into a new stadium, with less resources, people should respect the fact we have still made some money in every single year without the team dropping a level and maintaining a successful period in the Champions League and reasonably in the league. I think it was quite difficult.

“The last four years have been the most challenging. It’s not linked with the fact we have won no trophies. I think it is moving into the new stadium and keeping the team at the top.”



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