Klopp inherited Wenger’s mantle as English football’s unheeded conscience | Jonathan Liew

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Liverpool manager may be more loved at end of his time but no elite coach will come close to emulating 22 years at single club

Arsène Wenger grew up a devout Catholic, attended mass every day and often when it came to confession he had long forgotten the various misdemeanours he had committed over the course of the week. So he started making up sins, just so he would have something to confess. “You’re never completely happy because you never do well enough,” he told the BBC’s Desert Island Discs in 2020. “You feel always a bit guilty because the Catholic religion is like that.”

For Wenger, the man and the coach, the endless search for an unachievable perfection would come to define his life. We are reminded that the word “passion” derives from the Latin patior, meaning “suffering”. His passion for football was a Christian passion, the passion of wounded sides and dried blood, of giving something up now (mortal life/time and effort/the opportunity of signing Eden Hazard) in order to assure the greater glories to come (eternal sanctity in the arms of God/fourth place in the Premier League/long-term financial stability and a timely payment of stadium debt). Every defeat was a scar on his heart. Every victory only forestalled the guilt for another week.

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Written by Jonathan Liew
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/football/2024/feb/03/jurgen-klopp-arsene-wenger-arsenal-liverpool-football under the title “Klopp inherited Wenger’s mantle as English football’s unheeded conscience | Jonathan Liew”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.