Robert Pires backs ‘genius’ Arsene Wenger for coaching return

ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 30: Manager Arsene Wenger of Arsenal talks to Robert Pires during an Arsenal training session ahead of their Champions League Group F match against Napoli at London Colney on September 30, 2013 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Robert Pires believes football needs “great” managers like his former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger and hopes to see him return soon.

Since ending a 22-year spell in charge of Arsenal last June, Wenger has not taken on a new role despite previously indicating that he would like to return to management in January.

More recently though, Wenger confessed his future remains uncertain as he remains out of work in March.

AC Milan, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain have all been linked as possible destinations for the 69-year-old.

But Pires remains convinced that his former boss is “special” and is hopeful that football hasn’t seen the last of Wenger yet.

“Arsene left last year after 22 seasons with the club. He won a lot of titles,” Pires told SportsMax.

“He built the team, he built the new stadium.

“I think he was a great manager for Arsenal but even for the Premier League. So for me, he was like a genius because he’s a great manager but he’s a great person, so Wenger is not only for Arsenal but he’s special for football and of course the Premier League.

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“I think football needs guys like Arsene Wenger. Now, he’s still living in London, he enjoys the new life.

“He doesn’t have any more pressure about the results, about the owners, about the fans, about the media. But maybe one day, I hope, he’ll come back on the bench.”

The ex-French winger also felt sympathy for his old club and international team-mate Thierry Henry after he was fired from his first managerial job at AS Monaco with just three months in charge.

The 41-year-old won just five of his 20 matches in the Monaco dugout and was, ironically, replaced by his predecessor Leonardo Jardim in January.

“I hope for him because he loves football, he’s passionate about this,” Pires said on a possible return for Henry.

“I think he learned a lot with Monaco. Unfortunately, he was only there for three months. I think, this job, to be a manager is very difficult, because we have a lot of pressure.

“For example, if we win, it’s the players. When we lost, it’s only the manager, and of course, it’s easier to sack only one person.

“So that’s why when the results are not very good, I repeat, it’s easier to sack the manager. Unfortunately for Thierry, it was what happened with Monaco.”

MADRID, SPAIN – NOVEMBER 28: Thierry Henry, Manager of Monaco reacts during the UEFA Champions League Group A match between Club Atletico de Madrid and AS Monaco at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano on November 28, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

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