Arsene Wenger says he has no regrets about Arsenal’s move to the Emirates even if it restricted their chance of winning silverware.
Wenger will take charge for the final time after almost 22 years as Arsenal manager when they travel to Huddersfield on the last day of the Premier League season on Sunday.
One of Wenger’s lasting legacies is Arsenal’s move from Highbury to the 60,000-seater Emirates Stadium in 2006, after which Arsenal’s spending power was restricted to ensure the new ground was paid for.
Even though the relocation possibly cost him the chance to leave Arsenal with even more silverware, Wenger says it was a sacrifice he was willing to make.
“We had to do it,” Wenger said.”There is no club that can turn people who wanted to attend the game down. At the time I thought we were a bit too ambitious with 60,000 (capacity) but at the end of the day it worked.
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“It’s not really happened because other clubs have used outside resources. We had a double handicap. We had to pay back the debt and had to face the competition where clubs have even more resources than they usually have.
“I believe Highbury had a special spirit. It’s a cathedral, a church. You could smell the soul of every guy that played there. So it was special. It will always be special for me.
“The Emirates for me was like buying a new house. It took us a while to feel at home there. It’s a fantastic stadium – but there was something special at
Highbury that you could never recreate when you build something new.
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“I would say personally from 2006 to 2015 it was certainly the period where I needed to be the strongest and did the best job.
“I personally feel I did my best job in that period. Not the most glamorous maybe, but the most difficult.
“I signed for five years accepting it will be more limited resources. When you have that you have less good players.”