ARSENE WENGER insists he will never change the way he operates at Arsenal — even if his star players keep leaving.
Wenger and the Gunners board are under fire over Robin van Persie’s decision to quit because he cannot see the club challenging for trophies.
But Wenger follows football legend Johan Cruyff’s mantra that you can win the Champions League without splashing out millions.
The Dutch legend laid the foundations for Ajax’s Champions League glory in 1995 and helped establish Barcelona’s trademark style through the Spanish giants’ academy.
And Cruyff believes you can still be successful using a good youth set-up and by recruiting talented young players.
Gunners boss Wenger said: “I totally agree with Cruyff — and I won’t change.
“The only sad thing is that sometimes your work is destroyed by others.
“You want to see a player in his prime doing it for your club. But it does not work like that all the time.
“I am a victim of that. I lost Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy and Cesc Fabregas at an age where they should have been playing their best football for Arsenal. But I never left the club when I could have.
“I could have left 10 times to join another club but I didn’t because I have worked with the same vision and philosophy at Arsenal for the last 16 years — and that won’t change.
“Besides, money was never a motivation for me.
“And, in a similar way, people like Cruyff don’t put all their energy in building football teams with young players just for the money.
“We all do this because we want to give something back to football.”
Neither that, nor buying Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud for a combined £24million this summer was not enough to satisfy Van Persie.
The Dutch striker’s contract runs out next year and he will not sign a new one.
He said: “I had a meeting with the boss but unfortunately it has again become clear to me that we disagree on the way Arsenal should move forward.”
RVP’s revelation led to an avalanche of criticism and even calls for Wenger to quit.
Wenger admitted: “The emotion is over-ruling analysis now. Every word is being enlarged to ridiculous height.
“Millions of people have an opinion now on it all.”
This. The numberone manager in the world. The manager with the one and only, loyalty. Sir Alex has this too, but the difference is that Sir Alex frequently wins trophy while Arsene doesn’t. This puts some pressure on AW while Sir Alex doesn’t.