Did Arsène Wenger get the balance right between being a football manager and being a person? “I got it completely wrong,” he laughs. “I would not advise anybody to lead the same life. Sometimes I think what kind of human being I might be, because to be obsessed like that and sacrifice everything — I was not completely normal. It was a completely unbalanced life.”

Wenger, 70, hasn’t yet mastered the trick of putting his laptop on a pile of books, so his familiar aquiline features peer down on me from Zoom. He has kept quiet since his ousting as Arsenal manager in 2018, after 22 years in the job. Now he is unleashed. His new memoir, My Life in Red and White, takes us from his childhood in the Alsatian village of Duttlenheim to his current estrangement from Arsenal — a lifetime spent thinking about football, management and what it takes out of you...

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