Arsene Wenger: 'Of course I get nervous... football is not mathematics,' says Arsenal boss

Wenger says he 'always tries to be confident' ahead of games

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The Independent Online

Arsene Wenger has admitted that he tries exude confidence to his Arsenal team before every game - but that he still gets nervous.

The French manager might have led his club in more than 1,000 matches and won numerous trophies but the unpredictable nature of the sport means he can never be fully confident before a game.

“Everybody is different and approaches a matchday differently, but I always try to be confident,” Wenger told Arsenal.com. “I’m always confident that my team will do well and I want to show that.

“But you never know exactly the mental energy that will be in the team during the game, nor the physical energy that will be in everybody that day. Why? Because we are all human beings and don’t wake up every day in exactly the same state.

"That goes for each of the players as well, so if you multiply by 18, it shows you the uncertainty that can create. So I’m confident but also a bit uncertain and curious as to what kind of mental and physical energy will be in the tank for the team.”

While the unpredictability of the sport makes him anxious, it is also the main thing that has kept him going through his long career.

“Of course I get nervous before the games because football is not mathematics,” he added. "In maths every day you know that one plus one is two. In football, one player plus one player doesn’t always add up to two players.

“I’ve asked people many times why they think that football, that didn’t even exist in 1850, is so popular. I think there are two main reasons. The first one is that it’s completely unpredictable. More so than any other sport.

“The second reason is that everybody has a chance to play this sport, no matter how small or tall. That’s why football is becoming stronger and bigger all over the world.

“It’s so unpredictable that Bradford can go to Chelsea and win, Diego Maradona can be the best player in the world and is very small and Per Mertesacker can make over 100 caps and is very tall.

“This uncertainty and this huge potential is in your mind when you’re a manager as well, so of course it makes you nervous, because nobody knows what will happen.”

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