Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has no plans to retire as he approaches his 60th birthday, saying he still has the hunger and physical strength to bring trophies to the club.
Wenger, who has been at the Premier League club since 1996, has come under pressure over his failure to win a title since the 2005 FA Cup.
The Frenchman turns 60 on October 22 and, despite starting out in management believing he would retire at 50, isn’t ready to step aside.
“Do you know when you aren’t good enough any more? That’s very difficult to say. I don’t believe in retiring unless you have to,” Wenger said.
“I never have days when I think I can live without (football). I know one day it will happen but you shouldn’t live every day knowing you are going to die - you live knowing that you want to live.”
Only Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has led a Premier League club longer than Wenger, causing the 67-year-old Scot to recently brand them both as “survivors.”
“In our job you need physical strength and to be a bit of an animal to convince people it’s important to win,” Wenger said. “But once that physical strength goes it’s a handicap, although you can compensate to an extent with experience.
“But you need in some way to be an animal and you need physical power. You will know if you are not hungry enough anymore, but other people will tell you if you are not good enough anymore. It’s not for a manager to know - it’s for other people to know and to tell him.”
After seven matches, Arsenal is seventh in the Premier League standings - nine points behind leader Chelsea, which has played an extra match.
Wenger has stuck resolutely to his policy of bringing young talent into his team, and he is confident the latest batch can deliver his first league title since the Gunners went through the season unbeaten in 2004.
“It’s a very important year because we feel the team is now more mature and can compete at the top, top level,” he said. “Without a doubt, going the whole season unbeaten is my greatest achievement.
“If you win the championship, you feel someone else can come in and do better than you. It was always my dream to go the whole season unbeaten because there’s not much more anyone can do to beat that.”