Wenger finally admits his mistake in the 2006 Champions League final

Arsene Wenger was Arsenal’s manager when they came close to winning a Champions League title in 2006, and the Frenchman has now revealed his major mistake in that final against Barcelona.

Sol Campbell had given Arsenal the lead, and they had to defend it for just the last quarter of an hour before they crumbled.

Wenger replaced Robert Pires when Jens Lehmann was red-carded, and some people believe that substitution was his biggest mistake in the game.

However, he revealed in a recent interview that not bringing in a centre-back to defend his team’s narrow lead was the error he made.

He said on beIN Sports as quoted by Mirror Football: “If I made a mistake it’s not at that moment.

“It was later in the game. In the end, with 15 minutes to go, I took Flamini on for Fabregas out because I wanted to defend the lead.

“Maybe I should have brought a third centre-back in at that time and keep the midfield as it is, take Hleb out and put a centre-back in and to try to defend as long as we could because there was only 13 minutes left.

“Sometimes with 10 minutes to go you just want to get your team over the line and focus on that. So overall, I would say many people question the change of Pires but if you had to play the game again it is not exactly what I would change.”

Just Arsenal Opinion

We are still struggling to reach that stage of the Champions League again, and haven’t even played in the competition since 2017.

Wenger is one of the best managers we ever had, but we need to focus on helping Mikel Arteta to build a top squad that will challenge for titles now.

Tags Arsene Wenger


  1. The great wenger second guessing his own decision and questioning himself.
    But we are not even allowed to make any factual constructive criticism of him. It seems like wenger is infallible to some..
    We all love and respect Wenger, but factual constructive criticism shouldn’t get some people on the defensive all the time.

    1. You might partially right, but base on his last reign we can all agreed he faced more than criticism. More of humiliation considering his status at Arsenal.
      I am among those who wanted him gone respectfully and never once regretted my stand..
      Wenger himself wasn’t has saint as many of us might want him to be.
      He should have done the honorable thing by quitting when things not going well, but he didn’t. He could have saved his reputation and signed out in style, but no, until he was forced out..
      It’s very important to know when to stop and keep going.

      1. @Kaay
        I agree. I was one of Wengers biggest defenders. I never liked the way the fans humiliated him. You know how some of our fans are. They treated wenger, Emery and Arteta the same way. No manners..

        1. How about players as well goonster ?

          The way some fans treat them 🤔
          Remember they are both employees of the club

    2. Goonster, “Not even allowed?” Who is stopping you? Not Ad PAT and his colleagues, nor anyone on here.
      You write as you wish and do as I do and ignore all who disagree. OR, if you prefer, then debate with them, as I often do too.

      But whatever you decide, please do not feel censored, as you are NOT
      If however, you were using that phrase in exasperation at those who try to tell you what to think, then just toughen up and be yourself.

  2. He wanted the retirement benefits of 8m for no useful contribution, so why would he leave? He was not that foolish. He cared more for the 8 million rather than putting a smile on the faces of the fans and owners. Feel sorry for those who glorify him beyond what he deserves.
    We lost Klopp in the process and our future. Mikel is trying to salvage sons pride, may he remain blessed

    1. Arteta is reportedly been offered 8.7 million
      How many smiles does he put on the fans faces
      At least Arsene earned his salary .

      1. He definitely put a smile on my face by knocking out non performing assets. Playing like men, winding up CFC and Man U, how many times did Mr Wenger do that?

    2. Loose Canon, add another £2m to the £8m and you’ll be nearer the figure of his annual salary from the club.

        1. No he wasn’t. When he signed his new contract in 2014 his annual salary was increased to £10m.

          1. I mean just a simple search would show you how much he was earning but I suppose you’ve forgotten more than I know regarding Arsenal so no point having a conversation with you ,as your always right .

  3. An Arsenal manager who admits he makes mistakes eh Herr Drier?

    We lost Conteh in the process of supporting Arteta Loose Cannon and do you think Arteta will turn down his reported £8,500,000 three year new contract?
    Funnily enough, I’ve never read Klopp saying he would have become Arsenal manager if offered the position – can you direct me to the article (s)?

    1. Wow Ken1945, after 16 years he finally admits to making a mistake (notice it’s singular).

      1. Glad you recognise it, especially after making such a fuss over Arteta making his singular admission.
        One was a CL final admission and the other was for what??

        Of course, you probably forgotten the other admissions that Arsene has made, but I understand that you have forgotten more than I know about football, so it’s quite understandable.

        Just to correct you regarding GG and his backhanders – he actually gave the money back to the club did he not?
        So if he was in the right, why give back something that he was entitled to?
        Yet another admission that a manager got something wrong – did you forget that little detail?

        1. I hardly made a fuss over Arteta apologising. As for Wenger, tell me of the other apologise he’s made ?

          Yes George did give the money back, plus interest. He gave it back after discussions with the his barrister and HMRC.

          I actually gave up reading your reply the other week when you said about Jack Kelsey and the shop in the Northbank, as Jack passed away long before that shop opened.

          1. No he didn’t – you are wrong again.
            There was a little shop as you entered the North Bank and Jack Kelsey run it.
            He took photos of my two daughters and myself holding the fa cup, using a Polaroid camera.
            I’m beginning to believe your memory is not as good as you think.

            As for AW and his mistakes?
            Well, transfers, not leaving when DD was sacked, substitutions, and of course not doing his jacket zip up.

            1. No his memory is wiki and Google Ken
              Anyone who proclaims to know more about football than most have forgotten his a billy bullshitter mate
              He already admitted that he’s using a new name , which to me shows the crap he’s spewing,Abit like jonbo pretending he’s new to this site when anyone with half a brain knows it’s good old Thirdman .
              TBF I did actually miss my little wars with him but to come on here and pretend it’s someone new is a little weird to say the least .

              1. It was well over 10 years ago when I was on here last, and yes I have forgotten the name I used then. What’s your problem with that ?

                No Google or wiki for me or being a billy bullshiter, I’ll leave that to keyboard warriors like you Dan !

            2. Even more hilarious is the fact that John Motson refers to “the little shop run by Jack Kelsey” (Wikipedia).

              Arsene Wenger’s salary, as per Dan kit, was the correct figure (Wikipedia).

              GG did accept a backhander and gave the money back to Arsenal.

              Never mind Herr Drier, just like Wenger and Arteta, you can’t be correct all the time.
              Care to admit your errors???

              1. Well I’ve asked around and nobody remembers the shop pre ’89 in the Northbank, not even a mate who worked in the shop outside the Clockend with Jack during the early 80’s.

                As for Wikipedia 😂, not sure if you know It, but once you register you can alter things on there, that’s why I never use it.

                As I said previously, yes he did give the money back, plus interest. Did you miss that ?

                No errors to admit to 😁


  5. Bad old news. Wenger made as many mistakes as his good and courageous ones, all that is water under the bridge. Like you said, the next big step is to beat his record, even if it is by winning the Champions league.

  6. I don’t blame Wenger at all for that loss. We were a man down for so long, against the best club side in the world.

    It still hurts so bad though, because of how well we played throughout that season’s CL campaign. I honestly feel, if we didn’t have a man sent off, we would have won.

    And victory would have capped off a brilliant decade in charge for Wenger. He’s still a legend whatever, but you could imagine if he won us a CL as well for the first time in our history.

  7. Lehmann getting sent off was the issue, tough calls with seconds to make them shouldn’t really be blamed in hindsight.

    Wenger suffered for the cost of the new stadium and as he says, he probably did his best work in those years to keep CL football throughout.

    At the end, big money was coming into football and the Arsenal owners were not prepared to make the club overly indebted to some holding companies as the likes of Chelski are.

    Fan pressure made him leave, mostly fans who didn’t really understand the background and didn’t care – they just ant success on the pitch at any (future) price.

    My personal view is that football would be much better off if the PL rules said that “owners” cannot lend money to clubs, they can only give it, with no strings attached.

    1. You last paragraph is my view too.

      BUT,it is pie in the sky to hope for that, as apart from those who use their unimaginable and corruptly accrued wealth for sports washing, eg Abramovitch, Sheikh Mansoor and the Saudis who own Newcastle, NO non monster type owner will ever wish to spend THEIR OWN vast wealth on any club. Not Kroenke either.

  8. I love and respect Mr Wenger and I believe he can do no wrong , period.
    However , he should have told us which other center back on that said bench would he have brought in Philippe Senderos ????
    The mistake he made was removing pires and not Hleb. With Pires we would have scored a second goal in the latter stages of the first half and early stages of the second.

  9. Bringing in a defender probably wouldn’t have made a clear difference considering we had senderos and Johan D at the time… Not real quality considering Barca had the experience Henrik larrson alongside eto’o and ronaldinho

    1. Yet it took Barca until the 87th minute to equalise against ten men.
      Henry should have made it 2-0 earlier as well.
      Fk, would you also call those who questioned and didn’t support Wenger “ingrates”?

  10. @goonster,that’s the problem with these ingrates they intoxicate the atmosphere during bad times instead of supporting the manager and the players to boost their courage and performance.i think i now understand guendouzi’s plight,so glad the board is not listening to you lot on arteta ,shame on you all.

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