'I lost Nasri, Clichy and Fabregas at an age when they could have made the difference for Arsenal'.
But Arsene, you could have made a difference too.
A few years back, Arsenal's board, with Wenger in the centre of things, made a big decision - the future was about a new stadium, a tight wage structure, and not overpaying in the transfer market.
Nothing wrong with that, of course. Clubs like Everton and Newcastle have done relatively well adopting a similar sensible fiscal regime. But 'relatively well' is the point - these days, you can't expect to retain your best players unless you pay the market rate, and you can demonstrate that you are willing to compete in the transfer market with the big boys - these days, the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Barcelona.
And if you can't retain your best players, you don't win trophies - as Arsenal have found in the last few years.
For Wenger to suggest that other clubs have tried to 'destroy' his work by nabbing his best players is both arrogant and utter nonsense. The powers that be at rival teams have a duty to do what they deem right for their own clubs, and if that means enticing key Arsenal players away from Wenger's bosom, so be it.
The likes of Manchester City and Barcelona are under no obligation to give Arsenal a wide berth as they build trophy-winning teams, admiring from afar what Wenger is attempting to achieve on a more modest budget.
Unfortunately for Wenger (and Arsenal fans) you don't get many plaudits for running a tight ship these days - it's what's in the trophy cabinet that counts. And it's no use moaning about it. It is the way it is - just as it is in every other walk of life, when staff move on to higher paying jobs, or what they perceive as better opportunities.
Instead of blaming others and bemoaning what might have been, Wenger should look in the mirror - Arsenal are what he has created (a top Premier League club that doesn't know where the next trophy is coming from).
And as for Arsenal fans, who will doubtless fall in behind Wenger and defend the way the club is sensibly managed ? You can't criticize that, but what you have to accept is that, these days, Arsenal have a lot more in common with clubs like Everton and Newcastle, than they do with the Chelseas and Manchester Citys of this world.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald