Barcelona boss Luis Enrique says Arsene Wenger’s 20-year spell in charge of Arsenal would be “impossible” to replicate in modern football.
Wenger will reach two decades at the Gunners helm in August, though mounting pressure from supporters over results this season has cast doubt on his future at Emirates Stadium.
Luis Enrique, however, insists the Frenchman must be given the credit he is due for his work given the longevity he has enjoyed in north London.
“It’s impossible in the modern era,” he told the media on Tuesday. “It means Wenger is a very good coach and only the chosen ones can be at a club for such a long time. But, for me, it’s impossible.
“There’s always more competition, more coaches. That’s why it’s difficult to be in the same position in 20 years. That shows that Wenger has done a good job.
“Of course I enjoy myself, but it’s ‘enjoying’ because you have the match, then the press conference, then you analyse – it’s very intense.”
Arsenal travel to Barcelona needing to overturn a 2-0 deficit from the first leg to keep their Champions League campaign alive, but Luis Enrique is adamant that the tie is far from over.
“It’s a very good result, but it’s not going to change our approach, our preparation. It’s still an open match, the opponent is dangerous and we need to play very well,” he said.
“But we still have to be humble and improve the different aspects on the pitch. Sometimes the match looks perfect because of the result but there is always room for improvement. That’s why football is so complex.
“We’re not going to change, the objective is the same. We just want to be better than Arsenal tomorrow. If we can, that’s perfect and we’ll continue in the competition, otherwise we’ll have to check our result.
“Any of the things we saw in the first leg, we were pressed and I’m sure they’ll do that again. They’re very direct. If we were on the other side we would be fighting for this.
“Quality players like [Theo] Walcott, Alexis [Sanchez], [Mesut] Ozil, any forwards who have quality – we have to solve that with good individuals and good covering.
“There is only one ball and we need to keep it as much as possible. I’m not saying it’s easy but that’s what we’re doing and we’ve been doing it better than the opposition lately.”