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GUNNER FOREVER

Luis Boa Morte exclusive: ‘Arsenal is the only club in England for Wenger’

Arsene Wenger is a wanted man again.

After 22 years of Wenger-ball we now have a rather sad, Arsene-shaped hole in the Premier League.

But all kinds of rumours are circulating of an imminent return to management for the wily Frenchman, with Bayern Munich in particular touted as a possible destination.


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Wenger, Boa Morte and a few bloody lads in 1997

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Wenger, Boa Morte and a few bloody lads in 1997

So what should the great man do next?

Well, according to former pupil at Arsenal Luis Boa Morte, whatever he feels comfortable doing.

“In England, Arsenal is the only team for Wenger,” Boa Morte told Dream Team.

“I don’t think he’d ever come back to England but you never know. I know there are a lot of clubs that want Wenger, but I don’t see him going to a lot of them.

“He’s 70 now and still a top manager but it depends what he thinks what’s best for him.”

Don’t recognise the bloke on the right tbh

AP:Associated Press
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Don’t recognise the bloke on the right tbh

Boa Morte became one of Wenger’s first ever signings in English football in 1997 and the respect for his former boss is clear as sky.

After Wenger’s initial guidance, the Portuguese international went onto terrorise right backs for four English clubs across a 15-year stint in England.

“The first day of that season is my favourite memory of Wenger,” he adds.

“That and the day we won the double. Those days stand out for me the most.”

With our Wrighty

PA:Press Association
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With our Wrighty

Boa Morte believes that league and cup double with Arsenal in 1998 is one of four big achievements from his time in English football.

He said: “There are four main highlights for me.

“The double winners with Arsenal, promotion with Fulham and then winning the Intertoto Cup, and the escape with West Ham.”

Boa Morte became a hero at Fulham

Reuters
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Boa Morte became a hero at Fulham

So onto that West Ham season.

Prior to Boa Morte’s arrival in January 2007 the Hammers were rock bottom, their campaign stuck in what seemed like a perpetual replay of Alan Curbishley dejectedly shaking his head.

What materialised in the months afterwards was undoubtedly one of the most miraculous relegation escapes in Premier League history.

Everyone remembers Carlos Tevez jumping into the Upton Park crowd and silencing Old Trafford on the final day, but for Boa Morte another West Ham team-mate made even more of a telling contribution that season.

Some serious characters in this image

Reuters
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Some serious characters in this image

“Tevez of course influenced with the goals that he scored, but for me the crucial player was Bobby Zamora,” he said.

“Every single player was important on the team but Bobby did really well and definitely helped us a lot.

“I remember the toughest point was when we got knocked out of the FA Cup by Watford, but we always believed we could pull of the miracle escape.

“It was more just believing that you could do it.”

Boa Morte’s former clubs Fulham and Southampton might need similar inspiration this season…


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