Manspiration 2016 by Michael Leung

Manspiration 2016 by Michael Leung

For Brovember, Young Post asked our readers to tell us about a man who inspires them. This could be their father, brother, uncle, teacher, or even someone they've never met, like US President Barack Obama or Canto-pop musician Eason Chan. Here is one of the entries we received, in their own words ...

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Photo: Reuters

You might not know Arsène Wenger, but you must have heard of ‘The Invincibles’, which refers to the Arsenal team in the 2003-04 season (Arsenal is an infamous English football club) who won the Premier League title that season without being defeated even once — under the leadership of ‘The Professor’ Arsène Wenger.

The Frenchman is the longest-serving manager of Arsenal with more than 20 years in service and still counting; he’s also the most successful coach, winning 15 trophies including 3 Premier League titles; and of course, he’s the most loved man-in-charge of the club. This legendary man is the man who inspires me the most, particularly in two aspects — his loyalty and determination.

First, he fully commits himself to the club. Arsène once said in an interview that Real Madrid, one of the world’s greatest clubs, has contacted him twice to hire him as coach — he rejected both of them, saying that he wouldn’t coach any European football club other than Arsenal. Real Madrid is ‘the king’ compared to Arsenal, with greater history, squad and fanbase, as well as more silverware and transfer budget. Nonetheless, he rejected all these edges and honours, just because he loves the team, the fans… just everything at Arsenal.

I learnt from the most devoted manager of the club that I should be loyal to my family, my friends, my school and also my future job and lover.


Check out the other Manspiration 2016 essays!


Second, he’s the most determined person I know. Back in the late 2000s, Arsenal was paying the debts of its newly-constructed Emirates Stadium, thus it barely had any transfer budget and as a result often had to sell its best players to pay the bills. With a kind of ‘broken’ squad, the team were often in poor form and sometimes, even worse, they lost consecutive matches by big margins.

Notwithstanding, the fans started booing their manager, some even displayed ‘Arsène Out’ banners on the stands. Despite the unfavourable circumstances, the Frenchman did not step down, saying that he, together with the team, would do the best they could. Then, the team began to improve — first they drew a few, then they won a game.

The next week they were the victors again… Among the last ten games of that season, they won eight and tied two; moreover, surprising everyone, they finished fourth in the League and thus grabbed a spot in the UEFA Champions League, a silver cup which Europe’s best teams compete to win. Even under such adverse conditions, Arsène did not give up and instead led his team to fight back.

Therefore, whenever I face any hardships, I will continue to strive until I succeed.

Arsène Wenger is the most successful manager of my beloved football club, and he displays not only full commitment to his club but also great determination. ‘If you do not believe you can do it, then you have no chance at all.’ This is one of his quotes, and also my motto. Arsène, thank you for being my inspiration.

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