Arsene Wenger concedes the demands of modern football meant Arsenal had to move from Highbury to the Emirates.
The Gunners left the 38,419 stadium and moved less than a mile to their current home.
And while the Emirates is a ground befitting a modern day football giant Wenger concedes Arsenal “left their soul” at their old home.
The Frenchman won all three of his Premier League titles when Highbury was the Gunners’ home.
He maintains that the move was necessary in order to move the club forward, but Highbury had certain traits that were no longer evident at the Emirates.
“Through all my career, when you arrived to drive down to Highbury, that was always a special moment,” he told BeIN Sports.
Highbury is linked with love, love for the period I had there, love for the exceptional attitude of the fans, the special football games I witnessed there, it’s a special place in my heart. There was 40 people there, now there’s more like 400, you knew everyone.
“We have moved from a business family to a big company now and, of course, Highbury was linked with the business family. The supporters were very close, when you kicked a corner you can shake the hands of a supporter, and it gave a togetherness, a warm feeling that was unique.
“You’re always in a position with a football club where you ask whether to move forward or to stay in the past, we had to go through a period were we moved stadiums.
“The rules were changed, we wanted to create a stadium with the same feeling of Highbury but we left our soul because we could never replicate that.
“The distance from the pitch to the stands had to be bigger for ambulances to come in, all that kind of thing, so we didn’t find exactly the same atmosphere.”
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