Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, has said that Luis Enrique’s rise from ‘idiot’ to ‘hero,’ perfectly illustrates the life of a football manager.
Enrique watched on as Barcelona were thrashed 4-0 by Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie, before masterminding an incredible comeback at the Camp Nou on Wednesday .
In between the two legs, Enrique announced he would not be Barcelona coach next season .
Now, the same fans who called for him to leave, are asking him to change his mind and stay.
Wenger said: “It just sums it up that two weeks ago, he was an idiot and everyone said, ‘You have to leave.’ So he said, ‘OK, I go.’ Today, he is a hero. That sums up the job.
“I watched it. I stayed with it even when it went to 3-1 because it is interesting, on a psychological front, to see how they respond. I wanted to see how Barcelona finished the game and, in fact, they had half-given up.
“I looked more at it from a tactical point of view — what is going on mentally in the head of the players.
“At the end of the game, even when you have been so long in football, you sit there and think, ‘How could this happen?’ Is the first penalty a penalty? The second one? Honestly…?
“It was fantastic.
“Our game [the 5-1 second-leg loss to Bayern Munich on Tuesday] could have been close. It could have been close because the foul on Walcott was a penalty, Giroud had a great chance with a header just after half-time from six yards.
“They were wobbling a little bit at 1-0. At 2-0, it would have changed.
“You could see that with PSG. They froze — players with experience. The mental aspect in this kind of game is very important.
“I went for the second option, yes. I got slaughtered because it finished 5-1, but that is what I decided and I stand up for that – I thought, ‘Even if it is a one in a million chance, let’s go for it.’
“Anyway, we are out.”