Harrington on retirement: "Never!"

The three-time major winner has no plans to lay down his clubs

BY Simon Maguire 19:03 Sunday 7 January 2018, 19:03 7 Jan 2018

Padraig Harrington. Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Paul Kimmage and Padraig Harrington were the guests for the Sunday Paper Review on Off the Ball this week. 

The pair joined Joe Molloy to look back at the big stories from the week and Arsene Wenger's recent antics came up for discussion. 

The Frenchman's position at Arsenal has come under scrutiny in recent seasons due to their inability to challenge for the Premier League title and Kimmage pointed out to Joe, "I don't think he should retire...what I'm suggesting in this piece is that he needs to sit down, as we all do, and take a serious look at himself and what's happening to him. 

"When Arsene Wenger came to England in 1996 and took over Arsenal - he was heralded as someone who was bright, intelligent - just very, very different to the old-school mentality that was there before. His intelligence was the key thing with him - no ranting and raving, didn't give out to his players - just a breath of fresh air.

"And, I watched the game the other night against Chelsea...he earned £24 million over the last three years and it's like every kick of the ball is like someone hit him across the face with a whip and I'm just thinking 'hold on, a bit of perspective here' - take a look at that and say 'is that a rational, intelligent man?

"Then, a bigger problem is, look at what they're saying after the game. 'Arsene, you've got to take your hand away from your other eye and see what's going on, on both sides'. So, he's complaining about the Hazard penalty and 'I didn't see that' when it was put to him that Wilshere should have been sent off.

"So again, an intelligent man saying these really stupid things and then the most stupid thing of all in the press conference - had Zappacosta's shot gone in or not hit the bar, Wenger says 'well, I would have committed suicide!' I mean, really? So a bit of perspective and I think we all need that.  

Harrington interjected, "The very first comment you made - 'he earned £24 million in the last three years' - that means nothing to him. He's there because he wants to live - he's living his life. He's 67 years of age and he's not retired and going off into the sunset. He's getting up with that buzz every day. He's not doing it for money - he's doing it for the buzz!"

The Dubliner continued: "The team (Arsenal) needs to find a different passion - Wenger needs to find a different passion. Whether that means going to a different club (at) which he might start again and I think that could be it. 

"There's no doubt him ranting and raving and the stupidity of those comments - it comes down to the fact that he's stressed but, stressed is still living!"

Asked about where he stood on his own retirement, Harrington replied: "Never. Honestly, never. If I can stand up when I'm 80 years of age or even if I'm sitting in a wheelchair and they'll wheel me out to wave at the crowds - I will do it!

"Why would you? I do love it - I'm obsessed with it!"

The full podcast can be heard here:

Golf

Padraig Harrington describes the "horrible experience" of watching the decline of Seve Ballesteros

14:48 Sunday 7 January 2018 2 Minute Read
Rugby

Andy Dunne says burnout is an issue with school players

17:55 Tuesday 2 January 2018 2 Minute Read
racing

You see the real class of Willie Mullins in defeat

20:29 Monday 1 January 2018 2 Minute Read
Other Sports

Vincent Hogan: Parents can destroy the beauty of sport for children

18:20 Monday 1 January 2018 2 Minute Read
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