Arsène Wenger
Arsène
Wenger
Position:Manager
Height:1.91 m
Date of birth:22 October 1949
Age:69 years old
Place of birth:Strasbourg, France
Nationality:French

Biography

Arsène Wenger was appointed manager at Arsenal FC on 30 September 1996, after the club had dismissed manager Bruce Rioch in August of that year. Wenger was not the top favourite for the job, as most of the people expected Johan Cruyff (former player and manager of FC Barcelona) to take over. Wenger is credited for the revolution he brought to football, introducing different training methods and also the diets for players. Wenger is also known to have a great ability to spot and nurture young talents. Wenger is not only the longest-serving manager with the club, but also the most successfull manager in the club’s history in terms of winning trophies.

Wenger is nicknamed “Le Professeur” is often used by fans and media for the way he looks. However, he has brought Arsenal a lot of success. In 1998 he brought Arsenal the league and FA Cup double, which he did once more in 2002. In 2004 Wenger guided his Arsenal team to a season long undefeated run, something that had not been done by any club since Preston North End 115 years before he did. The unbeaten run went until the 50th game, in which Arsenal eventually lost to rivals Manchester United in October 2004. The 49-game unbeaten run made Arsenal fans and press name that side “the 49’ers”. In 2006 Arsenal appeared in the first Champions League final in the club’s history. Sad enough Wenger’s men lost to FC Barcelona on that night in Paris. The lost Champions League final also saw a goodbye of legendary striker Dennis Bergkamp, who’s testimonial game was the first ever game to be played at the brand new Emirates Stadium.

The relocation to the Emirates Stadium and the financial costs it brought with it is dubbed one of the reasons for Arsenal’s nine years without a trophy, as less money was available to invest in the first team squad. Wenger was one of the people who ensured everyone that the long-term effects of building the new stadium would be very beneficial, and in those nine years, Arsenal have never finished outside the top 4 and qualified for Champions League football every year. Something well worth noting, as he kept Arsenal near the top in a consistent manner, while other clubs such as Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United went on investing hundreds of millions in the first team squads.

The lack of silverware was finally beaten when Wenger guided Arsenal to further FA Cup success by winning back-to-back FA Cups in 2014 and 2015. Although especially the nine years without a trophy also caused a lot of concern amongst some of the Arsenal fans, Wenger always remained a huge fan favourite with the club.

Arsène Wenger accumulated a total of 3 Premier League titles, 7 FA Cups and 7 Community Shields in almost 22 years with the club. That made him the longest-serving and most successful ever manager at Arsenal. Wenger announced his departure on 20 april 2018, telling that the 2017/18 season would be his last with the club. On 6 May 2018 he said farewell to everyone in his final home game at the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal won that match 5-0 against Burnley. Wenger was in charge of his final Arsenal game against Huddersfield on 13 May. Wenger’s successor, Unai Emery, was appointed on 23 May 2018.

Image Credits: Gordon Flood, CC BY 2.0 license.