In 1996, Arsène Wenger was named the new manager of Arsenal. 22 years on, he departed this May as the most significant figure in the club’s long history and the Premier League’s longest serving manager.
Under Arsène, Arsenal won 17 trophies – three Premier League titles, including the famous season of the ‘invincibles’ in 2003/4 when the club was unbeaten, as well as seven FA Cups and seven Community Shields. Beyond the silverware, however, he was also the pioneer of what turned out to be a revolution in player lifestyles across English football and oversaw Arsenal’s move from historic Highbury to the Emirates Stadium in 2006.
Prior to Arsenal, Arsène began his management career in France with AS Nancy and AS Monaco from 1981-1994 before moving to Asia where he was the manager of Nagoya Grampus Eight in 1995/1996. Then came Arsenal.
“He is, without doubt, one of the greatest Premier League managers and I am proud to have been a rival, a colleague and a friend to such a great man,” said Sir Alex Ferguson, his great rival, on news of the Frenchman’s departure from Arsenal at the end of last season.
“It is great testament to his talent, professionalism and determination that has been able to dedicate 22 years of his life to a job that he loves.”