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Arsene Wenger - Arsenal's Longest Serving Manager

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Arsène Wenger believes the Arsenal board were, at best, brave and, at worst, crazy to hire him 13 years ago.On Thursday the Frenchman becomes the longest-serving manager in the Club’s history, overtaking the record set by George Allison over 60 years ago.Foreign coaches are common these days but back in 1996 they were rare – particularly unknown ones. Famously, the London Evening Standard exclaimed “Arsène Who?” when Wenger was set to be appointed. It was one of many barriers he had to break down.“When you work abroad it is never easy because, frankly, they do not need you,” said the 59-year-old ahead of the Champions League tie with Olympiacos. “It is difficult to put into context today because now every foreign manager arrives on a red carpet. It was not like that when I arrived.“There was a history and belief in England that the foreign manager could not be successful. Now you have a different feeling, you think only foreign managers can be successful. That is wrong as well!“When I think retrospectively, it was a gamble by the Board and that is the biggest surprise to me,” he went on. “At that time, to do what Arsenal did, you needed to be a little bit crazy. Crazy in the sense that I had no name, I was foreign, there was no history. They needed to be, maybe not crazy, but certainly brave.“However I believe I was lucky to find the support I found at Arsenal and that is always important for success.”Wenger’s momentsHigh-point of his Arsenal career“To play a whole season unbeaten. No matter how much money any body else has invested, nobody else has done that.”Low-point of his Arsenal career“You always keep in your memory the closest thing to you. But losing the Semi-Final of the Champions League last year was the lowest point because we didn’t play at our level.”
Arsène Wenger admits that Bruce Rioch was probably the better candidate when he missed out on the Arsenal job in the summer of 1995.The Frenchman was interviewed to take over from Stewart Houston, who had been in caretaker-charge since the departure of George Graham the previous February. However the Board decided to give the position to Rioch, who had built-up a solid CV at Bolton Wanderers.However the Scot would only last a season and, after a spell in Japan at Grampus Eight, Wenger returned to take over the reins at Highbury on October 1, 1996.On Thursday, the 13th anniversary of his first day in charge, Wenger becomes Arsenal’s longest-serving manager. But he remembers his initial rejection."I believe they had already made up their mind when they interviewed me the first time,” he said. “They gave the job to Bruce Rioch and maybe he was a better candidate than I was at the time."I went to Japan and I was not disappointed at all because I had a fantastic time there. I decided to only come back to Europe for a big club."But I still had good relations with Arsenal, I was friends with the Board, so I had no problem with that. I understood their position at the time.”
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Can't complain about Wenger, took this club to another level, him along with Chapman did ALOT for this club not just footballing wise but in terms of the structure and behind closed doors.

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ARSENAL have turned into a European giant thanks to the man who today becomes their longest-serving manager - the one and only Arsene Wenger.Gael Clichy, the last surviving member of Wenger's 'Invincibles' team of 2003-04, marks the historic occasion by providing a revealing insight into the legendary Frenchman's character.Full-back Clichy spoke in detail about Wenger's work ethic, philosophy, how he treats players, boosts their confidence and overcomes anger at any failure by trying to help his team improve.He said: "Yes, it is incredible he has been here for so long. It shows the class of the manager. We know it is important for the club to keep Arsene Wenger. In 13 years he has had a lot of success."In football you always want to be the best and win trophies. So when you don't have the results everyone wants, people start to talk.But we have to realise Arsenal is Arsenal because of him. He has always kept faith in the young players and, of course, in the last few years we haven't won anything so people talk badly about him."But I believe we have to think about what he has done for the club."He has been here 13 years and Arsenal today is one of the best clubs in Europe. A big part of that comes from the boss and we have to give him credit."Wenger arrived in England in 1996 a complete unknown from Japanese outfit Nagoya Grampus Eight.The man who appointed him, former vice-chairman David Dein, faced a lot of questions over his decision.But the Frenchman confounded his doubters by winning the Double in his first full season.Overall he has won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and four Community Shields.He led Arsenal to their first Champions League final in Paris in 2006, where they lost to Barcelona, and also guided them to the 2000 UEFA Cup final, where they were beaten in a penalty shootout by Galatasaray.Clichy added: "The boss is really human. If he says something, most of the time it happens."He has brought in a lot of players - Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry."He is a great manager and I hope this year will be a good one."He has not changed at all. He has always been supportive to the players, giving confidence to all of us with the passion he puts into the game and also in training."He is the first at the training ground and the last to leave."I can't really compare him with other managers in Europe but I think he is one of the best."During Wenger's time, Arsenal have left Highbury to move to the 60,000-capacity Emirates Stadium.Though they have not won a trophy in four seasons, it is universally accepted the Gunners play the best football in the land.Arsenal's failure to win silverware since moving from Highbury has taken its toll on Wenger.For Clichy, that is all the more reason why the great Frenchman is to be admired for sticking to his young Gunns.He revealed Wenger keeps focused even when he is fuming, tries to coax the best out of his charges if they under-perform and avoids raging confrontations.Clichy declared: "The way we play is all credit to him."I've been here six years and he's always pushing for us to play this type of football, so I really hope this year will be a good one for him and the fans."When we don't play well, of course we see him angry at half-time or the end of a game."Most of the time, he waits and talks face to face. He doesn't like to talk in front of everyone."His philosophy when you make a mistake is that you know you have made a mistake and it's up to you to ask yourself the right questions to perform well."The way he thinks about football and life is a great thing. For some people it would be better to be pushing the players more and get more angry."But I think over all the 13 years he has been here, you cannot say the way he manages the team is not good."He has done incredibly well and we respect him."Clichy, 24, played in the side that won the Premier League by going unbeaten, which was the high point of Wenger's reign so far.Cesc Fabregas was also a Gunner back then but played only three Carling Cup games that season.France star Clichy insisted Wenger is the reason why the club's biggest stars, such as Fabregas, choose to stay on at Arsenal.He said: "Yes, of course, players sign new contracts because of him."He brought us here, we have been playing together for four or five years and so we have faith in him and play because we want to give him the confidence he has given us."Wenger keeps his distance from his stars and does not fraternise, yet he is always there to lend a hand when they need him.But does Wenger ever crack jokes to break the tension with his squad?Clichy admitted: "No, no, no. I think he has a different relationship with you guys in the Press."He is really professional. If you need to talk with him, you know he will always be there."There is a barrier with making jokes with the players."But if you want to talk with him, it's not a problem. He's open."Wenger often likens himself to a father-figure to his charges.Whenever one of his players incurs the wrath of the authorities, he knows his manager will give him all the support he can.Clichy said: "Father is a big word. I don't know if he says he is like a father but he gives a lot of confidence to all the players."It would be strange for me to play under another manager."You want to learn from him and give back the confidence he gives because, for most of us, it is down to him that we are the players we are today."
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Arsène Wenger may have just become Arsenal’s longest-serving manager but he admits he still questions his performance every day.The Frenchman completed 13 years in charge on Wednesday; a massive achievement in the modern game. Speaking at Friday’s press conference, Wenger revealed he had never contemplated leaving the Club but he did feel that continual self-assessment was important in his role.“I question myself every day,” said the 59-year-old.“I have not come close to walking away but I am on the same trip as every single player so I try to assess my performance and what I do.“I question myself every time and ask how I can be better, how can I improve and how can I get this team to achieve what I believe is in them.”
Cesc Fabregas has worked with Arsène Wenger for six years - and 10 particular minutes stand out when the Spaniard thinks of his manager.Fabregas was a virtual unknown when he moved from Barcelona to North London but now captains the side he joined in 2003. As Wenger marked his 13th anniversary as Arsenal boss on Thursday, Fabregas reflected on the day he was handed the armband."It was very special, the day he came to me," said the 22-year-old. "He wanted to talk to me about me being captain of Arsenal. I will always remember that time, because I spent 10 minutes talking not just about that, about my personal life, it was like a father and his son, and I felt really privileged to be in that place at that moment. I will always remember the way he said it to me."For Arsenal he has been amazing. He's the best man who has ever coached the team. I think we are all very, very happy that he's our manager today and I think for all the fans the longer he is at Arsenal, the better this Club will be. He's a God here and I have so much respect for him." You don't last for 13 years at a top club without squeezing every last drop of effort from yourself and your players. So it comes as no surprise to hear that Wenger has exacting standards. Fabregas is widely regarded as one of Europe's finest midfielders, but with Wenger around the captain knows he cannot rest on his laurels. "Definitely," admitted Fabregas. "He goes one by one for all the players after we do a team meeting about what he expects from us as a team."He always tells me I need to be better defensively, because it's one of the points I have to be stronger on if I want to be a midfielder who is really complete. I have to keep working on my final pass, to give more support, and every day try to be a little bit better."The boss will never be 100 per cent happy with what you do. And if he sees that you think maybe you reached the top level he will always come to you and show you a videotape and say, ‘Look here, you should have done that.' "Because you know, he loves football. He is watching football all the time, so he will always see things that you don't see on yourself or on the team, and he will always show you what to do."
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Arsenal legend Thierry Henry has reserved special praise for Arsene Wenger after he became the club's longest serving manager.On Thursday the French manager officially surpassed George Allison's 4,748-day record set 60 years ago after 13 years at the helm.Henry insists Wenger has transformed Arsenal during his time at the club, changing them from a boring side into an attractive team to watch.The striker thoroughly enjoyed his time with Arsenal and believes he could never imagine the club being without their French manager."Arsene has been tremendous for Arsenal football club," he told Sky Sports News. "He's done tremendously well."I'll never forget the club or him. He's been at Arsenal for 13 years. What a tremendous achievement. I don't see Arsenal without Arsene Wenger."I couldn't see Arsenal leaving Highbury, but it happened. I hope it will never happen for Arsene."He's the type of guy that you'd always associate with Arsenal, like Tony Adams, Ian Wright, Patrick Vieira and Bob Wilson."Arsenal was well known for being a boring team and he's changed that as soon as he arrived with the style of play and trophies we won."He didn't have to convince me too much to come to play for Arsenal because that's what I wanted to do. I wanted to play for Arsenal full stop."I won't lie, it also helped that he was there. The best advice he gave me was, 'try to stop blaming others and try to see what you can do to help others'."Henry was brought to the Gunners by Wenger in 1999 and he scored 174 goals for the North Londoners before joining Barcelona two years ago.He was already a France international before moving, however, he was playing out wide for Juventus - something Wenger quickly altered.Henry insists Wenger's man-management skills are among his best traits and that he comes into his own when it comes to getting the best out of his players."He knew me from Monaco's youth-team. He saw me playing as a centre forward. He couldn't understand why I was playing as a winger," he added."I was already in the France squad and doing my thing on the left, he said to me, 'I don't want you playing on the left, you're wasting your time and you have to play through the middle'."He's the type of guy that makes you realise that you can do anything you want. Whenever a player comes to play for Arsenal they suddenly become better. I don't know why or how?"He will let you do what you have to do when he knows that it is the time to let you play and on another side when he has to talk with you and be honest he will always do it."The most important thing is it is a pleasure to play under him and to train with him because he wants his team to play football. He's a great human being on top of everything."Henry is being tipped to return to Arsenal in the future but, while he concedes he would love to return to the club, he currently cannot envisage in what capacity."I'd maybe watch a game or something like that. I really don't know. I'm trying to finish what I started 15 years ago," he said."I've always said you go back to where you belong. I've never stopped saying that I love Arsenal and I'll one day go back there. How? I don't know, maybe a waterboy."I just love the club and one day I'll go back. I'm not thinking about it right now."
Arsène Wenger believes Thierry Henry could return to Arsenal to continue the manager's legacy at the Club. The Gunners boss believes the best people to inherit the team once he leaves would be those who have played an important role on the pitch during his time at Arsenal. People such as Henry.Asked if he thought the record goalscorer would eventually return, Wenger was optimistic. "I can see that happening," said Wenger. "I believe at some stage the legacy here has to go to some people who have had a big influence at this Club."One day they will want to work, maybe not necessarily with me but working because I will have to stop eventually. Maybe it will be me working with them!"
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Henry>>>COME BACK!

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Thierry Henry has the obsessive nature required to become the Arsenal manager according to Arsène Wenger, the only question mark is the amount of sacrifice he is willing to make to achieve his ambition.This week, the French striker professed the desire to return to North London after his playing career was over. He ultimate aim was the manager’s job but he said he’d be the “water-boy” if required.Henry matured into an elite striker at Arsenal under Wenger’s tutelage. The pair share a fanatical passion for the game and, speaking ahead of the game with Blackburn, the manager was open-minded to being re-united at Emirates Stadium. However he is well-aware that the job can rule your life."All my former players have the attributes required,” he said. “But first of all it has to be a choice of life.“Being a manager is a sacrifice for the rest of your life, not everybody is ready for that. It's nothing to do with intelligence or capabilities.“But certainly Thierry is obsessed with football, yes. He even watched our Reserve team on television last year.”And it seemed the younger players in the squad were always interested in Henry too. It was something the manager exploited to its greatest effect."He always encouraged the young players when he was here,” said Wenger. “And I found it's important to give a role model to a 14-year-old boy.“You look at how he plays and you see the closest senior player to him. Then you tell the youngster 'watch this player and try to be like him'.“That creates a concrete image in his head - he watches the player, tries to copy the player and tries his tricks.“And of course, when he was here at Arsenal, every single striker wanted to be Thierry Henry."
Arsène Wenger believes that his 18-month spell with Nagoya Grampus Eight helped shape him into the manager he is today. Sandwiched between a seven-year stint with Monaco and his record-breaking 13-year reign at Arsenal, Wenger’s Japanese sojourn looks relatively insignificant.According to the Frenchman, that could not be further from the truth.Predictably, Wenger was a success on the pitch in Japan, guiding Nagoya to the 1995 Emperor’s Cup and the runners-up spot in the J-League. And his Asian adventure helped prepare him for the added pressure of managing in the Premier League.“My time in Japan helped me because, first of all, you get out of the pressure a bit,” said Wenger. “In Europe it is much more aggressive than Japan.“It helps as well to take a distance with all the things you believe you cannot live with. It is a good pause in your life to take a distance, it's like you go a bit away from everything and then you come back in it again.“I believe it is more about what you experience yourself than the technique to copy over there. The Japanese have that internal desire to do well, which is a big strength."In Europe you have to win every game. When you move out of Europe you can sometimes feel like you are in a different world. So you take a distance with what you think is vital."
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