Wenger was born in 1949, in Strasbourg on
the French border with Germany. He was brought up in a series of small towns in Alsace, where
his parents ran a bistro, locals helping to raise him in a communal atmosphere he once
likened to a kibbutz. A midfielder in his playing days, Wenger’s
career on the pitch never really soared, and by his late 20s when he was with RC Strasbourg,
attention had turned to coaching. After an apprenticeship coaching the Strasbourg youth
teams and a spell as assistant at Cannes, he was appointed Nancy manager in 1984. Despite being relegated in his final season,
he moved from Nancy to Monaco in 1987, and that was where his reputation really grew.
With players like Glenn Hoddle, Patrick Battiston, Mark Hateley and Claude Puel, they won Ligue
1 by six points in his first season. In the summer of 1994 Bayern Munich tried
to recruit Wenger: he wanted to go, but Monaco refused to release him, only to sack him after
a poor start to the following season. A couple of so-so years in Japan as Nagoya Grampus
Eight manager followed, before the Arsenal job came up. Johan Cruyff was the front-runner, but the
club’s then vice-chairman David Dein favoured a man who he had invited to dinner in 1989,
after Wenger had visited to watch an Arsenal game. That night Wenger joined in with a game
of charades, and Dein began to believe in fate. “I was convinced Arsene would become
our manager from the first day I met him,” he later said. “I tried to watch the Tottenham match on
television in my hotel yesterday, but I fell asleep,” Wenger said on his appointment,
ingratiating himself early on. But from the start, some players were suspicious.
No foreign manager had ever won the English league title, and he began to change things:
diet, discipline, and an increasing number of French players began arriving. Remi Garde,
Gilles Grimandi, Emmanuel Petit, Patrick Vieira and Nicolas Anelka all arrived in his first
couple of years, but he kept the famous back four that had become so watertight under George
Graham. This mix of the old and new proved wildly
successful: Arsenal won the league in his first full season, going on an extraordinary
unbeaten run in which they only dropped six points in 18 games, culminating in a thrashing
of Everton that secured the title. Manchester United had been such heavy favourites that
one bookmaker had paid out on them winning the league with two months left. Arsenal added the FA Cup to that title, but
the following seasons were dominated by Manchester United, as Arsenal struggled to reach the
same levels. “If you eat caviar every day it’s difficult to return to sausages,” said
Wenger after the adverse reaction to one defeat. But by 2001 he had again built a team that
could destroy sides, featuring the brilliance of Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry, Robert
Pires and Freddie Ljungberg. Once again, things were slightly sketchy until December, but
following a defeat to Newcastle just before Christmas, they didn’t lose another game
all season. Sylvain Wiltord scored the goal at Old Trafford to secure the league, a few
days after a second double had been won by beating Chelsea in the FA Cup final. Then came the Invincibles season. Before the
2003/04 campaign Arsenal only made one significant signing, Jens Lehmann replacing David Seaman,
but 26 games were won, 12 drawn and none lost. They clinched the title at White Hart Lane,
but little did anyone know that it would never be that good again. The following 14 years would see some moments
of success – four more FA Cup wins, the Champions League final, European qualification every
year – but ultimately disappointment. The costs of their new stadium were blamed for
a lack of spending in the transfer market, eventually their best players left and dispiriting
defeats became more and more predictable. Wenger should probably have bowed out much
earlier. But he clung on, to the point that he will leave Arsenal lower down in the table
than when he found them. He goes with good wishes, but the question now is what he does
next. “Ferguson has his horses – I don’t have
horses,” he once said, when asked if he would retire. This is a man consumed by football
– hopefully, after leaving Arsenal, he isn’t lost, with or without the game.

Arsène Wenger: A Football Life
Tagged on:                                                                         

52 thoughts on “Arsène Wenger: A Football Life

  • May 24, 2018 at 3:13 pm
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    My happiest moments in football were due to this man and I still can´t imagine Arsenal without Arsene, he´s all I´ve ever known. I´m forever grateful to him. Quelle Legende, Merci Arsene!!

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  • May 24, 2018 at 3:18 pm
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    your videos never disappoint. keep up the great work 👍🏼

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  • May 24, 2018 at 3:39 pm
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    When can we expect World Cup preview there are certain teams I want to understand in terms of playing style Peru haven't been there since 82 etc want to know how they were able to get out of what I consider to be the most difficult qualifying group

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  • May 24, 2018 at 3:41 pm
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    Just a more detailed preview of World Cup teams playing styles etc

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  • May 24, 2018 at 3:45 pm
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    Nice video

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  • May 24, 2018 at 5:44 pm
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    class

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  • May 24, 2018 at 6:31 pm
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    Arsenal won the league in 2001-02, but not the FA Cup (lost to Liverpool in the final). Unless you meant 2000-01, in which case Manchester United won the league.

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  • May 24, 2018 at 7:01 pm
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    W

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  • May 24, 2018 at 9:14 pm
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    I wonder if he fancies a job at Everton?

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  • May 24, 2018 at 10:29 pm
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    Loved the vid but there was a misspelling in the last few seconds on the “Ferguson has his horses.” quote in the speech bubble

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  • May 24, 2018 at 10:47 pm
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    That watertight defence that finished 10(Tenth) and 12(Twelfth) in two of the previous 3(three) seasons.
    STOP THE BULLSHIT REVISIONISIM or poor undestanding of English , tell the story correctly you are better than that. It is annoying to people who lived through this time remember what it was like.

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  • May 24, 2018 at 10:50 pm
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    Are were the same size as Aston Villa,Everton and Leeds United Arsene Wenger changed that don't none of the crazies fool you otherwise. Do not ever ;Small time' him

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  • May 25, 2018 at 2:01 am
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    This is such bad timing lol

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  • May 25, 2018 at 3:38 am
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    Merci Arsene, started following the club in 01 when I was in 5th grade so Arsene has always been Arsenal to me. I was so gutted to see him go.

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  • May 25, 2018 at 8:19 am
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    Umm, excuse me? A couple of so-so years in Japan? Do you have any idea the impact he had on the league there?

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  • May 25, 2018 at 7:37 pm
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    I'M A CHELSEA FAN BUT I HAVE TO ADMIT ARSENE WENGER IS ONE OF THE BEST MANAGERS OF ALL TIME GOODBYE ARSENE

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  • May 26, 2018 at 12:52 am
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    Super documentary!!!!👏👏👏 Do an Unai Emery one next, for the new Arsenal Head Coach!!! 😉😉

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  • May 26, 2018 at 3:50 am
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    You forgot FA cup winners 2015-17

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  • May 26, 2018 at 4:49 am
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    Some doesn't have a good footballing career bt end up being a successful manager

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  • May 26, 2018 at 5:01 am
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    Legend of the game. No matter all the jokes and bashing I was truly blessed to have watch him coach arsenal

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  • May 26, 2018 at 6:05 am
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    Damn that was depressing

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  • May 26, 2018 at 2:01 pm
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    Can you please do Troopz and Claude from arsenal fan tv: A Football Life/Brief History Of

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  • May 28, 2018 at 1:54 pm
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    Merci wenger thanks for the invincibles 👍

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  • May 31, 2018 at 9:57 pm
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    Classy guy at a not so classy club

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  • June 4, 2018 at 12:27 pm
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    Thank You Arsene Wenger.

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  • June 12, 2018 at 5:52 pm
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    can we get a history of the Derby team that only got 11 points.

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  • July 3, 2018 at 12:14 pm
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    I have a great amount of respect for Monseiur Arséne Wenger, he has managed Arsenal since before i was born, im 21 by the way, and its sad to see his reign come to a disappointing end. I hope to see more of him in the coming years, always a gentleman, respectful, a fantastic manager and an even more fantastic man. #MerciArséne

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  • July 15, 2018 at 11:53 pm
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    Arsenal was Arsene. It's like he was named after the team or vice versa.

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  • July 16, 2018 at 11:45 pm
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    As an American I wish we'd hire Wenger to straighten out our national program…

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  • August 1, 2018 at 9:54 am
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    Long live Mr Wenger we will always love you, he has been a father to a whole generation

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  • August 4, 2018 at 8:03 pm
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    One Arsene Wenger!
    Thank you Le Prof for making me fall in love with football and Arsenal.
    <3

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  • August 8, 2018 at 8:08 pm
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    Greatest manager of all time. There. I said it. But above all that, a beautiful human being.

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  • August 12, 2018 at 12:09 pm
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    Arsene Wengers career is a football tragedy and a lesson to all managers

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  • August 15, 2018 at 2:44 pm
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    I thought he was gonna take over at Real Madrid. That would have been interesting

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  • September 5, 2018 at 2:14 pm
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    I still think Christian Gross was a better coach COYS ☺👍

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  • September 11, 2018 at 3:19 am
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    The amount of anger I have towards this bastard…..if I ever met Arsene Wenger in the street I'm gonna break his jaw for him

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  • September 13, 2018 at 1:14 pm
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    Wenger prime years have gone he should take his time and relax or perhaps work as a pundit

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  • October 21, 2018 at 1:37 pm
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    Wenger will go mandrid next year

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  • October 28, 2018 at 11:48 am
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    I like George Graham's Metal Moshpit hand.

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  • December 4, 2018 at 12:18 am
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    Dumb ending to a great video. The last two years were poor but don’t act like 07-16 wasn’t a great managerial performance by Wenger, as he even says, maybe his best.

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  • December 15, 2018 at 11:24 am
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    Mark HATEley not hatley. Dayumn im old.

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  • January 5, 2019 at 12:17 am
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    Worst thing that ever happened to Wenger was that back four gradually retiring in the early 2000s. Once that backbone went, he left himself with a string of skilled but soft sides.

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  • January 11, 2019 at 8:33 am
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    Lord

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  • January 12, 2019 at 5:05 am
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    No money to spend.

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  • February 7, 2019 at 8:58 am
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    He may have faded as manager in his final years but he will remain a pioneer of British football, setting the philosophy for many successful foreign coaches in PL today. A man whose grace knew no bounds, will be always indebted to him for being the most successful ever Arsenal manager✌️thank you arsene. Hope he has a good time managing his next club

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  • February 7, 2019 at 10:29 am
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    I thought Wenger always honour his contract so he rejected to go bayern munich.

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  • February 22, 2019 at 11:11 am
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    Are u an arsenal fan…..

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  • February 24, 2019 at 2:28 am
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    I love this man. I mean, who doesn't?

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  • April 4, 2019 at 11:56 pm
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    If Wenger went to manage Bayern, he would've lost to Arsenal 5-1.

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  • May 17, 2019 at 3:20 pm
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    Who's here after Juventus signed him?

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  • August 31, 2019 at 9:36 pm
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    It was fish and chips not sausages!

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  • September 9, 2019 at 11:40 pm
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    Thanks tifo. . .

    Reply

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