Arsene Wenger - 1000 match on the bench of Arsenal
When on Saturday Arsene Wenger sits on the coaching bench at Stamford Bridge that would be his thousandth time in official matches since the 1996th year became manager of Arsenal, a hundred times more than all the other Premier League managers together led their clubs in the current mandate
There is little indication that the Frenchman so long stay on the bench of Arsenal at the time when he first arrived at the club as an unknown in England coach at the start of his career sparked a rebellion among the players the Gunners.
In October 1996th year Arsenal was first played under Wenger and enrolled victory away at Crystal Palace. On the way back to Highbury Frenchman is proudly sitting on the front seat of the bus, while in the background players, led by Tony Adams, Ian Wright and several others reluctantly accepted the news that Arsenal will never be the same. They decided that they already had enough and loudly sang: "We want our chocolate back!"
But wasted - that Wenger them never allowed to on the bus entered their Mars chocolate. Bags of candy and a bottle of Coke that were once standard stood on a table in the Arsenal dressing room - 'orgy of sweets' as it is called Remi Garde, who was the first player that Wenger brought to Arsenal - have become the past, and today it seems like a completely different world at a time when the major players of this club every weekend regularly drank a liter of alcoholic beverages.
But a lot has changed since the "Arsene Who?" first appeared on billboards in London Evening Standard (as well as an article in the newspaper that explained how to pronounce his name), and cheering newspaper of Gunners quoted one letter fan from France who was explaining to local fans what they can expect from the coach for whom until then generally not heard of.
Gabriela Vistotsky words in this article written for the paper, which is then appropriate to temporarily renamed Le Gooner today seem astonishingly far-sighted ...
"Arsene Wenger is one of the best coaches in the world, far beyond George Graham and Bruce Rioch. His bringing is a risky move, but if it fails, Arsenal (and English football in general) will be better because of it."
Despite these words, looking at this issue called 'Guide through Wengerland' obvious that no one was infatuated with great expectations. As in the words of the editor states: "No matter how many videos looked or telephone interviews conducted with Stewart Houston, nothing could prepare him on combination of talent, David Hillier, Eddie McGoldrick and Steve Morrow."
What has happened since that day can be divided into two parts.
First, celebrities, when Wenger with its sophisticated methods changed the image of boring, boring Arsenal. "A lot of managers have a sort of honeymoon. At the end of his, Wenger is in the hands had a double title. His success was amazing and instantan." says the writer, actor and Arsenal fan Tom Watt. Winning the double title is repeated 2002nd, and in the next three years they won three FA Cups. Plus, this historic season team invincible 2003-2004., When he won the Premier League with 26 wins, twelve draws and zero defeats.
The second part refers to the period of the 2005th until today, when the old magic slowly disappeared and Wengers successes were replaced by something less glorious, variable, often a difficult time, with the result that Jose Mourinho recently Wenger admonished 'specialist for failures'. Sometimes it was painful to watch Wenger under attack, in the worst moments, when it seemed that even the Arsenal fans willing to clean up in a dark basement his famous banner 'In Arsene We Trust'.
But, all in all, Wenger is success story and worth admiring. Every coach in his career has periods of good and bad form, just like the players, but the fact that Wenger for the thousandth time to sit on the bench as Arsenal manager speaks to the fact that he is one of the greatest of all time in the business.
At one point, after his retirement last summer Sir Alex Ferguson, Wenger 'in the legs' had more matches than any other nineteen Premier League managers together. This has changed somewhat with the return of Jose Mourinho at Chelsea bench, but reckoned it and the Portuguese first period on the bench Chelsea, or whether just look at the number of games each manager on the bench each club in the current term, Wenger is still ahead of all of them together.
Wenger has brought his team to the Champions League last sixteen years in a row. Fourteen times they passed away from the group stage. Yes, there remains the constant frustration due to the fact that he never gone to the very end and won the trophy, but we should not forget the fact that if you draw up the list by spending at new players premier league clubs in the last ten yearsArsenal was only the fourth from bottom, with an average annual consumption of only two million. Only Newcastle, Crystal Palace and Everton spending less, while the average Chelsea at the same time 65 million euros, the average of Manchester City is almost 60 million, while Manchester United around 23 million euros.
More than anything, Wenger always wanted to do things the right way. It may not always be obvious at first sight, especially when his players received red cards as well as on a treadmill, and his 'selective sight' of judicial decisions has become a figure of fun, but its aim has always been that his team is playing attractive, that it has more ball possession and always knows what to do with her.
He was also a kind of pioneer, too. "At that time, see a foreign coach to winning the Premier League was unheard. There is this prejudice against foreign coaches. It was said that a stranger could not possibly win the English Championship." he said about his first double title.
John Hartson has played in Wenger's first match, says about him: "First impressions? Looked more like a doctor than a football coach. Was a real gentleman. You know what - I've never heard him swear. Never once. Sometimes he lost his composure, blushed to in the face and waved his hands, but I've never heard him swear. He has also completely changed our way of thinking. At Arsenal is always ruled culture that we can not wait to go back to the locker room, take a shower and go to the pub. Under Arsen, before you could find us arranged in a circle, with him in the middle, and stretch. Ask Tony, Lee Dixon, Steve Bould and Ian Wright, all they will say that them he extended career for two or three years. "
Wenger from its predecessor, Graham took over a team that is been known to winning the match 1-0, and some will be a surprise that he's just got with this result a higher percentage of games (10.5%) than Graham (10.2%).
"People would say, 'Oh, so Wenger has succeeded the glorious defense'." Watt says about Dixon, Adams, Bould and Nigel Winterburn. "People are downplayed his achievements. But he is completely built last foursome of the team invincible. From the right wing converted to right-back, the boy from Africa for which no one has heard, Tottenham captain and boy from the academy. Ashley Cole came from junior, Sol Campbell came without compensation, and Kolo Toure for only 200,000 euros. Lauren was the only one that really cost some money (9 million euros). and they were fantastic. This is a classic Wenger. "
There is good reason why Sir Alex Ferguson immediately took warrior attitude towards Wenger, and that certainly had no basis in fact that Wenger from start avoiding trips to a glass (or two, or three...) of wine after the games. Simple - felt threatened.
"The game that can really remember from Wenger's first full season is win 3-2 against Manchester United. We led 2-0, and they are back to 2-2, to David Platt scored the winning goal with his head." recalls Watt. "Until then, we have brought Patrick Vieira and Nicolas Anelka, but I thought 'Happy Days.' In the last round of last season we played away at Derby, and Tony Adams got an early red card. But Anelka 's completely ransacked. We win 3-1, and that summer I remember only that I barely waited for the beginning of a new season."
The problem is here, perhaps, the fact that all these beautiful memories back at least a decade. Wenger has certainly made a lot of mistakes away from last winning the FA Cup 2005th year.
"A genius, but with flaws." Tony Adams describes him. He can be stubborn beyond measure, irritating, without a chance to adapt to anyone. And always remains the feeling that it should be more generous in the transfer market. But he will never become wasteful. Neither with 64 years.
"We do not buy superstars, we create them." Wenger says. Mesut Özil was the exception to that rule.
So what's next? There is no indication that rages on. One day it will have to retire, and it will not be easy when it is clear that football is what brings meaning to his life. Life without football can be intimidating for someone who had so long devoted 24 hours a day and it is not easy to imagine that Wenger could not just leave.
However, this is only a guess. The truth is that very few people know about him a lot more than what is seen in public. Only a small privileged circle of people knows what he likes, where he eats, what music listen to, who to vote for, what reads... Most of us do not even know the name of his wife. He made sure that this be so. At seventeen and a half years, as much is in England, is rarely, if ever, addressed the name of a journalist. For all European travels, he never showed up at the hotel bar. He almost never gives interviews, one on one. The closest that he ever approached some journalist was when the reporter of The Daily Telegraph ran on a treadmill at the hotel and Wenger appeared on the bar next to his with a towel around his neck. That does not sound like a pleasant meeting.
However, it is never boring to track Wenger. His strength in life is to respect everyone, even the journalists who ask him stupid questions. He can be incredibly surly after losing almost never boast opponents, and not immune to the occasional temper tantrum.
First of all, though, he is a great ambassador of Arsenal and one thing is for him always obvious: focus on football. He would rather talk about sports than about anything that surrounds him, and then the he is happiest. Some people who work in football could become tired and cynical, just like the people who work in chocolate sometimes like to try out something else. Not Wenger. His face still lights up just a story about a beautiful goal or move.
He also has an understated sense of humor and ability to make a joke on its own account. Tony Adams told a story about a manager who is involved in a game of futsal: "He slipped, fell to the ground, and the ball him, were shot from someone, hit right in the crotch. However, is well able to stand."
Biography of Arsene Wenger by Xavier Rivoire brings another story about him to the cafeteria itself brings cake, turning to someone say something and not realizing that the cake slipped and fell to the ground. Wenger was so enthralled that is scored his fork into his plate. Again he did not mind what are everyone laughed at his expense. "Incredibly is awkward." is Adams judgment, and we can substantiate and his now well-known problems with zipper on the famous 'rubber dinghy - jackets'.
Most important of all, however, that Wenger is building a team that play football the way it should be. Therefore, it seems that today Arsenal can lose and that it does not leave any effect at his image.
Kevin Whitcher, editor of the magazine Gooner, it briefly summarizes the words: "Wenger's legacy is a terrific football, numerous trophies and move to the stadium, which has set the financial foundation for the challenges of the future. Last season they were less productive, but there is no doubt - his contribution to the history of Arsenal will be remembered by all who witnessed the games of his most successful teams. "