The Day of The Gunners’ Boss
The man who changed the prospect of football in the late 90s. The man who introduced proper diet and technical training in the gameplan and contributed in revolutionizing the English football dedicated his 17 years of perseverance to a club, he is the birthday boy today, Arsene Wenger, the boss of the Gunners’.
Early Life :
Arsène Wenger was born on 22 October 1949 in Strasbourg, Alsace, the youngest of three children born to Alphonse and Louise Wenger. He lived in Duppigheim during the 1950s but spent most of his time in the neighboring village of Duttlenheim, ten miles south-west of Strasbourg. Alphonse, like many Alsatians, was conscripted into the German Army by force following Germany’s earlier annexation of the French region of Alsace-Lorraine. He was sent to fight on the Eastern Front in October 1944, at the age of 24.
According to his father, who also managed the village team, Wenger was introduced to football “at about the age of six”. He was taken to games in Germany, where he held an affection for Borussia Mönchengladbach. Alsace was an area steeped in religion; Wenger and the village boys often needed to seek permission from the Catholic priest to miss vespers in order to play football.
Playing career :
Arsene was a midfielder by position. His youth career began at FC Duttlenheim. Though he was never the captain of the team he always ended in trying to guide the team like, “you do this. You do that.”
A very small playing career was achieved by him. He played for Mutzig, Mulhouse, ASPV, Strasbourg scoring 4 goals in total 67 games.
Wenger spent the last two years of his playing career predominantly running RC Strasbourg’s reserve and youth team. He became conscious of the importance of speaking English and during his holidays, enrolled on a three-week language course at Cambridge. Wenger also studied for his coaching badge at the Centre de Ressources, d’expertise et de Performance Sportives (CREPS) in Strasbourg – this consisted of a course to coach children, followed by an intensive six-day course which led up to the national coaching badge. The latter programme took place in Vichy and was spread over three weeks, allowing Wenger to be able to put Frantz’s teachings of isometrics into practice. In 1981, he received his manager’s diploma in Paris.
Coaching Career :
After an undistinguished playing career as a defender for various amateur clubs before turning professional with Strasbourg, Wenger obtained a manager’s diploma and was appointed as the coach of the club’s youth team in 1981.
He then became assistant manager of Cannes, before taking on his first major job at Nancy in 1983. It wasn’t until he moved to Monaco in 1987 that Wenger experienced genuine success. He won the Ligue 1 title in his first season in charge and also led the team to the French Cup in 1991.
Sandwiched between his tenures at Monaco and Arsenal was an 18-month stay at Japanese club Nagoya Grampus Eight where he won the national cup competition and took the club out of the bottom three and into the runners-up spot in the league.
Nicknamed Le Professeur because of his studious approach and encyclopedic knowledge of the world game, Wenger possesses an Economics degree and can speak seven languages.
He is now in Emirates for about 17 years of his coaching life.
Scouting Ability :
Wenger has made a habit over the years of bringing in underachieving players at little cost and overseeing their transition into genuine stars. The likes of Nicolas Anelka, Patrick Vieira, and Thierry Henry all flourished under the Frenchman.
Resented by some in his homeland for the way he plunders young talent from Ligue 1, and persona non grata at Barcelona after signing a number of players from the club’s La Masia youth academy, Wenger always has his eye on the next potential sensation.
His habit of missing on-pitch misdemeanors is also a bone of contention with some, Wenger always protective of his charges and loath to criticize them in public.
Arsenal’s brand of pass and move soccer ensures that their home matches regularly sell out. Few managers could achieve this while balancing the books and spending far less than their main competitors.
Game tactic :
Wenger was inspired by Borussia Mönchengladbach as a child and was later influenced by Total Football, a playing style developed by Rinus Michels at Ajax in the 1970s. He recollected the team as having “perfect players everywhere and that was the sort of football I wanted to be playing myself”. At Monaco, he employed a 4–4–2 formation, though he did trial 4–3–3, akin to Michels’. Wenger is an advocate of 4–4–2 as “no other formation is as efficient in covering space”, but has used it sparingly in recent seasons.
Wenger leads training sessions, but delegates responsibility to his coaching staff, who predominantly work with the players. He splits the squad into groups, observing and supervising the drills. A typical training session under Wenger lasts 90 minutes, which is timed and staged precisely and includes coordination techniques, positional play, and small-sided games. Wenger spends the day before a match focusing on the mental and tactical approach of his squad and varies his training style.
Wenger regards a well-balanced diet as an essential part of a player’s preparation. He was influenced by his time in Japan, where “the whole way of life there is linked to health. Their diet is basically boiled vegetables, fish, and rice. No fat, no sugar. You notice when you live there that there are no fat people”. At Arsenal, Wenger brought in dieticians to explain the benefits of a healthy lifestyle,
Wenger’s intellectualizing of the game’s issues, coupled with his calm demeanor in press conferences, is in stark contrast to some of his more recent behavior on the touchline. The Frenchman has cut an increasingly frustrated figure as Arsenal have struggled to maintain their position at the summit of the English game and contretemps with other managers have become a more frequent occurrence as the years have gone on. The sight of him squaring up to opposition managers Alan Pardew and Martin Jol in 2006 would have been unthinkable when he arrived in England 10 years earlier.
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp remarked in 2006: “He has joined the nutters, you know. In fact, he is one of the key nutters. It just shows you what happens in football.”
Personal Life :
Wenger was married to former basketball player Annie Brosterhous, with whom he has one daughter, He lives in Totteridge, London. Wenger and Brosterhous separated in 2015. He spends his leisure time predominantly studying football matches, stating that he “watches games on most days”, and has an interest in politics. Away from managerial duties, he acted as a football consultant for French television station TF1 from 2004 to 2014 and has worked for beIN Sports since 2016. Wenger is a world brand ambassador for FIFA World Cup sponsor Castrol. As part of the arrangement, he has conducted several training camps for international youth teams worldwide to provide input to the Castrol Performance Index, FIFA’s official rating system.
He has authored a book on football management exclusively for the Japanese market, Shōsha no Esupuri (The Spirit of Conquest) in English, published by Japan Broadcast Publishing (a subsidiary of NHK) in August 1997.The book highlights his managerial philosophy, ideals, and values, as well as his thoughts on Japanese football and the game as a whole.
Wenger is a Roman Catholic, and he attributes his outlook and values to his religious upbringing. He grew up speaking French and German and has since learned English, Italian, and Spanish. He also knows some Japanese.
In 2010, Wenger appealed for privacy after a British newspaper alleged he had an affair with a French singer. Wenger said in a statement that he wished to deal with the matter privately.
Strasbourg : Ligue 1: 1978–79
Ligue 1: 1987–88
Coupe de France: 1990–91
Emperor’s Cup: 1995
J-League Super Cup: 1996
FA Premier League (3): 1997–98, 2001–02, 2003–04
FA Cup (7): 1997–98, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2004–05, 2013–14, 2014–15, 2016–17
FA Community Shield (7): 1998, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2014, 2015, 2017
J. League Manager of the Year: 1995
Officer of the Order of the British Empire: 2003
Onze d’Or Coach of The Year: 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004
Legion d’Honneur: 2002.
Premier League Manager of the Season: 1998, 2002, 200
LMA Manager of the Year: 2001–02, 2003–04
BBC Sports Personality of the Year Coach Award: 2002, 2004
London Football Awards: Outstanding Contribution to a London Club – 2015
World Manager of the Year: 1998]
Freedom of Islington: 2004
FWA Tribute Award: 2005
English Football Hall of Fame: 2006
France Football: Manager of the Year – 2008
IFFHS World Coach of the Decade: 2001–2010
Facebook FA Premier League Manager of the Year: 2014–15
Premier League Manager of the Month: March 1998, April 1998, October 2000, April 2002, September 2002, August 2003, February 2004, August 2004, September 2007, December 2007, February 2011, February 2012, September 2013, March 2015, October 2015
Critics argue that Arsenal would win more trophies if his team were more direct and he placed less emphasis on youth. But that steely determination to achieve while staying loyal to his principles has become more entrenched as time has gone on. Wenger won the Premier League and FA Cup double in his first full season in North London. He backed that up with another double in 2002 and his team of ‘Invincibles’ remained unbeaten throughout the entire 2003-04 season as Wenger claimed title number three.
A world class manager with a soothing heart, wishing you Happy Birthday on you 68th!