Date: 28th September 2006 at 4:52pm
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Ten years to the day, an unknown manager took control of one of the longest serving teams in English top flight history. A decade later and that same manager is now one of the most highly rated managers in the world.

For all Gooners, the day Arsene Wenger became manager of Arsenal was a day of uncertainty, we wanted a manager who could propel us back back to the sumit of English football, but we were given a weird looking skinny geezer whom nobody had heard of, I reckon I was not alone when I felt a tad disapointed.

I feel no need to discuss what happened from that day onwards, as we all know that Mr Wenger became a hero to us Gooners, and instead lets get right to the tributes.


Arsenal’s longest serving player Freddie Ljungberg has a few words to say about Le Boss.

‘He`s a great coach, I can`t say more than that and I think that`s the best way to describe him. He`s brought a lot of success to the Club.’

‘I wasn`t here when he joined but if I remember rightly, when he arrived Arsenal weren`t doing that great and they were not at the top of the table but in his first full season in charge they won the double. So he turned it around quickly and since then we`ve had great success. He`s done brilliantly.’

‘He`s brought a lot of trophies to the Club but maybe, specifically, the way we play under Wenger will be remembered. It`s a very technical way of playing and, from what I`ve heard, the fans enjoy watching it. Even the neutrals enjoy it so maybe that will be one of the biggest things people remember.’

Arsenal Vice-Chairman, David Dein must take some credit for helping bring Wenger into our lives, but DD has nothing but praise for the man himself.

‘The board took what at the time was seen as a bold decision to appoint Arsene and it has paid off beyond our wildest dreams.’

‘It is not just the success he has brought to the club in terms of trophies, but the style and the quality of the football.’

‘He was responsible for the new training ground and without the success we have had, we couldn’t have built the new stadium that now allows us to compete with anybody in the world.’

‘We have said that if the day comes when he wants to retire, then there must be a seat on the board for him, as we don’t want to lose his talent, his expertise, his knowledge and his judgment.’

‘The headlines the next day all read ‘Arsene who?’,’ Dein added. ‘But I thought ‘Arsene for Arsenal’ was written in the stars. It could not have worked out better. He is very honest with all the players, he has terrific judgment, he has an encyclopaedic knowledge of football, and we hope he stays as our manager for another 10 years.’

Man City manager and all round good guy Stuart Pearce was never one to shy away from making comment, and this day is no different.

‘His track record’s been fantastic, where Arsenal were to where they are now has come on leaps and bounds,’

‘I think how they are perceived in European and world football has come on leaps and bounds. I remember the Arsenal players meeting up with the England squad when I was involved there and they raved about him.

“The Adams’ of this world, the Dixon’s, Winterburn’s, no-one has had a bad word to say about him or his methods. He’s galvanised a team with a good team spirit.

“Passing wise, for me they are probably the best passing side in the Premiership and have been for the last few years. All credit to him, it’s a pleasure to have him in England and hopefully for the next ten years.’

Even on this occassion one of Arsenal’s oldest and most bitter rivals Roy Keane has nothing but nice things to say.

“He has done a brilliant job at Arsenal. I watched them last week against United and they were outstanding.’

“The way they play the game, the way he leads himself – I have to say, the way he keeps his head or he seems to keep his head, even at the start of the season when people were starting to doubt Arsenal – maybe myself being one of them – I thought United would beat them.’

“A manager at any top club like an Arsenal, a Liverpool, a United, has obviously got special talent.’

“I read something about him the other day and a thing he said about football: he said some people live off football and some people live for football. He clearly lives for the game, I will give him that, and all credit to him. I wish him well.”

I believe that the mere fact that Roy Keane has publically made a statement which praises Le Boss so much is testament to what Wenger has achieved in his time with the Gunners.

There are many many more tributes to the great man, but as Mr Stillman proved the other day, there are only so many characters you can use on these articles before you have to stop.

Maybe an ‘Arsene Wenger: The Tributes MKII’ article will be here before too long.


17 Replies to “Arsene Wenger: The Tributes”

  • I remember the day when he joined, the rumours that he instructed Dein to buy Veira, Remi Garde and also was involved with the Bergkamp deal, aparently he could sign for us at the time as he had just gone to Japan, but was friendly with the Deins… i mean lets face it, did Bruce Rioch really sign bergkamp or was he just there at the press conference. The players Wenger has signed have all been immense to arsenal, yes he has had a few howlers but generally most players he has always discovered or found a player who was way off form and took a gamble.. you only have to look at Bergkamp, Kanu , Overmars, even Henry who was way off form for Juve back then, took him as a winger to a world class striker ! the man is pure genius !

  • I don’t think there’s a word limit in the world that could contain the tributes to Arsene from gooners everywhere! I’m not even sure the English language is equipped with sufficient superlatives. Anyone know any Japanese? Apart from Arsene that is!

  • LD, I really wanted to write a profound and memorable piece for AW’s anniversary, but my attempts were futile. I can not express how much that scrawny old geezer means to me, I have never met him yet he feels like part of my family. When I met Charlie George, he asked me who I thought was Arsenal’s best ever signing, and when I said “Arsene Wenger” he gave me a hug, thats how much this Frenchman means to everybody!!

  • I fell at a similar stumbling block, I mean, where would you begin? His achievements are well known, but I wanted to try and emphasise how much I genuinely admire his character. I don’t want to consider the prospect of him leaving anymore than I want to consider the onset of old age.

  • There’s no point in troubling ourselves with the departure of the Lord Our Wenger at the moment, he IS staying and I’ll worry about the day he leaves when that day actually arrives. Mr Wenger loves the game AND the club, I very much doubt he’ll leave anytime soon. I predict 8 more years (2 four year contracts)

  • the mans won 3 league title (5 runners up), 4 FA cups (1 runner up), 4 Charity/Community Shields (2 Runners up) and runner up in uefa cup and Champions League – even if at times i dont like the man or the club, hes a great manager and you have to respect that from the impressive CV hes built

  • I thank Arsene so much, when he came, we were a middle rank booring side, who loved our 1-0 victories, i still loved us then, but now he has built a team who plays the most attractive football in the world today and, broguth young players up and turned them into superstars, we are know playing in a superb stadium, and i thank him so much for his service, people talk about, wrighty bergkamp, thierry, paddy. v, tony, for me my hero is A. Wenger, i love the man and always will, and he will only create more acomplishments in the next 10 years, excting thought!!

  • You only have to ask yourself who you would replace Wenger with to realise how valuable he has been to our club. I don’t see anyone else around with the same qualities. When he goes we will hit a vaccum. His influence is immense.

  • what can one says about Mr. Wenger. he has done miracles for the gunners. we can only hope he will stay on as manager for the club and show the world what and how football should be played. it’s great to watch Arsenal play every games. they have got the world’s best players, both young and mature.

  • Keep it up Wenger! I’m sure he’s already planned for when he leaves the club. He’s probably got some managerial wonderkid under his wing as we speak!

  • A King! His strange, risky desicions always work out which amazes me. How can even think about playing a 16 year old Fabregas in the premierleague??? But look at the results, Cesc is getting better every time I watch him and its all because Wenger trusted him!!!

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