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.

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Dennis Veasley

97 thoughts on “Arsène Wenger: A Football Life”

  1. People question the Invincibles season given Arsenal lost to Premier League sides in cup competition. Is that a view you share?

  2. It's weird not too see a grey old man again in the Emirates touchline, should get familliar with Loki i guess😕

  3. Anyone ever think it was odd how the first 6 letters of his name are the same as the first 6 letters of the club?

  4. Hope he dosen't retire he had some bad seasons with Arsenal but i loved his rivalry with Fergie class manager im not prepared to stop watching his cheesy press confrence's and cheesy tactics…. United supporter btw

  5. When bayern munich came wenger told them he had a contract to fulfill just like when he told no to Real Madrid TWICE when he was incharge of the Arsenal. Do your homework better next time!

  6. Wenger is man who epitomizes class, elegance, sophistication and this is reflected in the technical style of play he created for Arsenal. Before him, Arsenal were known as 'Boring Arsenal' and Wenger revolutionised Arsenal and Football in England – bringing style and class. He lost his touch after Arsenal moved from Highbury to the Emirates but the man is a living legend.
    Merci Wenger

  7. Pls do a video of Unai playing style at Arsenal with the current players and possible IN's for the system he plays. Thank you

  8. I'll always remember quotes like this! "You go up by the stairs, you go down by the lift, that's confidence" Arsene Wenger

  9. Great video as always! Great manager and will always be remembered . One of the most inspiring people alive . Thank you for this wonderful work 😍❤️

  10. What about a preview for Croatia for the world cup? For example, how they play, the impact of the stars in their team, strengths and weeknesses, how they peformed in previous tournaments and what you guys think how they are going to perform this tournament? Maybe a secret favorit fot the WC 2018?

  11. Any video coming up about how Emery will go about following in the great professor's footsteps?

  12. 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!!

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Loved the vid but there was a misspelling in the last few seconds on the “Ferguson has his horses.” quote in the speech bubble

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Umm, excuse me? A couple of so-so years in Japan? Do you have any idea the impact he had on the league there?


  21. Super documentary!!!!👏👏👏 Do an Unai Emery one next, for the new Arsenal Head Coach!!! 😉😉

  22. Legend of the game. No matter all the jokes and bashing I was truly blessed to have watch him coach arsenal

  23. 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

  24. 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

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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

  28. This video is a bit vague on a lot of parts of his Career. Especially after the stadium being built and why the players left and why he chose to stay when he himself could've left for Real Madrid or other clubs while all this was happening.

  29. Well he refused real Madrid and they really wanted to give him a special permanent type of management like arsenal long term especially after arsenal beat the real side with Raul zidan r9 Figo Carlos etc.

    Real Madrid that time would of definitely given him a different type of contract unlike any other manager with special status but he refused and stayed with arsenal.

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