On this day in 1949, a famous former footballer and manager, Arsène Wenger OBE, was born in Strasbourg, France.
He was the manager of Arsenal from 1996 to 2018, where he was the longest-serving and most successful in the club’s history.
His contribution to English football through changes to scouting, players’ training and diet regimens revitalised Arsenal and aided the globalisation of the sport in the 21st century.
Wenger is still regarded one of the finest tacticians in the history of the sport.
After a modest playing career, in which he made appearances for several amateur clubs, Wenger obtained a manager’s diploma in 1981.
Following an unsuccessful period at Nancy which culminated in his dismissal in 1987, Wenger joined AS Monaco; the club won the league championship in 1988.
In 1991, Wenger guided Monaco to victory in the Coupe de France, but their failure to regain the league title in later seasons led to his departure from the club by mutual consent in 1994.
He briefly coached J.League side Nagoya Grampus Eight and won the Emperor’s Cup and Japanese Super Cup during his stay in Japan.
Wenger was named manager of Arsenal in 1996 and two years later led the club to a league and FA Cup double.
The club won another league and cup double in 2002 and retained the FA Cup a year later.
In 2004, Wenger managed Arsenal to an undefeated league season, a feat last accomplished by Preston North End, 115 years previously.
Arsenal later eclipsed Nottingham Forest’s record of 42 league matches unbeaten and went seven more matches before losing in October 2004.
The club made their first appearance in a Champions League final in 2006, though they lost to Barcelona.
After a period of almost nine years without a trophy, which coincided with the club relocating to the Emirates Stadium, Wenger guided Arsenal to further FA Cup success in 2014, 2015and 2017, before departing a year later.
At Monaco, Wenger earned a reputation for spotting young talent, and he has remained focused on developing a youth system.
Arsene Wenger turns 69 today.