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Arsène Wenger OBE (born 22 October 1949 in Strasbourg) is a French football manager in charge of Arsenal Football Club since 1996. He is the most successful manager in the history of Arsenal in terms of trophies and is the club`s longest-serving manager in terms of matches played (681 as of the start of the 2008-09 season). Wenger is the only non-British manager to win the Double in England, having done so in 1998 and 2002. In 2004, he became the only manager in FA Premier League history to go through the entire season without defeat. Wenger is widely regarded as one of the world`s best managers after the success he has enjoyed at AS Monaco and Arsenal. Wenger has a degree in engineering and a Master`s degree in economics from Strasbourg University and is fluent in French, German and English; he also speaks some Italian, Spanish and Japanese.
Wenger grew up in nearby village Duttlenheim as the son of Alphonse Wenger and wife Louise with an older sister and brother. The parents owned an automobile spare-parts business in Strasbourg, but also a bistro in Duttlenheim called La Croix d`Or. He spent much of his youth playing football and organizing matches at the village team, FC Duttlenheim, where he made the first team at 16 and was later recruited to nearby club AS Mutzig. Wenger has a wife and a daughter and lives in Totteridge, London. Wenger`s playing career was relatively inauspicious. He began as a defender for various amateur clubs while studying at the Institut Européen d`Etudes Commerciales Supérieures de Strasbourg of Robert Schuman University, where he completed a Master`s degree in 1971. Wenger turned professional in 1978, making his debut for RC Strasbourg against Monaco. He only made twelve appearances for the team, including two as they won the Ligue 1 title in 1978-79, and played once in the UEFA Cup in the same season. In 1981, he obtained a manager`s diploma and was appointed the coach of the club`s youth team.
Wenger`s first senior job was at Nancy, which he joined in 1984, but he enjoyed little success there: during his third and final season in charge, Nancy finished 19th and were relegated to the Ligue 2. His managerial career took off when he became the manager of AS Monaco in 1987. He won the league in 1988 (his first season in charge) and the French Cup in 1991, and signed high-calibre players such as Glenn Hoddle, George Weah and Jürgen Klinsmann. He also signed 23-year old Youri Djorkaeff from Strasbourg; the future World Cup winner finished joint top goalscorer in Ligue 1 (with 20 goals) during Wenger`s final season in France. Wenger turned down approaches by Bayern Munich and the France national team out of loyalty for Monaco, only to be fired after a poor start to the 1994-95 season.
He moved on to a successful 18-month stint with the Japanese J. League team Nagoya Grampus Eight, with whom he won the Emperor`s Cup, the national cup competition. He also took the club from the bottom three to runners-up position in the league. At Grampus, he hired former Valenciennes manager Boro Primorac, whom he had met during the 1993 match-fixing scandal involving Olympique de Marseille, as his assistant; he would remain Wenger`s "right-hand man" for years to come.
Wenger had in the meantime become a friend of the then Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein, after the two had met when Wenger attended a match between Arsenal and Queens Park Rangers in 1988. After Bruce Rioch was sacked in August 1996, Gérard Houllier, the then technical director of the French Football Federation, recommended Wenger to David Dein in the summer of 1996. Arsenal confirmed his appointment on 28 September 1996, and he officially took up the reins on 1 October. Wenger was Arsenal`s first manager from outside the UK. Though he had previously been touted as a potential technical director of the Football Association, at the time Wenger was a relative unknown in England.
Even before he formally took control of the team, Wenger had started to shape the Arsenal squad, having requested that the club sign French midfielders Patrick Vieira and Rémi Garde a month before he took charge. His first match in charge was a 2-0 away victory over Blackburn Rovers on 12 October 1996. Arsenal finished third in Wenger`s first season, missing out on second place (occupied by Newcastle United), and hence Champions League qualification, on goal difference.
In his second season in charge (1997-98), Arsenal won both the Premiership and FA Cup, the second Double in the club`s history; it came after Arsenal made up a twelve point deficit on Manchester United to win the League title with two games to spare. Key to the success was the inherited defence of Tony Adams, Steve Bould, Nigel Winterburn, Lee Dixon and Martin Keown, along with striker Dennis Bergkamp as well as a blend of Wenger`s new signings: Emmanuel Petit as a partner for Patrick Vieira, winger Marc Overmars, and teenage
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Institut Européen d`Etudes Commerciales Supérieures de Strasbourg of Robert Schuman University, 1971
Lily (Dog - Yorkshire terrier)
Arsène Wenger, OBE, (born 22 October 1949) is a French football manager and former player who is the current manager of the English Premier League team Arsenal. He is the club's longest-serving manager and most successful in terms of major titles won, having led Arsenal to 11 trophies since 1996. Football pundits give Wenger credit for his contribution to the revolutionising of football in England in the late 1990s through the introduction of changes in the training and diet of players.
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