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21 Mar 2014
LMA STATEMENT ISSUED REGARDING ARSÈNE WENGER, OBE

The LMA congratulates Arsène Wenger OBE, who will reach the significant landmark of 1000 matches as Arsenal manager when his side face Chelsea this Saturday.

In doing so, Wenger will become one of only four men in the modern era of English football, including Sir Matt Busby, Sir Alex Ferguson and Dario Gradi to surpass the 1000 game landmark at one club.

In a highly distinguished career, which spans over 30 years in France, Japan and England his personal tally is 1,435  professional matches. 

During his time at Arsenal, Wenger has become the club’s most successful and longest-serving manager in their history.

The Gunners won the Barclays Premier League and The FA Cup double less than two years after Wenger's appointment (he became the first non-British manager to achieve this) and repeated the feat four seasons later.

Arsenal have won the title three times under his stewardship. The third championship, in 2004, was extraordinary for the fact that they went unbeaten throughout the entire league season, a Barclays Premier League record.

Arsène Wenger, the current longest serving manager in English football, has won The FA Cup on four occasions and led Arsenal to the final of the Champions League in 2006, as well as two Carling Cup finals in 2007 and 2011.

In addition, he was awarded an honorary OBE for services to football in 2003. Twice Wenger has been LMA Manager of the Year - in 2002 and 2004.

LMA Chairman, Howard Wilkinson, said:

‘It is 89 years since the legendary Herbert Chapman was appointed manager of The Arsenal. Since that time Arsenal have had just 12 managers! To date Herbert Chapman, Bertie Mee, George Graham and Arsène Wenger have amassed an amazing 46 years at the helm of one of the world’s most famous clubs, a figure which I’m confident will go beyond 50 under Arsène’s guidance. David Dein’s decision to recommend this relative unknown to the Arsenal board in September 1996 was a stroke of genius. I salute Arsène on his extraordinary level of performance and all that he has brought to our game. I congratulate him and Arsenal Football Club for proving that doing things the ‘right way’ can be rewarded by sustained achievement at the highest level both on and off the field of play.’

LMA Chief Executive, Richard Bevan, said:

‘On behalf of everyone at the LMA, I congratulate Arsène on reaching such a momentous milestone as manager of Arsenal. When you consider there are just 23 managers in the very select group to have reached the landmark of 1000 matches in English football, this feat is even more impressive as he is one of just four men to have accomplished it at one club, and with Arsenal being one of the world’s most prestigious clubs. Arsène has enjoyed a hugely successful career as the manager of Arsenal and is rightly renowned as a true footballing innovator, not just in England but worldwide.

‘This achievement is a remarkable celebration of success and longevity. In a profession where time can often be an all too rare commodity, 1000 matches at one club exhibits an enduring quality, which can only serve as an inspiration to all current as well as all aspiring managers and coaches.’

LMA Board Member, Sir Alex Ferguson, CBE, said:

‘I congratulate Arsène in reaching this momentous landmark. Having also reached the same milestone at one club, I cannot emphasise enough the level of dedication, resilience as well as sacrifice required and for that I have for the utmost admiration. Over the years we enjoyed some fantastic battles and you could say we had survived together and respected each other’s efforts to play good football. I always enjoy watching Arsène’s sides – Arsenal play the right way. Playing against them always presented special challenges that I burned many hours over the years thinking about. He has always been a conscientious member of our trade who makes it his business to help other managers. Perhaps the biggest compliment I could give Arsène is that I could never be anything other than competitive with my rival for 17 years. Overall this achievement once again shows what stability can bring to a football club and without doubt he has created a permanent legacy during his 1000 matches with the Club.’

Arsène Wenger OBE

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