On the cusp of his 1000th game in charge at Arsenal, Arsene Wenger says he’s proud of his achievements in London saluting the club as bigger and stronger than when he took over in 1996.
Having coached the club to 11 major honours and helped oversee a move from Highbury to the Emirates, the Frenchman has been the subject of much praise this week with former and current players, managerial peers and football writers all paying homage to his accomplishments.
Joking that he’s not sure where the time has gone, the long-standing coach told Arsenal Player that he’s thankful for the trust of the club while reiterating his belief that the challenge of the next game continues to drive him.
“It makes you feel ‘where did the time go?’ It looks to me like I started yesterday, I can’t believe it is such a long time.
“Why? Because you’re always focused on looking forward to the next game and when you look back you think I made quite a distance there. Despite that, your only interest is the next game, our drug is the next game, the hope for the next game, the desire to win the next one.
“You go step by step and finally when you look back it’s a long time. I would just like to say for me it’s an honour to manage a club of this dimension for such a long time and I would like to thank everybody who is involved in the Club for giving me such a confidence for such a long time.
Having praised those with whom he has worked throughout his 17-years in N5, Wenger also touched on the importance of his custodianship drawing from the experience of his predecessors.
“The responsibility of a manager is to ensure that during his time the club becomes bigger and stronger as a unit.
“I think what we have achieved, all together, is to transform this club in a modern way. It’s much bigger [now] and today is respected and loved all over the world.
“As well what I like is that we have done that march forward without losing respect for the traditional values; based on respect of the achievements of people who have built this club.
“I’m very proud that the club has managed to keep a good balance between respect of tradition and moving forward.”