Arsene Wenger will match Sir Alex Ferguson’s record of 810 games in charge when he takes to the dugout this evening for Arsenal’s derby with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
The tally, achieved over the course of 21 years at the helm in N5, is something that makes the boss proud because it reflects both a substantial commitment on his part and that his values and playing philosophy are intimately entwined with the club.
Reflecting on the landmark and what it means to him, Wenger told beIN Sports: “What it means? It’s first a formidable commitment and a sacrifice of my life for this club and the game I love.
“It means as well that I have managed in my life to give substance to the club.
“When I speak of substance I mean the way to play football, the way to behave, the values you want to respect, the influence you can have on the individual careers of the players, the impulse you can give to a club as a complete structure
“I was always ready to fight for that and if needed to lose my job for the values I believe in [that] are right. I believe that I am in accordance with my club for that and I am absolutely proud of that.
“Overall, [after] all the wins and losses and all that what I believe is that this club is respected for its values.”
While Arsenal have been far less successful in the second half of his tenure, something that corresponds to the club’s move to the Emirates, the boss says he has still taken great pleasure from the quality of football produced by some of his squads.
He noted: “The fact that the big pleasure is to share the positive emotions and to be capable to play the football as close as possible to perfect in some parts of the game.”
For all his ideological ponderings, winning trophies still represents a high point for any manager. Wenger is no different, pinpointing success on the domestic front as some of his most treasured memories.
“The first winning of the championship, the FA Cup final last year these big games, big trophies that is what you keep,” he continued.
“In our job you are addicted to the future you don’t look back maybe I will do one day but now you always expect more from the next game.”