October 23, 2012 12:16 AM EST
Happy Birthday Arsene Wenger! Arsenal Manager Turns 63, Top Wenger Quotes
The Frenchman, who joined the Gunners in 1996, is the longest-serving manager in the London club's history and, despite the present eight year trophy drought, the most successful of them all. Nicknamed "the Professor", Wenger displayed interest in football from an early age and spent much of his teen years playing the game and organising matches at his village team - FC Duttlenheim. He turned out for Mulhouse and ASPV Strasbourg and his professional career included appearances for RSC Strasbourg at the age of 29, when he won the French championship.
His managerial career started with three years with AS Nancy Lorraine (presently 20th in Ligue 1 with five points from nine games). He left Stade Marcel Picot in 1987 and moved up the ladder to AS Monaco, where he won his first pieces of silverware as a manager - the league title - in 1987 and the French domestic cup in 1990. A surprise move to Japan than followed, where he coached Nagoya Grampus Eight between 1994 and 1996 before the Wenger era began, first at Highbury and now at the Emirates.
On the personal front, Wenger holds a degree in Electrical Engineering and a master's degree in Economics (which is probably why they call him the Professor) from Strasbourg University and is married to former basketball player Annie Brosterhous, with whom he has one daughter.
Top Quotes from Wenger
- "Sometimes I see it [a foul by an Arsenal player], but I say that I didn't see it to protect the players and because I could not find any rational explanation for that they did" - Wenger in 2009, admitting to the media he sometimes lied to evade awkward questions.
- "A football team is like a beautiful woman. When you do not tell her, she forgets she is beautiful."
- "If you have a child who is a good musician, what is your first reaction? It is to put [them] into a good music school, not in an average one. So why should that not happen in football?" - Wenger in 2009, responding to UEFA and FIFA presidents Michel Platini and Sepp Blatter's claims about his policy of signing young footballers as "child trafficking".
- "I tried to watch the Tottenham match on television in my hotel yesterday, but I fell asleep" - the Gunners' arch-rivals are unlikely to be impressed with that one.
- "Ferguson's out of order. He has lost all sense of reality. He is going out looking for a confrontation, then asking the person he is confronting to apologize. He's pushed the cork in a bit far this time" - Wenger speaking after one of several infamous clashes with Manchester United. This was after the 0-2 defeat in 2004.
- "What's really dreadful is the diet in Britain. The whole day you drink tea with milk and coffee with milk and cakes. If you had a fantasy world of what you shouldn't eat in sport, it's what you eat here" - Wenger, when he first joined Arsenal, complaining about the English diet.
Check out some of the top moments from Arsenal and Wenger's recent history