Arsenal Football Club's manager, 30 September 1996 - Present
Born in Strasbourg, France, on October 22, 1949, Wenger started his amateur football playing career with Mutzig in the French Third Division as a sweeper-defender. One of the more educated coaches in the business, he graduated in 1974 with a degree in economics from Strasbourg University. He turned professional with Strasbourg in 1978 and won the French title a year after his debut. In 1981, he obtained the manager's diploma in Paris and was made youth team coach at Strasbourg. After a brief spell as assistant coach with Cannes, he was appointed coach of Nancy two years later, but suffered relegation in his opening season.
His reputation took off after being made manager at Monaco in 1987. His success at the club began with the French Championship in 1988 and was offered jobs with the French national team and Bayern Munich in 1994. He was sacked just weeks after commiting his future at the club, before his move to Japan in 1995. There he managed to lift relegation-threatened Nagoya Grampus Eight into second place in the Japanese J-League.
Arsène Wenger was handed the managerial reins at Arsenal in September 1996 following Bruce Rioch's departure. Before arriving in North London, Wenger had already recommended signing two French compatriots - Remi Garde (Strasbourg) and Patrick Vieira (AC Milan)- this was the start of a number of French acquisitions.
Emmanuel Petit (Monaco) and Nicolas Anelka (Paris St Germain) followed, with Dutchman Marc Overmars (Ajax) adding to the foreign influx. With many English players forming the backbone of the successful team in the 1980s and early 1990s, some were sceptical of the new signings.
In Wenger's first season (96/97), the sceptics were quietened, if not silenced, as Arsenal mounted a serious title challenge for the first time since 1991. The doubters were cast aside already in the following season (97/98), as Arsenal claimed both the Premiership crown and FA Cup. Arsène Wenger was voted Manager of the year consequent to this.
Later, Thierry Henry proved a sensational purchase and after France triumphed in the 1998 World Cup, Sylvain Wiltord (Bordeaux) and Robert Pires (Marseilles) soon arrived.
The three years following his first double has no doubt been frustrating, winning nothing in England, coming 2nd after Manchester United three years running. European competitions have not brought in any silverware either, the closest being the UEFA cup final in 2000 where Arsenal lost in a penalty shoot-out to Galatasary in Copenhagen.
Another of Wenger's shrewd buys was Fredrik Ljungberg (Halmstad), which has had his break-through season this year (01/02).
01/02 was also the season that Arsène Wenger won his second Premier League and FA Cup double with Arsenal. Wenger has at the end of the 01/02 campaign three years left of his contract with Arsenal
Arsène Wenger's record as Arsenal manager:
Played: 327 Won: 182 Drawn: 61 Lost: 84
Arsenal's league placings in the Premier League with Arsène Wenger as manager:
His record transfers for Arsenal are:
Transfer fee received £23,000,000: Nicolas Anelka Real Madrid 02 Aug 1999
Transfer fee paid £13,000,000: Sylvain Wiltord Bordeaux 26 Aug 2000
Club history as player:
69-78: amateur at Mutzig, Mulhouse and Vauban
78-79: professional at Strasbourg, plays only three matches
Club history as coach/manager:
81-83: Strasbourg youth team coach.
83-84: Assistant coach with Cannes.
84-87: Coach of Nancy
87-95: Manager of Monaco.
95-96: Manager of Nagoya Grampus Eight
96-today: Manager of Arsenal
Honours won by Arsène Wenger:
79: French title with Strasbourg (as player)
88: French title with Monaco, Manager of the year in France
91: French Cup winner with Monaco
95: Manager of the year in Japan
96: Wins Emperor's Cup and Japanese Super Cup with Nagoya Grampus Eight
98: Wins English Premier League and FA Cup, Manager of the year in England
02: Wins English Premier League and FA Cup
if anyone has more knowledge of his achievements before his Arsenal days, please contribute :)