Arsène Wenger is a French football manager and former player. He was the manager of Arsenal from 1996 to 2018, where he was the longest-serving and most successful in the club’s history. His contribution to English football through changes to scouting, players’ training, and diet regimens revitalised Arsenal and aided the globalisation of the sport in the 21st century.
Arsène Charles Ernest Wenger was born on 22 October 1949 in Strasbourg, Alsace, the youngest of three children born to Alphonse and Louise Wenger. He lived in Duppigheim during the 1950s, but spent most of his time in the neighbouring village of Duttlenheim, ten miles south-west of Strasbourg. Alphonse, like many Alsatians, was conscripted into the German Army by force following Germany’s earlier annexation of the French region of Alsace-Lorraine. Similarly, he was sent to fight on the Eastern Front in October 1944, at the age of 24.
Furthermore, Wenger did not play for FC Duttlenheim until the age of 12. Claude Wenger, a teammate of Arsène’s, noted his lack of pace as a player, which he made up for with his “ability to guard the ball, to have a complete vision of the pitch and having an influence among his team-mates”, according to Marcel Brandner, the president of FC Duttlenheim.
Similarly, the nickname ceased when he had a growth spurt and broke into FC Duttlenheim’s first team, aged 16. The team did not have a coach to prepare the players tactically, rather a person who supervised training sessions. Wenger took it upon himself to manage the side, with Claude stating “Arsène wasn’t the captain and yet he was. It was ‘You do this, you do that, you do this, you do that.’ He was the leader”.
In preparation for the forthcoming season, Wenger took the Arsenal squad to Austria, which would become the club’s usual pre-season base. “How are we going to win the league this year? We’re all drunk and they’re all smoking,” he recollected. Wenger continued to fine-tune the squad during this period. Having vetoed John Hartson’s move to West Ham United since February 1997, he convinced French teenager Nicolas Anelka to join Arsenal. He raided his old club Monaco to acquire the services of Christopher Wreh, Gilles Grimandi and Emmanuel Petit.
Wenger tied a knot to former basketball player Annie Brosterhous, with whom he has one daughter, Léa (born 1997). He lives in Totteridge, London. Moreover, Wenger and Brosterhous separated in 2015. He spends his leisure time predominantly studying football matches. Further, he stating that he “watches games on most days”and has an interest in politics. Away from managerial duties, he acted as a football consultant for French television station TF1. And that was from 2004 to 2014, and has worked for be-IN Sports since 2016. Wenger is a world brand ambassador for FIFA World Cup sponsor Castrol. Similarly, as part of the arrangement, he has conducted several training camps for international youth teams worldwide. And the match was to provide input to the Castrol Performance Index, FIFA’s official ratings system.
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