Thursday 17 August 2017

Wenger not dwelling on past as he hits 20-year mark

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire

Mark Mann-Bryans

Arsene Wenger was keen to look ahead as his 20th anniversary as Arsenal manager was toasted ahead of tomorrow's trip to Burnley.

The 66-year-old reaches a landmark two decades in charge of the Gunners today, and club chairman Sir Chips Keswick presented the Frenchman with a crystal vase to mark the occasion yesterday.

Wenger is often credited with ushering in a change of approach to the English game when he arrived at Highbury from Japanese side Grampus Eight as a relative unknown.

Since then he has guided Arsenal to three Premier League titles and a record-equalling six FA Cups, as well as overseeing the move to the state-of-the-art Emirates Stadium.

But Wenger was in no mood for reminiscing and is still hungry for success as his side look to continue their strong start to the season with a win at Turf Moor.

Privilege

"I think it is a privilege for me but I do not look back," he said when asked for his favourite memory of the last 20 years.

"Maybe what people will keep is the Invincible year (the 2003-04 season when Arsenal were unbeaten en route to winning the league), but for me the job of a manager is to do the maximum with what you have available and that is what I try to do.

"After is like a marathon, you do one step after another and when you look back you have done the distance. We are obsessed always by the next game and that is what we expect always: the perfect game in the next one. That is what we work for."

Presenting Wenger with his commemorative vase, Keswick (76) said: "This is a very small thank you for 20 years of wonderful association.

"This is a present from the board and everybody on or off the pitch and all I can do is say thank you - and you should have yourself photographed with me more often as it makes you look very young!"

Burnley v Arsenal, Live,

Sky Sports 1, tomorrow, 4.30

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport