Arsene Wenger will be managing Arsenal in his 811th Premier League game against West Brom on Sunday.He will move ahead of Sir Alex Fergusson who managed 810 Premier League Games during his 25 year long stay at Manchester United.After Sunday,Wenger will be alone at mountain.If he completes this season and next one therby honouring his contract then he will finish on 866 PL matches.But will anyone ever reach him there not least serving so long at one club is the main question.
When asked about his longevity,Wenger pointed loyalty,dedication and hard work besides luck as the main pillars of his 2 decades stay at Arsenal.He even mentioned that he did not miss a single game in 21 years in charge of Arsenal which is testimony to his strong health.Now at 68 years he still is ready to carry on for Arsenal.
When Wenger first arrived at Arsenal in 1996 most managers enjoyed same power but Wenger did so well with it winning 3 premier league titles in his first eight years which included famous unbeaten season in 2003-04 where the team were named invincibles.In the second half of his long stay with Arsenal,he has become bigger than the club itself which is why there has been no real challenge to his position even during his worst phase like last season when Arsenal failed to qualify for Champions League for the first time under Wenger in 20 years.
During his span of 2 decades in charge at Arsenal,he has won 468 games,drew 197 while losing 145 games in Premier League so far.He has been awarded manager of the month 15 times.Gunners won 7 FA Cup titles under Wenger which is most by any manger in FA Cups. Sir Alex Fergusson has achieved more success than Wenger in terms of winning major trophies like Premier League and Champions League.
However one main plus for Wenger is that under him Arsenal never finished out of top 4 until last season in the last 20 years.Moreso,he has guided them to knockout stages of Champions League for 16 straight seasons.
Many critics are pointing fingers at Wenger for his inability to deliver PL trophy to Arsenal after 2003-04.However with his principles and philosophy Wenger has always remained stubborn.He is known for not spending big in transfer markets over past few years as many top clubs splash more for buying top stars.This resulted in ‘Wenger Out’ banners among fans during matches involving Gunners.Fans are fed up of his tactics and are desperate for a change in boardroom staff as well as Manager.Despite external pressure, board still backs Wenger and he still remains as the sole leader of Arsenal at least for one and a half year.
Records are there to be broken.However considering present tenure of managers in football all over the world and the pressure they are having day in and day out it will be miracle if anyone goes past Arsene Wenger in future.