With Arsène Wenger reaching his 1,000th game in charge of Arsenal on Saturday, the football world has paid tribute to this remarkable achievement. Here are some of the very best quotes from his former players, staff members and rival managers:
It is a major achievement to reach 1,000 games as a manager at such a high level and I would like to send my congratulations to Arsène. When I signed my contract with Arsenal I remember there were some doubts about my knee injury at the time but he had such faith in me. I paid back that faith as the team went on to win a number of prizes together.
I have a lot of respect for Arsène and his achievements at Arsenal. From day one we had the same philosophy about how to play the game. I think we were right because we were successful together during our time at Arsenal.
He has always had a great passion for football and he is always looking for qualityDennis Bergkamp
There are two things I remember about him above everything else - like me, he loves passion and quality. He has always had a great passion for football and he is always looking for quality. Congratulations Arsène.
Congratulations boss. It was a pleasure working with you - you certainly helped my career with your technical work but you also gave me the opportunity to progress. I feel that most of my medals are down to you and I wish you all the best for the future. Here’s to another 1,000 games. Good luck.
Arsène Wenger was the best manager I ever had - and that is considering I have also been managed by great coaches like Héctor Cuper. Arsenal gave me the chance to develop at one of the best clubs in football. His dedication and professionalism has been admirable. Congratulations.
Arsène Wenger and what he means to me: An inspirational manager; Trust; A new style of football for Arsenal Football Club. Congratulations Arsène on reaching 1,000 games
It was a pleasure to work with Arsène. He made me discover a fantastic club where I won many titles.
He is the visionary who propelled Arsenal to a higher level on and off the field, with a big hand in designing the training ground that all the players have enjoyed. He brought a winning philosophy, and a clear sense of how the game should be played. He is a man that should never be forgotten - and I certainly won’t! It was a pleasure to be managed by him. All the best with your 1,000th game - it is a fantastic achievement among all the Premier League and FA Cup successes!
First of all congratulations to Arsène for reaching the milestone of 1,000 games. Having been at the coalface of football along with Arsène for so long, I feel I am in a position to assess his achievement.
No one can survive the football industry as long as Arsène has without certain attributes and qualities. His undoubted love of the game was always apparent but his abundant energy and desire over all of those years has allowed him to survive in such an intense profession.
Of course his ability as a coach, manager and teacher have brought huge successes to Arsenal Football Club. However, it is his convictions, beliefs and philosophies that will always remind me that he is a special person. Someone who set out his way at a great football club and produced some wonderful players and teams. Well done Arsène on your remarkable achievement of 1,000 games.
Sir Alex Ferguson
I had six great years at Arsenal under Arsène's management. It was nice to have him as a coach and learn the way he think about football in all aspects. His knowledge is fantastic and the way he work with the players and for the club is something special. He works 24 hours a day looking after the growth of the club and development of the players, and has participated in the new Arsenal stadium development and helped many big players at the club.
I feel happy for him that he is reaching his 1,000 games at this fantastic club that I'm proud to have been part of. I wish him all the best for the future as he deserves it, for what he did until now for the Club and for football itself.
I hope Arsenal win something this year to calm down the pressure on him for a title. Many people question him about when it will happen, and one day when he leaves the club people will realise the importance of having him as manager. Thanks Arsène for helping me and teaching me without saying anything. Thanks for what you have done for our beloved Arsenal and for football. All my best to you and your family.
And here's more from the Arsenal.com commentary team...
He changed the the face of English football with his philosophy and to achieve what he did with the 'invincibles' side will never be repeated. My most memorable game of the Wenger era has to be the win at home to Barcelona - it was just a stunning performance against the best team in the world at that time.
My favourite Arsenal game under Arsène Wenger was the 1-0 win at Old Trafford in 1998. I think it really signalled his arrival in England and he's never really looked back.
If I had to sit through 1,000 matches of any manager in the history of the game, I’d choose Arsène Wenger. He’s achieved many great things as Arsenal boss down the years, but the quality of football his teams have consistently produced is the standout accomplishment. It’s been a pleasure to watch.
Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source
21 Mar 2014