Arsène Wenger says starting his coaching career in the modest surroundings of the 1980s laid the foundations for him to reach the top.

The Arsenal boss was 33 when he joined AS Cannes as a youth coach, having previously held a similar post at Strasbourg.

According to Wenger, the role of the coach has evolved dramatically since then - largely due to advancements in technology and science.

“I started with youth teams,” he said. “I started at the age of 33 which is something people forget. That was at the top level.

If I look at the evolution from when I started, you needed to be a football man. You needed to make all the decisions purely based on your judgement and your assessment.

Arsène Wenger

“There was no fitness coach, no keeper coach and it was just me and the team. You have to learn your job. I had to hit the ball at the keeper to make him work.

“There was no better way but things have changed. You now have a team around the team.

“What I believe is that if I look at the evolution from when I started, you needed to be a football man. You needed to make all the decisions purely based on your judgement and your assessment.

“The evolution has meant that in the future that the manager will not necessarily not need to be a football specialist because you can be surrounded by a team and his problem will be more about selection of the data that he gets and to apply that to the team.”

Wenger believes new Valencia coach, Gary Neville - who is without a win in eight La Liga matches - deserves time to prove his credentials.

“I believe the experience plays a big part when you don’t start well,” he added. “When you have a difficult start because, first of all, you have no credibility through your history because you haven’t shown you can do it before.

“So it becomes more difficult when you had a bad start. At some stage, if you have a good team, they always find their way. I think Valencia will get out of it.

“Keep faith in what he is doing. He has not lost his knowledge overnight.

“That’s what it is about. But not all our faith depends only on us.”

Copyright 2016 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
Nik Brumsack 5 Feb 2016