By Richard Clarke

Arsène Wenger's decade in charge of Arsenal would have been a lot harder without his backroom staff.

Within weeks of being appointed on September 28, 1996 the Frenchman had brought in Pat Rice as assistant manager and Boro Primorac as first-team coach. They were both top-class international defenders during their careers but their backgrounds were vastly different.

The lively Irishman was steeped in Arsenal history having spent over 30 years at the Club while the thoughtful Yugoslav had worked with Wenger around the globe. But obviously the blend has been right because they have been major components in the coaching/medical team which supports the loneliest job in football - first-team manager.

"There is no success for a manager without having a united and quality staff," said Wenger at Friday afternoon's pre-match press conference.

"One of the good decisions I made in my 10 years was to make Pat Rice my assistant and to bring in Boro Primorac. We also have Tony Colbert, who was not even in the game, as fitness coach, Gary Lewin was already here and I brought in Gerry Peyton as goalkeeping coach after Bob Wilson.

"Boro has worked with me for 12 years. I took him to Cannes.

"Pat Rice, him and me are a complimentary team. There are aspects of the game he can help me with like technique and it is good to have a different eye.

"Pat Rice has an English eye, Boro has a Yugoslavian eye and I have a French eye. Pat Rice is defensive, Boro is offensive. Both have a different view and sometimes we do not agree but it is interesting to see how people think.

"They are both honest and when you have a technical or tactical discussion that is the most important thing."

28/1 - Charlton v Arsenal: Toure to score the first goal


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 Richard Clarke 29 Sep 2006