Arsène Wenger has revealed his pride that former player Dragan Stojkovic has become a successful manager in Japan.
The pair worked together for two years during the Frenchman’s tenure as manager of Nagoya Grampus, the club that ‘Piksi’ is now in charge of.
It's always good for me that people who share the ideas of a positive game stay in the game and Piksi is one of them
Wenger is now looking forward to locking horns with Stojkovic on Monday when Arsenal face Nagoya Grampus in the third game of the Asia Tour.
“It's a good feeling [that he has become a manager] - but I preferred the moment when I had him beside me as a player because he was exceptional,” he said.
“I like to think that people I have worked with can become managers. First of all it maybe means that I've given them a little taste to do it and at least I've not disgusted them of doing the job!
“It's always good for me that people who share the ideas of a positive game stay in the game and Piksi is one of them.
“He came to Arsenal many times. We spoke a lot about the game as well and it's very good for me. It's a good experience for me to see that my former players become managers.”
Wenger admits that Monday;s game against his former club will be a special experience for him.
“I'm very happy to play against Nagoya because when I arrived here Piksi was a player and since he has become a manager and has led Nagoya Grampus for six years already,” he said.
I'm happy to meet all the people I had at Nagoya at the time who worked for the club, because they are still there. That means we have similar points, Arsenal and Nagoya
“I'm happy to meet all the people I had at Nagoya at the time who worked for the club, because they are still there. That means we have similar points, Arsenal and Nagoya.
“We keep our people for a long time and that is something that is similar on both sides. It makes me very happy to meet all these people who have a great dedication for their club and who have built this club in a very strong and competent way.
“Every time I come back to Japan I discover again what a fascinating and rich culture this country has and I came here to discover that and to manage football. “On both fronts, I was not disappointed. It's a great experience that I'm happy to share with my club, to make them discover what this country is about. I'm sure they will be very happy to do that.”Copyright 2013 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 20 Jul 2013