Arsène Wenger has spoken of the special place the FA Cup still holds in his heart after revealing that he watched the final each year as a child.

The Arsenal manager has won the competition four times during his time in England, but his relationship with it stretches back much further.

On black-and-white television, every year we saw the cup final. It’s a very prestigious competition for me

Arsène Wenger

Ahead of Friday’s fourth-round clash with Coventry City, the 64-year-old insists the cup remains hugely important to him.

“The only competition I could watch in France when I was a kid was the FA Cup final,” Wenger said. “On black-and-white television, every year we saw the cup final. It’s a very prestigious competition for me.

“It’s true that maybe it does not have the glamour nowadays that it had in the 60s and 70s but it is still for me a very important competition.

“I remember that I was always admiring Wembley’s pitch because I used to play on really bad pitches and the white ball - it was for me a dream to have this kind of ball! I played with a ball with laces at the time so that was always something special 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 Rob Kelly 23 Jan 2014