Arsène Wenger, born 22 October 1949) is a French former professional footballer, who is the manager of English Premier League side Arsenal. He is the club's longest serving manager and most successful, winning eleven major honours since 1996. Wenger is credited for revolutionising football in England in the late 1990s, primarily by introducing changes in training methods and player diets and implementing a philosophy of organising his teams to play entertaining football.
Born in Strasbourg and subsequently raised in Duttlenheim, Wenger was introduced to football by his father, an entrepreneur. His career was modest, playing in different positions[a] for various amateur clubs; while studying at the University of Strasbourg, he completed an economics degree in 1974.
Wenger began his professional playing career in 1978, when he joined RC Strasbourg. He obtained his manager diploma in 1981 and subsequently began his managerial career, where he achieved greater triumph and recognition than during his playing career. Despite an unsuccessful period at Nancy, culminating in his dismissal after the club's relegation from the First Division in 1987, Wenger won the league championship with Monaco the following year. In 1991, he guided the club to victory in the Coupe de France but failure to regain the domestic championship in later seasons led to Wenger departing Monaco by mutual consent in September 1994.
He briefly coached Japanese J. League side Nagoya Grampus Eight, winning the Emperor's Cup and the Japanese Super Cup. Wenger became manager of Arsenal in 1996, and two years later, in 1998, became the first manager born outside of Britain to win the league and cup double and replicated the achievement in 2002. In 2004, Wenger became the only manager in Premier League history to go through an entire season undefeated, a run which ended at 49 matches. His tenure brought the club their first appearance in a Champions League final at Paris in 2006 and oversaw Arsenal moving to the Emirates Stadium, after 93 years at Highbury.The nickname "Le Professeur" was given to him by his former Arsenal players and is still used by fans and the British media today, reflecting his studious demeanour. Wenger's approach to the game has been an emphasis on attack.
His early Arsenal teams were criticised for their indiscipline, receiving 72 red cards between September 1996 and February 2008; though they won awards for sporting fair play. At Monaco, Wenger earned a reputation for spotting young talent, and has retained a focus on developing a youth system, where the clubs he manages develop young players in preference to buying expensive, experienced players.
While his net transfer record is far superior to other leading Premier League clubs, he has faced criticism for sticking closely to the youth system rather than buying in new players.