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Dein: Wenger brought a whole new thinking

20 Apr 2018
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Gunners' former vice-chairman David Dein on how Arsene Wenger became manager in 1996 and how his philosophy changed the club

The appointment of Arsene Wenger at Arsenal came about by chance, explains the club’s former vice-chairman, David Dein.

"I happened to just coincidentally bump into him," says Dein. "He was passing through the old Highbury Stadium.

"Arsene was just standing there in a long trench coat and these odd glasses on. He certainly didn't look like a football manager."

Dein befriended the 46-year-old and was so impressed by Wenger's football knowledge that he persuaded the Arsenal board to make him their manager in 1996.

Wenger went on to deliver three Premier League titles, seven FA Cups and revolutionised the English game off the pitch with his innovative approach. 

"He brought in a while new dimension, a whole new thinking to the club," Dein says.

Wenger also made his mark with the style of football that Arsenal played.

"Arsene is a football purist," Dein says. "He’s got a lovely expression: he calls it possession with progression.

"He loves the passing game and it’s a joy to watch, it is an art form: it’s ballet."

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