London, Sep. 29 : Arsene Wenger is set to become the longest-serving manager in Arsenal''s history.
Wenger will break George Allison''s record of 4,748 days at the helm - from June 1934, to May 1947 - on Thursday, but the Frenchman believes he still has plenty to prove, despite a stunning record of success.
Wenger was given the job in October 1996, and that time, most fans thought the Gunners had taken leave of their senses.
Wenger concedes he was a nobody in the game. Foreign managers were also treated with great scepticism and he was arriving from the footballing backwater of Japan, where he had been in charge of Grampus Eight.
"Yes, it was a big gamble. When I think retrospectively, that is the biggest surprise to me. Arsenal did a little bit crazy. Crazy in the sense that I had no name, I was foreign, there was no history. They needed to be brave,” The Sun quoted Wenger, as saying.
"First I had to convince people I had the needed quality to do the job. I am still trying to do that. It has not changed. It is difficult to put into context today because when every foreign manager comes in, it is the red carpet for him. But it was not like that when I arrived. There was a history and belief in England that the foreign manager could not be successful. Now, you have a different feeling. Now, you think only foreign managers can be successful and that is wrong as well,” Wenger said.
"I believe I contributed to the change in attitude about foreign managers. That can look pretentious but I don''t think it is at all. I can show some articles where people tried to prove that the foreign managers can never win an English championship,” he added.
Wenger, 60 next month, has guided Arsenal to four FA Cup triumphs, three Premier League titles - including the unbeaten Invincibles of 2003-04 - and two European finals. (ANI)
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