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October 2016
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20 years of Wenger: Untold’s tribute to our manager, and 10 early Wenger anniversaries you might have forgotten.

By Walter Broeckx

It is known by every Arsenal supporter in the world by now I guess. Arsène Wenger has been Arsenal manager for 20 years manager.  An amazing long time in the current football climate.

People expect us to write an article to celebrate this milestone in his and Arsenal’s history.

But to be honest… after having written so many articles about Wenger in the past, after standing up for this great man in our history on many occasions, after celebrating our wins with him (‘with’ in a virtual way of course as I have never had a meeting with the man himself…. Could that be on my absolute wish list?), after suffering the defeats with him, after being half happy/half unhappy when we draw a match… After all that, what could I write?

Tony started this website in 2008 because he was sick of the then relentless attacks on this great man. I absolutely adore Mr. Wenger for what he has done to Arsenal over the years. So I found this first my spiritual home as I agreed with most of what Tony wrote. And then got involved in writing myself. And I have dedicated a big part of my own life in the last 8 years or so on writing on this website and defending Wenger.

One could say that for the moment I am running out of words a bit.

And I feel a bit strange. Suddenly a big part of the media seems to embrace Wenger. Only last week they were doing all they can to bring him down. And now I see article after article telling us what a great person Wenger is.

In football terms we sometimes say: if you are not with us in times of defeat, you should not celebrate with us when we win. And that is how I feel about how the media treats him now. The word “snakes” comes to my mind.

We are no snakes. No, from the start this site has been set up to give a voice of support for Wenger. This has been our main inspiration all those years. Along came other ideas and themes. But if it hadn’t been for Wenger….Untold wouldn’t have been the same I think.

Sometimes we stood (together with Arsenal – virtual) with our backs against the wall. Not only Arsène had thrown in his direction all the abuse and filth possible. We suffered the same fate. But looking back at it… I don’t think Tony will feel sorry for one moment for having started Untold with the main idea of defending our manager, players and club all the time.

When I write this I just checked it and I saw that we have published 6,588 articles on Untold since Tony started it in January 2008. So you could say that we have stood up for Wenger some 6,588 times.

So what more can I say about Wenger?

The only thing I can come up with for now are these 3 words:


THANK YOU! And I hope you will remain with us for many more years!

And as our Untold banner in the stadium shows one of your quotes: “Football should be an art” I think we have the right to say that Untold Arsenal has been there since the start to stand up for this.

We could say that Untold Arsenal is the place where defending Wenger and his art has become an art in itself.

I do hope that Wenger stays in good health and that he can stay at our club for many many years. And that Untold Arsenal will stay what it always has been: a safe place where we can enjoy wins, bemoan our defeats but always do it with respect for the club, players and the manager.

As one of the chants I really love to hear during matches goes: “There’s only one Arsène Wenger” I can say there surely is only one.

If I were the guy from Borussia Mönchengladbach who starts the chant : give me a B…. and you all would be waiting for my next shout I just would sing this right now



And if I wee to write a text to put on a banner I would write this:


It has been an honour and a privilege to have been an Arsenal supporter in the Wenger years. Thank you for that Arsène!


10 early Arsène Wenger anniversaries you might have missed

22 October 1949: Arsène Wenger born. 

2 January 1989: Arsène Wenger made his first visit to Highbury, dropping in to watch a match while returning to Monaco from watching a game in Turkey in preparation for a European tie.  Arsenal beat Tottenham 2-0.  It launched his friendship with David Dein.

14 August 1996.  Before any announcement that he was to be the new manager, the first Arsène Wenger signings, Remi Garde (on a free transfer) and Patrick Vieira (£3.5m) joined Arsenal following instructions from Mr Wenger while he was still in Japan ending his contract.

12 September 1996: Pat Rice took over from Stewart Houston as manager, after it became clear to Houston that he was not in line to take over from Bruce Rioch.  Pat managed three games, winning all three, scoring eight conceding one, before Arsène Wenger arrived and made Pat his deputy.

16 September 1996: Arsenal announced that their new manager would be Arsène Wenger.  The Evening Standard ran the headline “Arsène Who?”   Tony Adams is quoted as saying, “He’s French, what does he know about English football?”  The media had made former Johan Cruyff the favourite to take over, and were caught out by Arsène – not for the first time.

17 September 1996: The Guardian announced, “Arsenal get Wenger on £2m deal”.  The media had made former Johan Cruyff the favourite to take over, and were caught out by Arsène – not for the first time.  

30 September 1996: Arsène Wenger formally appointed as Arsenal manager (although some sources quote 28th and others 29th).

1 October 1996: Arsène Wenger officially took up duties, as Arsenal’s first non-UK manager, and immediately confronted and defeated hordes of journalists who gathered on the steps of Highbury shouting “what about the rumours Mr Wenger?”  Outwitting them from the start he replied “what rumours?” – a question they could not answer without being sued for slander.  Eventually they drifted away defeated.

12 October 1996: Arsène Wenger’s first match, 0-2 victory at Blackburn.    Ian Wright scored the first Wenger goal.

24 November 1996: Arsenal 3 Tottenham 1.  Arsène Wenger’s first derby.  Arsenal had not beaten Tottenham in over 3 years and Tottenham were unbeaten at Highbury since Sept 1991.  When Lukic threw the ball out after an injury Tottenham failed to return it and scored as Arsenal looked on.  Wright, Adams and Bergkamp set things right.

Wenger ponders whether Yaya Sanogo will ever really be good enough for Arsenal. 


39 comments to 20 years of Wenger: Untold’s tribute to our manager, and 10 early Wenger anniversaries you might have forgotten.

  • Polo

    Thank you Walter for the article, well written and I too would hope AW stay for many more years.

    In Arsene I Trust.

  • Usama Zaka

    Given its Arsene Wenger’s 20th year at Arsenal, I will try to point out the correct possible pronunciation of his name. According to the IPA method (which can help produce any possible sound in any possible language) here it is.

    [aʁsɛn vɛŋ(ɡ)ɛʁ] Just match each of the symbol in the table and try to produce the sound one by one.

    “Arsene” is the simple part, its not like what the English pronounce like the word “Arson” which is pronounced as [AaRR-San] (capital indicates stress produced). The key here is the “r” in the first syllable (first piece of first name) “Ar” and the “se” in the second syllable “sene”. The “r” is pronounced with a thick french “r”, which involves the use of throat, more than the trilling of the tongue in Dutch and English.

    The “se” is pronounced softly with slight release of air from the mouth with your tip of the tongue on the tip of your middle front teeth.

    “Wenger” is pronounced differently by many people. “Ven-jurr” or “Ven-gurr” or “Veg-guh” or “Ven-juh”. People pronounce it like its two syllables are in this way 1st one “Wen” 2nd one “Ger” which is different to the correct pronunciation. The correct two syllables are “Weng” and “Er”… thus being pronounced as “Ven(g)” “ehr” The “g” “Veng” is pronounced like the “g” in the word ‘Wing”. The “ehr” is pronounced softly, with a slight release of air.

    In the link below the second and the third pronunciations are the correct ones.

  • Norman14

    Just shows what tripe the English sports media will report – they’ve made a huge story about Arsene being “open” to becoming England manager.

    They really are pathetic.

  • para

    Ok, ok they are just trying to sweet him up by being suddenly nice to him, they want him to take the England job.

    Now, is this an acknowledgement of how great a manager he is?
    Or are they just saying, come on, prove yourself, take the England job.

    AW is no fool.I suspect he will not decline the job when asked probing questions by the media, but will stay at Arsenal(sign a new contract) depending on this season’s performance and results, which will be good, so he is staying.

    I hope they don’t start being nice to Arsenal just because they want AW to leave.

  • Jambug

    Thank you Tony for starting this site.

    Thank you Walter for expressing so often and so eloquently what many of us feel about Arsene Wenger.

    But the biggest thank you is of course to the man himself.

    Arsene Wenger. The best.

  • Nonny

    Happy 20th anniversary Arsène Wenger and wishing you many more years of stay at Arsenal.

    Also thank you for all the happiness you brought to our lives. Although some of your fans don’t appreciate you, we at UA want to say YOU ARE THE BEST!

  • John L.

    I have read enough history to be able to appreciate the contribution of the visionary Herbert Chapman. I have a detailed memory of Bertie Mee’s achievements. I valued the record of Terry Neill and admired the work of Don Howe in,his various roles. I was one of George Graham’s biggest fans

    I am clear in my view that Arsene Wenger is the greatest manager in the entire history of Arsenal.

  • austinpaul

    Tank you Arsene Wenger for your 20yrs of faithfulness nd absolute dedication to making Arsenal wat it is today to the 7 million plus Fans d world over! In all ramifications ,YOU ARE D BEST ,Arsene WENGER! I join d horde of UA subscribers to wish u many more years of making history at d Arsenal at least until u turn 70! SHALLOM !!!

  • Chris

    Just hope he stays on for more years and ends up with the longest managing a single team record, as well as a few others on the way as well as more trophies.
    I firmly believe that we are seeing the emergence of a new team that is stronger and as a capacity to adapt its game to situations we have not seen for at least a decade.

    And considering the talent coming up through the youth ranks, I am very confident in the future.

    Mr Wenger, thank you so much for your art.

  • Andy Mack

    He’s not perfect but he’s certainly one of the very best.
    Possibly the number one when the whole picture is considered, and I’ll always be grateful for the way he’s moved the whole stature of the club from being a big but erratic English club with a real Cup tradition, into being one of the biggest clubs in the world with a consistent position around the top of the PL and in Europe.
    We just need to build some European Silverware history and we’ll be a full member of the global big clubs club.
    Arsene Wenger did the football side and the late Danny Fiszman had the vision for the financial side.
    Their drive made this happen, and they are doing (did) it the right way which makes me so so proud.

    Side question; Who is the longest serving manager?
    I know old red nose must be a contender, maybe Dario Gradi as well.

  • omgarsenal

    Arsene is pronounced R-say-ne and Wenger is pronounced Vay n gur if using the proper French pronounciation with accent. If you use the alsatian pronounciation, it is AR seyn e and Ven-gur.

  • Florian

    Thank you Untold for being a bastion of sanity in a world that can’t start thinking. Thank you M. Wenger for the many happy years, the many gritty ones, the beautiful football, and the many more trophies to come!

  • Arvind

    If you don’t know what Arsene Wenger is, watch this, and re-watch it. Again. And again. And again. Its not long at a little more than 4 minutes.

    Premier League

    What a man. What a man. And I’m rarely given to hyperbole…

  • godwore10

    I’m not usually given to adulation or hero worship. I make an exception for m. Wenger. Thank you sir.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Every day of our life, we are looking at the greatest man to ever the footballing world has ever seen.

    Thank you Arsene Wenger.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Every day of our life, we are looking at the greatest man the footballing world has ever seen.

    Thank you Arsene Wenger

  • thierryhenry22

    ‘Only last week they were doing all they can to bring him down. And now I see article after article telling us what a great person Wenger is..’

    Indeed! It’s easy to forget this.

    Thank you Arsene, but also thank you Untold Arsenal for keeping up the good fight. When I came across you I couldn’t believe what I was reading. It was even more supportive of the team than ANY other AFC blog.

    Also thank you for the great journalism. You were first to many stories which the media wouldn’t go near!

    All the best, and many more years to you guys, and the boss.


  • Gunnerjoe

    Well after all the praise from all the contributors to this post all can say is here’s to another twenty years.
    Congratulations Mr Wenger

  • Super Singh

    Arsene Wenger, is a different class, different dimension, a higher intelligence than most people that inhabit the corrupt world of football.
    All the bully’s that have tried to intimidate him through out the years have been dismissed and forgotten.

  • Far East Gooner

    Wenger-San is highly respectied in our part of the world. He is intelligent and doing most things right . It is fortunate that Arsenal has him and Wenger-san has builds towards a legacy .

    Longevity and Happiness to Wenger-San.

  • insideright

    Arsene is a truly great manager. Not just a coach of players at the training ground but an outstanding man manager, career developer and business executive.
    We have been extraordinarily fortunate to have him at the Club and praise must go to the various incarnations of the Arsenal Board for resisting the blandishments of the agenda-driven critics; remaining loyal to him through thick and thin (or, at least, not quite so thick).
    I personally hope that he stays for many more years to enjoy the fruits of what he has sown. No one will deserve it more than him.

  • Chris

    Just funny to see how all these people hating AW and Arsenal suddendly want him as Three Lions boss.
    The ‘specialist in failure’ as national head coach ?
    Isn’t there a contradiction in all that ?
    Unless they thry to push through this idea to get rid of him in the PL.
    Thinking about it it does make sense don^t you think ?

  • Nigel

    Just to add my agreement to the posts above. Until I found Untold Arsenal I couldn’t believe what I was reading on other Arsenal sites. They are a disgrace to the support of Arsenal with their vicious, often personal, attacks on Arsene Wenger.
    Here’s hoping for a few more years of Arsene Wenger’s leadership as he will be a very hard act to follow. I like the club to be living within its means and do not want the Chelsea/Man City style of success. Arsenal can still prove that Arsene’s way can still achieve the ultimate prizes.

  • engram

    Everyone knows Arsene will never leave Arsenal when he is earning so much for such little return. He would not last six months in the England job and he and everyone else knows that. And why take a wage cut of 5m to take a job which requires the kind the kind of coaching acumen only a Klopp!!! or a Pep could supply. It is all spin and if it gets him another contract at the Emirates then mission is acccomplished for a club that has forgotten it’s own history. If the above ‘article composer’ has only been supporting via streaming since 2008 and that is when this site came into being, it is no suprise it is awash with perverse love for one man. Quite ridiculous in the world of football where it is the club that matters and not the current manager. Even more ridiculous when evidence shows the club has been in comparative decline for 12 years and counting and has no footballing ambition unless it is off field and global in nature. Evidence of this can be seen by the overseas posters who keep this site afloat. Have a good weekend wherever you are.

  • ARSENAL 13

    all hail engram, the master conspiracy theorist.

    If you cant respect a man for his contributions, just shut the eff up.

  • Va Cong

    Thanks Arsene for you incredible inspirational philosophy and stickying with it, you are my idol!!

  • Markyb

    Engram should toddle off to LeGrove where all his lke minded chums are. It’s akin to Untold people going there and reading all their poison for fun. Strange really

  • Andy Mack

    engram, thanks for giving us the views of a simpleton.

  • goonersince72

    AFC are at the level they are because of Arsene Wenger. Period. Half these critics wouldn’t even know AFC if it weren’t for him.
    If you haven’t seen this video, it’s worth the watch. Especially Gunners Wrighty & Keown defending AW against Piers of the WOB:


  • Paul Ogbu

    People like AW don’t happen always and we are lucky that when he did “happen”, it was at Arsenal. So many people truly wish they were like him(Maureen and co.) but because they are not and can not be, they insult him and call him names. Now the English press is campaigning to make him the next England manager because they know he is the best. A man who refused to buy titles but could work so hard to go a whole premier league season unbeaten; a man who won the double in his first full season in charge; a man whose brand of football has made AFC stand out in England; we could go on and on. God will bless AW and keep him with us a little longer(because I know there will be an end to the love story one day), but before that day, the best anniversary present the players can give this unique man is to win the premier league this year. We are good enough to do it and I know we can do it.

  • Menace

    Arsene Wenger- what you have done for football, Arsenal and English football is amazing & will never be surpassed. You brought beauty to the game, morals to it players & health to sportsmen wanting to succeed. You are loved by those who enjoy the beautiful game & detested by those who want physical abuse & mindless destruction to rule the sport.

    Thank you for taking Arsenal to a level beyond which many only dream of.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Hahaha….was just wondering, a man so tactically naive that he couldn’t manage a Sunday league team is now pitched as the next England manager!! Just can’t digest this….

  • Mandy Dodd

    Congratulations to the great man, a true class act on and off the pitch.
    Hope there are many more years of Arsene Wenger as Arsenal manager

  • goonersince72

    Andy Mack

    Yes, that’s the video.

  • Nik

    Nice post engram.90% of posters on here have never been to the uk never mind the emirates and have the gaul to criticise those english fans thwt go and support arsenal

  • Nik

    People on here want wenger to sign for r another 10 years .What exactly have we won in the last 10?Most are just happy to make the champions league and just make up the numbers.Leave the major honors to the ambitious clubs beaause as long as wenger is our coach you can rest assurwd we wont be winning it or the league.

  • Guudmon

    Thank you Tony Thank you Walter,Thanks untolders the AKB
    THANK YOU Arsène!
    Thank you
    Forget the aaa

  • Damilare

    Thank you Walter for your article and Tony for starting Untold Arsenal in the first place.

    There’s no greater tribute to the greatest Arsenal manager than respect and support.


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