Arsène Wenger Appointed Manager Of Arsenal On This Day, 16th September 1996

Arsenal were in turmoil. Nigel Winterburn was in demand at the Football Association, so was Ian Wright. Dennis Bergkamp was injured and the Uefa Cup had been all but exited with the 2 – 3 home reverse to Borussia Monchengladbach. Stewart Houston’s toys had been thrown out of the pram and he had left for Queens Park Rangers.

All this and Tony Adams personal problems – including his and his ex-wife’s terrible addictions – were splashed across the back and front pages. Two stalwarts stepped in and guided the team through the difficult spell, hats off to Pat Rice and Geordie Armstrong.

And soon to arrive was Arsène Wenger, a name that was all. Nobody knew much about the bespectacled Frenchman, in those days the internet was in its infancy and his career at Monaco largely forgotten. I wonder what the internet would have made of him were he to be appointed now? More to the point, walking into this maelstrom it is little wonder that the current turbulence is water off a duck’s back to the longest serving Arsenal manager…

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