He is the most British of French trainers. And yet his career began in Alsace, in Strasbourg, his birthplace. Champion of France as a player with RCSA in 1979, Arsène Wenger soon saw his career as a coach take flight. This second career, that he would begin at AS Nancy-Lorraine in 1984 at the age of 35 saw him join AS Monaco three seasons later, when President Jean-Louis Campora called on him to take AS Monaco to the next level in Europe.
AS Monaco switches to a European focus
The marriage was immediately a success, as the Alsatian coach, on the strength of some ambitious recruitment including the arrival of Englishmen Glenn Hoddle and Mark Hateley, became champion of France in his first season at the foot of the rock, in 1988. The following summer, the French manager oversaw the arrival of George Weah, a future Ballon d’Or winner, to the Principality. The club’s European ambitions did not finally materialize until 1990, with a first continental semifinal in the Cupwinners Cup, against Sampdoria.
In the following year, the rivalry between Arsène Wenger’s Rouge et Blanc and Bernard Tapie’s Olympique de Marseille took another turn, with Monaco winning the Coupe de France in 1991, the club’s latest win in this competition. It was Gérald Passi who delivered the victory to his teammates, with a goal scored in the 90th minute of play on the lawn of the Parc des Princes, as if to take revenge for being runner-up to OM in the league. of France. The 1991-1992 season was then one of confirmation in the European Cup, this time with Monaco reaching the Cupwinners Cup final, played and unfortunately lost against Werder Bremen.
— Téléfoot (@telefoot_TF1) August 5, 2017
One last European run before the big leap
AS Monaco nevertheless had confirmed that it is now a regular and serious candidate in European competitions. This continued two years later, during Arsène Wenger’s final season on the bench for the Rouge et Blanc. Led by a duo of Youri Djorkaeff and Jurgen Klinsmann and academy products Emmanuel Petit and Claude Puel, the Monegasques would only stumble against the great AC Milan of Marcel Desailly in the semifinal of the Champions League this time. This run to the last four of the queen of European competitions was one which would definitely place AS Monaco on the map in Europe as the most successful French club, one most often at the end of some fantastic campaigns.
Nevertheless Arsène Wenger decided to make a move in his young coaching career by trying his hand at managing in Japan with Nagoya Grampus before making history in the Premier League with his almost quarter-century spell on the Arsenal bench (1,219 games from 1996 to 2018), a longevity record which sits just behind that of his Scottish counterpart, Sir Alex Ferguson. In total, the Alsatian coach was in charge for 325 matches on the bench of AS Monaco, winning the title of champion of France 1988 and the Coupe de France in 1991.
On the occasion of his 71st birthday today, the Club wish a happy birthday to their former coach. Happy Birthday Arsène!