It is no mean feat to manage 811 games in the Premier league, especially at a top team like Arsenal, when you see our rivals like Chelsea, Man United and Man City changing their managers after the slightest hint of a bad run shows cracks in the machine. But Arsene Wenger, who will create that new record today deserves the extra respect, according to today’s opposing manager Alan Pardew, who said: “Before the game I’m going to shake his hand and say: ‘Well done’,” Pardew said. “Then hopefully at the end I’ll be able to shake his hand again and say: ‘unlucky’.”
“We (lower club managers) are under a certain amount of pressure to improve results, certainly to score more goals,”
“At top clubs you always have to win, that’s a different kind of pressure and Arsène has dealt with it with dignity for 20 years,”
“It’s a job well done, to be honest it is hard to find the words to do justice to what he has achieved in English football. He more than anyone else brought in the sort of professionalism we take for granted now. He arrived in an era when players were perhaps not as professional as they could have been and he changed all that.
“The other reason I admire him is because he has brought something else to the Premier League. His sides are always positive, trying to gain the upper hand and play in the right way. As we have just seen over the festive period lots of teams are happy not to have the initiative, they just concentrate on trying to stop their opponents playing. Arsenal are never like that. Arsène’s sides try to take the initiative in every game they play, even against Barcelona, and I don’t think he gets enough credit for that.”
It is hard to deny that Pardew is right. Even when the fans are screaming at Wenger to try and win ugly against obviously better sides, the boss will also have belief that the Gunners can outplay our opponents and try to attack without fear. Even if we lose we always bravely go for goals and look entertaining to neutrals.
Surely that deserves respect to have achieved that goal for two decades?