Who remembers Wenger’s first ever game as Arsenal coach – 25 years ago today
Arsene Wenger took charge of his first ever game as Arsenal manager 25 years ago today. The game was played at Ewood Park and it was a comfortable introduction to England for Le Prof against a Blackburn side who had not won any of their first 8 games that season (1996/97), and were rock bottom of the Carling Premier League with just 3 points.
Arsenal’s back line that day of Dixon, Keown, Bould, Adams and Winterburn would go on to become one of our most iconic defences of all time. Of course David Seaman was between the sticks.
It was Patrick Vieira’s second game for the Gunners after making his debut against Watford the week before (with Pat Rice in charge), and he was the only “foreigner” in the team, unless you class John Hartson as one, being Scottish!
Vieira’s partners in midfield were Paul Merson and David Platt, and the two forwards were Hartson and the prolific Ian Wright.
Wrighty settled our nerves as early as the third minute, and doubled our lead six minutes into the second half to make it an easy game for Wenger to start his career in England as Arsenal’s first ever foreign manager (Unai Emery was the second of course).
We went on to finish in Third place that season, and the rest, as they say, is history!
So here was the starting line-up 25 years ago day…
Dixon, Keown, Bould, Adams, Winterburn,
Platt, Vieira, Merson,
Subs: Parlour (replaced Hartson 85), Shaw, Linighan, Rose, Lukic
If you fancy watching Ian Wright’s two brilliant goals, click this link…