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Thursday, 8 August, 2002, 13:30 GMT 14:30 UK
Profile: Arsene Wenger
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
Wenger has led Arsenal to two Doubles in six years
Arsenal v Liverpool | Community Shield
Sun 11 August | 1400 BST
Live on BBC Radio Five Live

BBC Sport Online charts the career of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

Only Sir Alex Ferguson, Alan Curbishley and Peter Reid have been in charge of their Premiership clubs longer than Arsene Wenger.

The Barclaycard Manager of the Year and the League Managers' Association Manager of 2001-02 has just led the Gunners to a second league and cup Double in his six years in charge.

Arsene Wenger
Wenger was named manager of 2001-02

And the Frenchman further boosted Arsenal fans last season by signing a new four-year deal in December, commiting himself to the club as it moves to Ashburton Grove.

Wenger became Arsenal boss in September 1996 following Bruce Rioch's departure.

He arrived at Highbury after dragging relegation-threatened Nagoya Grampus Eight into second place in the Japanese League.

Back then, few in this country had heard of the highly intelligent Frenchman, who has a degree in Economics from Strasbourg University and now an Honorary degree (DSc) from the University of Hertfordshire.

But he soon made a big impression in north London and beyond with the signing two of his compatriots, including a certain Patrick Vieira.

Emmanuel Petit and Nicolas Anelka quickly followed, with Dutchman Marc Overmars adding to the foreign influx.

The latter three would later leave for big-figure transfer fees as Wenger showed his ability to work wonders in the transfer market.

In Wenger's first season, Arsenal mounted a serious title challenge for the first time since 1991.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
Wenger now wants success in Europe

The following year Arsenal claimed both the Premiership crown and FA Cup.

Arsenal then developed a reputation for finishing second - three times in a row in the Premiership, as well as losing in the Uefa and FA Cup finals.

But, after Petit, Anelka and Overmars departed, Wenger again looked to France as he rebuilt his team.

Thierry Henry proved a sensational purchase and Sylvain Wiltord and Robert Pires arrived to add to the French connection.

Born in Strasbourg, Wenger started his amateur playing career with Mutzig in the French Third Division as a sweeper-defender.

He turned professional with Strasbourg in 1978 and won the French title a year after his debut.

In 1981, he obtained the manager's diploma in Paris and was made youth team coach at Strasbourg.

Arsene Wenger
Wenger has committed his future to Arsenal

After a brief spell as assistant coach with Cannes, he was appointed coach of Nancy two years later, but suffered relegation in his opening season.

However, his reputation took off after being made manager at Monaco in 1987.

Wenger's success at the club began with the French Championship in 1988 and he was offered jobs with the French national team and Bayern Munich in 1994.

He was sacked just weeks after committing his future to the club, before his move to Japan in 1995 and then on to London 18 months later.

A hugely respected figure within the game, European success is clearly his unfulfilled ambition.

Arsenal fans will be hoping that the meticulous approach and tactical acumen that have served them so well domestically in recent years can bring success on the bigger stage this season.

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