Yet the most successful manager for Arsenal, Arsene Wenger celebrates his 20th but enviable year with Arsenal.
In the build up to the celebration, Wenger has revealed that he meet resistance from inside the club when he joined in 1989, because they didn’t believe a foreign manager could succeed in England.
Speaking to Arsenal.com on his 20th Arsenal-versary (?) weekend, the boss spoke about the level of scepticism felt when he first arrived on English soils to take over at one of the biggest clubs in the world.
“Maybe from some players, but I can understand that,”Wenger admitted.
“When I arrived here Arsenal was a very traditional club. When I first came here on January 1st, 1989, the women were still in different rooms to the men. The wives of the directors were in a separate room. That was really a traditional club.
“To be brave like they were to take a foreign manager who was unknown on top of that, was of course a massive gamble. It made it hard because the scepticism was higher. You had to convince people that you know what you talk about. And I still have to do the same today.”
It seems odd now, in 2016, since foreign managers are recognised as some of the most accomplished in world football. But at the time, it was probably the fear of the unknown, which led to people being nervous about Wenger’s appointment.
Thankfully for the club, he went on to not only change Arsenal but English football in general, imposing better diets, training regimes and a style of football that still flourishes at the club today.
The Gunners will take on Burnley in the Premier League tomorrow. What better gift will the players offer than the three points?