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Page last updated at 12:42 GMT, Friday, 2 October 2009 13:42 UK

Wenger hungry for further success


Wenger reflects on 13 years at Arsenal

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says his desire for success is stronger than ever having become the club's longest-serving manager.

The Frenchman, who this week celebrates 13 years in charge of the Gunners, also revealed how he "questions himself every day" as he strives to improve.

"There are still more targets to achieve, said Wenger, who turns 60 later this month.

"I have not exceeded my expectations because I always expect much more."

A European trophy is the one thing that is missing from Wenger's managerial CV after 13 glorious years at the club.

But having not won a trophy in four seasons, Wenger is determined to bring silverware back to the club and it is this that still drives him on.

"My expectation is to win every single football game I manage and I did not do that, so I can never exceed my expectations.

"I try to assess my performance with what I do and on a positive note, and ask 'How I can be better? How can I improve? How can I get this team to achieve what I believe is in the team?"

Premier League Arsenal

He added: "We were close to being crowned European champions (in 2006), but that is what is still to achieve.

"Of course it drives me on, but the competition is very high with all the big clubs you have in Europe."

"There are still more targets to achieve.

"I believe we have consistently managed to be at the top level, within our resources and improving our structures.

"The club is on a new platform and to reach many more targets.

"I believe our structures - new stadium, new training ground, a very young team, a healthy financial situation, we play at the top - means we have all the basics to be successful."

Meanwhile, Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has paid tribute to old rival Wenger and believes the Gunners owe a huge amount to Wenger's leadership over the last 13 years.

Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson
Wenger (left) and Ferguson have rarely seen eye-to-eye

The pair have feuded over the years but Ferguson said: "Arsene has brought the best out of Arsenal.

"I read some quotes from his players that sum up it up pretty well - they owed him everything. That's nice to read."

Arsenal have won 11 trophies under Wenger, with Manchester United runners up on five of those occasions. They include twice winning the Premiership and FA Cup double, in 1998 and 2002.

Wenger's 2004 Premiership winning side remained unbeaten in the league all season. This was also the period of greatest hostility in relations between Wenger and Ferguson.

Arguments over player discipline culminated in January 2005 when Wenger refused to answer questions about United's boss, while Ferguson said of Arsenal: "It's a disgrace, but I don't expect Wenger to ever apologise, he's that type of person."

But their relationship has improved in recent years, and Ferguson added: "He sticks to what he believes in - and so do his players."

Arsenal's record goalscorer Thierry Henry, now with Barcelona, has added his praise, saying: "He is the guy that makes you realise you can do anything you want."

Current Gunners captain Cesc Fabregas was similarly generous, saying: "He has been the most important influence in my short career."

Ferguson, who has managed United for 23 years, believes Wenger's success is further proof that "longevity brings rewards".

He added: "His team play the right way and he has a stadium that is full every week. He has been an incredible manager for that football club. There is no question about that."

Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce, whose side travel to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, is another manager to have had a strained relationship with Wenger over the years.

Anybody who can get into double figures as a manger these days is achieving a huge amount of success for their particular football club

Sam Allardyce

But despite their differences over the physical nature of Allardyce's teams, the former Bolton boss paid tribute to Wenger's achievements with the Gunners.

"Anybody who can get into double figures (in years) as a manger these days is achieving a huge amount of success for their particular football club," said Allardyce.

"There are few managers that can stay at a club that long. Arsene came from Japan and found his home at long last. He found he was allowed to do what he has probably always wanted to do, which was to run a football club his way.

"I think probably elsewhere, outside England, you are not allowed to do that, but in England, and particularly at Arsenal as the years have gone by, he's been allowed almost total control of the development of the football there.

"Both have benefited greatly from that so I'm not surprised that he's the longest-serving manager Arsenal have ever had."

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see also
How to watch Match of the Day
09 Aug 11 |  Match of the Day
Wenger looks to qualify quickly
29 Sep 09 |  Arsenal
'Outstanding display' delights Wenger
29 Sep 09 |  Arsenal
Wenger reveals injury concerns
28 Sep 09 |  Arsenal

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