Former Gunner: Wenger put an end to Arsenal's drinking culture

Wenger Statue

The Gunners' coach was "10 years ahead of everyone" when he first came to north London.

Former Arsenal man Perry Groves has credited Arsene Wenger for ending the club's drinking culture.

The current Gunners boss is set to take charge of his 1000th game at the club on Saturday, when his side travel to Stamford Bridge to face league-leaders Chelsea.

And Groves has heaped praise on the Arsenal coach for ending the club's drinking culture when he was first appointed - as well as that of English football as a whole.

"I'm a big fan because not only did he change the culture at Arsenal - the culture of the football and the philosophy there - he also changed the culture in English football in general," Groves told Perform.

"When he came in, there was a big drinking culture at Arsenal and at other clubs.

"He completely knocked the drinking culture on the head and made it clear to the player that if you want to be an athlete and prolong your career, the alcohol wasn't going to be in the equation.

"He changed diets, he changed physiology, he changed psychology, he was more on the sports science side and when he came in he was probably about 10 years ahead of everyone."

However, while the Frenchman may have been ahead of his time when he first came to north London, recent criticism has accused the 64-year-old of now being behind the times.

Indeed, Dutch coach Raymond Verheijen said of Wenger a week ago via Twitter:

"Wenger was called 'le professeur' for his revolutionary methods 20 yrs ago. He has been doing the same every since. So today he is 'le dino.'"

If the Arsenal boss can finally end the club's nine-year trophy drought, though, few will mind.

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch