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Arsenal midfielders past and present praise Wenger's longevity

Arsene Wenger Press Conference - 18/02/2014

Mesut Özil took to his Facebook page to laud the Frenchman's achievements at the club while Cesc Fabregas was equally effusive of his former boss.

Arsenal midfielders of today and yesteryear used their social media accounts to praise Arsene Wenger as he prepares to take charge of his 1000th match in charge of Arsenal in tomorrow's crucial lunchtime encounter with fellow title chasers Chelsea.

Wenger, who was presented with a golden cannon at this morning's pre-match press conference to mark the milestone, arrived at the club in 1996 from Japanese club Nagoya Grampus Eight and never looked back, ushering in a new brand of football and even a diet plan for his players.

Trophies soon followed, with two Premier League and FA Cup doubles and two further FA Cups on his CV in no time at all.

The move to the Emirates Stadium heralded an age of austerity as the Gunners looked to make up for this lavish expenditure and a trophyless run ensued, but despite more vociferous calls for Wenger to go in light of perceived failure to supplement his squad in the transfer window and questions about his capability in the managerial hotseat.

But Wenger has overseen a successful campaign to date, with Arsenal still firmly in the title race ahead of Wenger's historic match at Stamford Bridge and having guided his charges to an FA Cup semi-final, with the Gunners favourites to win the competition and bring a halt to their nine years without silverware.

And German midfield marvel Mesut Özil, the man Wenger shelled out a club record £42.4m fee for just last summer - staving off accusations about his lack of eagerness to spend the funds available to him in the process - praised his manager with a post on his official Facebook page.

The 25-year-old posted: 'on saturday the boss will celebrate his 1000th game at Arsenal. what a number. we couldn't imagine the Gunners without him. it was him who brought me to London. thank you for your trust! #Wenger1000'.

Former midfielder Cesc Fabregas, now at Barcelona, also praised Wenger by using his official Instagram page to post a message to his previous tutor.

Fabregas wrote: 'Congratulations boss. Hopefully many more to come.#wenger1000'.

Meanwhile Jack Wilshere is also happy to let his boss know of his feelings toward him.

He took to Twitter to send this public message:

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