Quick links


'He earns respect without confrontation' - Ex-Monaco star on Wenger

Former Monaco star Claude Puel has explained how Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has achieved the success he has enjoyed as a coach.

The Nice coach played under Wenger at the French side back in the 1980s and 90s and watched his compatriot develop from a fledgling manager into a top-class tactician.

Puel watched Wenger develop his pioneering approach with Monaco as they won the Ligue 1 title in 1998 before emerging triumphant in the 1991 Coupe de France.

Wenger left his homeland in 1995 for Japan before eventually taking over the Gunners a year later, and Wenger is far and away the longest serving manager in the Premier League, with Alan Pardew's three-and-a-half years at Newcastle the second longest-running reign in the division.

Speaking in Arsenal's Emirates Cup programme, Puel outlined how Wenger's methods have seen him achieve three Premier League titles and five FA Cup during his 18 years in north London.

He said: "Arsene Wenger has always had an aura - he’s tall, he has a certain stature, he’s calm, he has a natural authority. He managed to earn the players’ respect without raising his voice because that’s how he does things.

"He’s changed as a manager in terms of the training sessions he puts on, the exercises the players do and his coaching methods. You’d expect that because he was a young manager at the time and football has moved on. But in terms of who he is, for me he’s not changed at all. He’s always been the same person, with that natural authority. He doesn’t need to be confrontational to earn respect."

In era where every manager enthuses about a particular "philosophy" and "vision" for their clubs, Puel also expressed his belief that Wenger was one of the first managers to be so precise in his tactical approach to matches.

"He was one of the first managers to work on tactics as much as he did," he added. "Certainly at Monaco he was the first one to be so precise and go into so much detail in that respect. We would work with video, and so on.

"I also noticed the way he would deal with the different elements of the job. During the match he would be totally engrossed on the touchline and then five minutes after the final whistle he would be in the press conference, calmly describing to the media what had gone on. That ability to deal with the different pressures of the job is also linked to his personality, in my opinion."

Arsenal's title bid fell apart in the final few months of last season, and Wenger has so far addressed the capitulation by adding Alexis Sanchez, Calum Chambers, Mathieu Debuchy and David Ospina to his ranks.

The Gunners begin their new campaign with a visit of Crystal Palace in the season's first 5:30pm kick off.

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch