Arsene Wenger outlines what made this former Arsenal midfielder so successful

Arsene Wenger

The Gunners boss says Ray Parlour's team spirit and fighting attitude made him such a success at Highbury.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has told the club's official website that former midfielder Ray Parlour was the kind of player that teammates could follow "into the trenches", and his attitude as an example for all players to follow.

Parlour, who turned 43 on Monday, won nine trophies including three Premier League titles during his 12 years at the Gunners, playing 455 times for his boyhood club.

Having already made his breakthrough into the club's first team in the first half of the 1990s, he became an integral fixture in the side following Wenger's arrival in 1996.

Parlour's former manager believes that midfielder was perennially underrated throughout his career, and hailed the spirit and attitude of the ex-England man.

Wenger told the club's website: "He was a real team player and he gave everyone the impression that they could follow him into the trenches, that he would not let you down.

"Off the pitch as well he had his own sense of humour. He had a good, comprehensive attitude with all the players. That made him very popular in the dressing room.

"Overall he was an underrated player in England. He showed that when he played in central midfield he was not only a runner, he was also a very good footballer."

Rarely one to make the headlines himself, Parlour spent the majority of his career living in the shadow of more illustrious or big-name teammates such as Patrick Vieira.

Capped just 10 times by England, the midfielder was a fan favourite at Arsenal for his committed displays and passionate, vocal style on the pitch, but rarely achieved the same level of appreciation from neutrals.

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