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Wenger: Let's make more history

ESPN staff
May 30, 2014 « Third seed Radwanska stunned by debutant | Rashid's burst takes Yorkshire top »
Arsene Wenger backed to spend big in the transfer window

Arsene Wenger is determined to make more history at Arsenal after signing a new three-year deal which extends his stay at the club until 2017.

The deal will see Wenger, who led Arsenal to FA Cup glory last season ending a nine-year spell without silverware, pass the 20-year mark in the Arsenal hotseat.

With Wenger out of contract in the summer, speculation had surrounded his future towards the end of the season, although he had insisted he was going nowhere even if Arsenal had lost to Hull at Wembley.

"I want to stay and to continue to develop the team and the club," Wenger, who has taken charge of 1,010 Arsenal matches and won three Premier League titles and five FA Cups, told the club's official site.

"We are entering a very exciting period. We have a strong squad, financial stability and huge support around the world. We are all determined to bring more success to this club.

"The club has always shown faith in me and I'm very grateful for that. We have gone through fantastic periods and also periods where we have had to stick together.

"Every time when that togetherness was tested I got the right response. I think I have shown some loyalty as well towards this club and hopefully we can make some more history. I am sure we can."

Wenger out on his own

Arsene Wenger joined Arsenal in September 1996 © Getty Images
  • With Arsene Wenger set to extend his time at Arsenal into a third decade, he is far and away the Premier League's longest serving manager.
  • In fact, no other manager in England's top flight comes close to his 18 seasons in charge at Arsenal, with Alan Pardew the second-longest serving manager having three and a half seasons under his belt at Newcastle.
  • Premier League's longest-serving managers:
  • 1. Arsene Wenger - Arsenal, September 1996
  • 2. Alan Pardew - Newcastle, December 2010
  • 3. Sam Allardyce - West Ham, June 2011
  • 4. Nigel Pearson - Leicester, November 2011
  • 5. Brendan Rodgers - Liverpool, June 2012
  • 6. Paul Lambert - Aston Villa, June 2012
  • 7. Steve Bruce - Hull, June 2012
  • 8. Sean Dyche - Burnley, October 2012
  • 9. Harry Redknapp - QPR, November 2012
  • 10. Mark Hughes - Stoke, May 2013

Wenger, who arrived in North London in 1996, had faced intense criticism at times during a trophy drought that stretched back to the 2005 FA Cup win and has been tasked with winning more trophies by the club's majority shareholder, Stan Kroenke.

Although he repeatedly pointed to the club's constant participation in the Champions League during those years, he admitted he has also had doubts.

"I question myself honestly," he said. "We live in a world where people tell you always what you have not done. They never tell you that you have done something as well.

"I believe as well the quality of a club is the consistency and then the special players make you win the trophies.

"The quality of the consistency is important for the club and on that front we have been better than everybody else - there are only two clubs in Europe who have 17 years consecutively qualified for the Champions League, and that consistency demands special values inside the club."

After joining the club from Japanese club Nagoya Grampus Eight, Wenger's methods revolutionised Arsenal, overseeing an unbeaten campaign in 2003-04.

However, Wenger struggled to replicate those early heights, going close in 2006 when losing to Barcelona in the Champions League final. In 2011, Arsenal fluffed their lines in the League Cup final with a galling defeat to Birmingham, who ended the campaign being relegated to the Championship.

But, after overseeing the club during their change of stadium from Highbury to the Emirates, Wenger broke the side's transfer record last summer with the £42.4 million signing of Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid.

Arsenal led the Premier League table for the first half of the 2013-14 campaign before suffering from a drop in form and ultimately finishing fourth - qualifying for the Champions League for a 17th straight year in the process.

They went on to hold their nerve in the FA Cup final last month, beating Hull 3-2 in extra-time at Wembley.

Wenger has been tipped to again spend big this summer as he looks to use the momentum of the FA Cup success and sustain a challenge for the league title.

Midfielder Aaron Ramsey, who scored the winning goal against Hull at Wembley, was the first player to take to Twitter and congratulate his manager:

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