Yesterday marked Arsene Wenger’s 21st year as manager at Arsenal, making him the current longest-serving football manager in the Premier League and the Football league. Coming in behind him is Exeter City’s Paul Tisdale who, having held the position for 11 years, is still a remarkable ten years short of Wenger.
Managers today are increasingly facing the intense pressures of modern football. The current focus on results-based choices and the quick procession of hire and fire within football management makes Wenger’s 21 years all the more impressive. This begs the question of how the Arsenal manager has maintained the trust of his club and held on to the position for so much longer than his peers?
A necessity for any leader, Wenger has, over his 21 year stretch at Arsenal, secured the respect of the club and much of its fan base. His commitment to the club is evident and vital in ensuring that he remains respected as a manager.
Resilience has proved to be key to Wenger’s title of the longest serving in football. Despite his position as a ‘club legend’ and having the support of many, Wenger has been the subject of a campaign aimed at removing him. Speaking about the Arsenal fans calling for #WengerOut the manager half-jokingly said: “I am sorry I am still here and I can understand that you want to kill me but, at the moment, I survive.”
Perhaps most importantly, the Arsenal manager’s 21 years of service reflects the trust that the club has for him. Despite the ups and downs of the footballing world, Wenger remains a loyal and trusted leader holding onto a job title that many lose within months.