Ray Parlour opens up about the genius of Arsène Wenger on his 20th anniversary at Arsenal

The Highbury legend looks back on his 20 years with pride.

Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger The Arsenal boss Image Getty/Laurence Griffiths

Arsène Wenger is celebrating an incredible 20 years in charge of Arsenal this weekend, and Highbury legend Ray Parlour has revealed he’s more grateful than ever for his service.

While there is uncertainty about Wenger’s future at the club, he’s sure to go down in history as one of the most successful managers in the English game.

On the anniversary of his first game in charge (October 12, 1996 against Blackburn Rovers), Ray spoke to loaded at length about Arsène, and revealed how he improved his game from day one after arriving at Highbury.

“He was massive for me, he really was… He was always thinking about how he could make you a better player,” Ray said.

“Whether that was telling me to work on my left, or this that, whatever. He’d always stay behind as well, and do a little bit more. He used to love it.”

“I certainly improved and became a better player under him. He built a successful side and he was fantastic to work with.”

Ray Parlour
Ray Parlour The Arsenal legend waxes lyrical about Wenger Image GettyAdrian Dennis

Ray added: “I’m sure that every player who’s worked with him over the years would have said the same.”

“He really helped my game. He always gave you the confidence to go and express yourself. Yeah, he was a great manager. He’s done wonders for the club.”

Does he want to see Arsène renew his contract past this season and stay on at the club?

“That’s [partly down to] whether he wants to stay on himself. I don’t know.

“All I can say is, he’s done a wonderful job.”

Wenger’s been linked with the England job since Sam Allardyce lost his job, but Ray can’t see him suiting the role.

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