Happy Birthday Arsène …….

October 22, 2009

Sixty years ago today, our fine manager was born – Happy Birthday, maybe even you will raise a glass today, no doubt a few fans will 😛

I am sure most of us thought ‘Who the heck is this man?’ when he arrived at Highbury to take over from Rioch, and I am even more sure that many of us thought ‘He’ll never last’ – But he has and now having celebrated 13 years with the club, today he celebrates reaching the ripe old age of 60!!

I would say that 60 years old is a long way away for some of us, but best I don’t upset anyone 🙂

He had a little dabble at playing the game, but from seeing the names of the clubs he played for maybe he knew he would always be better at managing a team rather than playing for one – Mutzig, Mulhouse, Strasbourg were his employers during his playing days…

Strasbourg (youth), Cannes (assistant), Nancy, AS Monaco, Grampus Eight Nagoya were the clubs where he applied some of his magic as Manager.

In 1988 he won the French League championship with Monaco, the French Cup in 1991, and was voted French ‘Manager of the year’ in 1988.

On to Grampus Eight where he was Japan’s ‘Manager of the Year’ in 1995, Emperor’s Cup winner in 1996, Japanese Super Cup winner 1996 – Not bad I suppose 😉

And then in 1996 we all had the pleasure of being told this skinny man with spectacles bigger than my wine glasses would be our manager. Boy how he changed our club, the players followed his strict diet and gained a few years of their playing careers, the alcohol stopped flowing and even Merse had to sneak into the betting shop, that’s if he dared!!

So what has done for us then in the thirteen years that he has been at the helm? What has he achieved to make him more grey over the last few seasons, what can he look back on and toast it with a glass of the finest French Red on his 60th?

League champions in 1998, 2002, 2004,
FA Cup winners in 1998, 2002, 2003, 2005,
‘Manager of the Year’ in 1998, 2002, 2004

I have a cunning thought; all that is missing from the above is a Champions League Winners medal and a Carling Cup Winners Medal.

At the end of the season, still in Arsene’s 61st year, how many of us would be happy if those two missing medals are won?????

Go for it Arsene, bring us fans some happiness in May 2010 – do that and I am sure we will all want you here to raise a glass on your 70th..

Happy Birthday Arsene – You have a lovely day, you deserve it – I will be raising a glass to you later, actually, probably before ave gets out of bed!! 😛