A surprise appointment at Arsenal FC when he arrived in 1996, Arsène Wenger has made a science of football management and turned his players into artists.
In this fully updated biography, Jasper Rees uncovers the true story behind this deeply private man, having been granted unprecedented access to Wenger’s friends and family, players and rivals. Rees shows how Wenger’s revolutionary ideas on psychology, diet and fitness were shaped by his own experience – from his childhood in Alsace, to his days as a player and coach in France and Japan.
Wenger has survived smears and scandal, taken his club to a new stadium and transformed Arsenal into a European powerhouse. But with his fiercest rival, Alex Ferguson, now out of the picture, can his principles of nurturing youth and playing the ‘beautiful game’ finally reap the rewards of silverware?
“An enthralling and insightful account of this intensely private man.”
“One of the best insights into Wenger.”
“Gripping… Jasper Rees talks to those who know [Wenger] best – players, coaches, and the people of the village in Alsace where he grew up.”
“Anybody who wants to understand the modern English game needs to understand Wenger and how he has done it. Jasper Rees has done a thoroughly professional job… [He] avoids the usual football clichés and suffuses his book with humour.”
“Rees is diligent in his research, travelling to Alsace to meet old friends and colleagues of Wenger, and there are good exchanges with Nick Hornby and Tony Adams.”
“Intriguing… The story has its roots in Alsace, spreads through France and Germany, sidetracks to Japan and finally explodes in England… as good as it is because it has been researched by obtaining unprecedented access to Wenger’s circle of friends and colleagues.”
“I found the book to be enjoyable and informative. It paints a picture of Wenger as someone who has dedicated his life to football and is an intense competitor. He is portrayed as a sensitive, intelligent man of the upmost propriety.”
Jasper Rees’s first football report (Bristol City 3 Chelsea 1) was the back-page lead in the launch edition of the Independent on Sunday. His other books are Blizzard: Race to the Pole, I Found My Horn and Bred of Heaven. He lives in west London.