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Wenger holds longest PL reign

17 July 2017 National Sport


Last Updated: 14/07/17 4:58pm

Arsene Wenger is now the longest-serving manager in Premier League history, overtaking Sir Alex Ferguson

Arsene Wenger is now the longest-serving manager in Premier League history, overtaking Sir Alex Ferguson

Arsene Wenger is already the longest-serving manager in Arsenal’s history but today he also becomes the longest reigning boss in the Premier League era.

The Frenchman moves above Sir Alex Ferguson having drawn level with him on Sunday and with 7,583 days now passed since his first game in charge against Blackburn on October 12, 1996.

Ferguson saw his 7,582-day spell as a Premier League boss end with his final match at the Manchester United helm, a remarkable 5-5 draw at West Brom in May 2013.

His spell at Old Trafford began more than five and a half years before the Premier League, meaning the Scot was in his position for 26 and a half years – almost six years more than Wenger at present.

In turn, Ferguson is 11th on the all-time list of longest-serving managers in England but he remains some way behind Fred Everiss, who led West Brom for an incredible 46 years from 1902 to 1948.

Wenger’s Premier League record

Games played 790
Games won 457
Games drawn 193
Games lost 140
Titles won 3

Wenger is even further back, but he now tops the list in terms of days as a Premier League manager as he settles into his new two-year deal at the Emirates.

That is despite the fact he has actually overseen 20 games less in the competition than Ferguson, something due in part to the fact there were two more teams in the first three seasons, before Wenger arrived in England.

The Arsenal boss’ return in the competition is good, with 457 wins from 790 matches, a rate of 57.8 per cent. With 140 defeats, that accounts for just 17.7 per cent of his record.

With his Invincibles team winning the title without losing in 2004, they also set a new record of 49 league matches unbeaten in a 17-month period, passing Nottingham Forest’s previous mark of 42.

Wenger has won the Premier League three times in his spell at Arsenal, in 1998, 2002 and 2004

Wenger has won the Premier League three times in his spell at Arsenal, in 1998, 2002 and 2004

Wenger has won the Premier League three times in his spell at Arsenal, in 1998, 2002 and 2004

Although Wenger has come under pressure from fans in recent times, last term was the first in his tenure Arsenal had failed to qualify for at least the qualifying rounds of the Champions League.

In the other 20 seasons, he has ended with the club, the former Monaco coach has won three titles and finished second on six occasions.

Wenger and Ferguson are well ahead of the third-longest serving Premier League manager, David Moyes.

He had 4,082 days as a top-flight boss at Goodison Park between 2002 – following his move from Preston North End – and 2013, prior to his switch to United.

Longest PL managerial reigns

Name Club Period Number of days
Arsene Wenger Arsenal Oct 1996 to present 7,583
Sir Alex Ferguson Manchester United Aug 1992 to May 2013 7,582
David Moyes Everton Mar 2002 to May 2013 4,082
Harry Redknapp West Ham Aug 1994 to May 2001 2,454
Rafael Benitez Liverpool Aug 2004 to Jun 2010 2,119
Alan Curbishley Charlton Aug 2000 to May 2006 2,087
Sam Allardyce Bolton Aug 2001 to Apr 2007 2,079
Gerard Houllier Liverpool Nov 1998 to May 2004 2,018
Jim Smith Derby Aug 1996 to Oct 2001 1,877
Sir Bobby Robson Newcastle Sep 1999 to Aug 2004 1,815

After that, a clutch of coaches – Harry Redknapp, Rafael Benitez, Alan Curbishley, Sam Allardyce and Gerard Houllier – sit between 2,500 and 2,000 days.

Jim Smith and Sir Bobby Robson – for their respective spells as managers of Derby and Newcastle – complete the top 10.

Wenger’s current record means he has managed 525 games more than any other non-British or Irish manager, with Roberto Martinez second in that respect on 265.


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