Arsene Wenger has said it is "a privilege and an honour" to be able to manage Arsenal for 1,000 games.
Ahead of this weekend's clash at Chelsea - the same team Wenger encountered on his 500th game in charge - the veteran manager admitted there had been "difficult" periods and said he hoped the is "bigger when I leave than when I arrived".
– Arsene Wenger
It’s a privilege and an honour, of course, to manage 1000 games at the same club," Wenger told a pre-match press conference this morning.I must say for such a long time the club has always supported me and I feel really that I’m privileged in that because that’s not always usual in our game.
Former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry offered one of a flurry of tributes to his former boss.
"To reach 1000 games for one club is a historic achievement, but not a surprising one. He is one of the very best managers in the modern game.
Sir Alex Ferguson also had warm words for his one-time adversary, saying he had “the utmost admiration” for Wenger’s staying power:
Over the years we enjoyed some fantastic battles and you could say we had survived together and respected each other's efforts to play good football. I always enjoy watching Arsene's sides - Arsenal play the right way.
The chair of the League Manager’s Association, Howard Wilkinson, also paid tribute to Wenger, saying:
"I salute Arsene on his extraordinary level of performance and all that he has brought to our game.”