Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal side might be fifth in the Premier League and with an outside chance of winning the title but that didn’t stop the Frenchman being awarded France Football’s Coach of the Year award for the first time in his career.
In a panel composed of his fellow coaches it was the Arsenal manager who came top, beating Laurent Blanc for the award from the respected French magazine. Rather than the performances this season, the accolade was given for the club’s passing football that nearly won them the Premier League title last season.
“I admit that [I am surprised I won it],” Wenger told France Football. “I have lived a year in which there have been pronounced highs and lows. I am very flattered to have been the choice of my peers.”
“Everything is still very positive for me because of the pleasure that people who love football take from our games,” he explained. “The reward I have received is a reward for my players, who give pleasure to those who love the game.”
The full interview can be found in France Football magazine.
The results 2008
1. Arsène Wenger (Arsenal), 73 points
2. Laurent Blanc (Bordeaux), 62 pts
3. Frederic Antonetti (Nice), 56 pts
Claude Puel (Lille and Lyon), 56 pts
5. Alain Perrin (Lyon and Saint-Etienne), 45 pts
6. Rudi Garcia (Le Mans and Lille), 23 pts
7. Guy Lacombe (Rennes), 16 pts
8. Christian Gourcuff (Lorient), 7 pts
9. Franck Dumas (Caen), 6 pts
Philippe Montania (Boulogne-sur-Mer), 6 pts
Denis Renaud (Carquefou), 6 pts
12. Mecha Bazdarevic (Grenoble), 5 pts
13. Stéphane Le Mignani (Vannes), 4 pts
Pablo Correa (Nancy) and Jean-Marc Nobilo (Le Havre) the list of the 15 nominated have received any points.