Arsene Wenger

As Arsene Wenger enters his 1,000th game as Arsenal manager at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, he will go down in the club's history as the man who revolutionised it in a way no other manager in world football has done before.

From winning trophies to stamping his philosophy on the club's mental makeup, Wenger has left a rich legacy on Arsenal.

Wenger's time would certainly be compared with the years under former manager George Graham, when the "Boring, Boring Arsenal" chants were made by unhappy fans.

Born in the French City of Strasbourg, Wenger started his managerial career at French club Nancy-Lorraine where he spent three years at the helm. His big break came when he was appointed the manager of Monaco and then he moved to Japan to manage Nagoya Grampus. It was here that David Dein, former board member at Arsenal, decided to bring him to Highbury, amid a sense of bemusement from fans and players alike.

In an interview with the Telegraph, Dein later revealed that the first question fielded to him when he announced Wenger's appointment was, "Who the **** is he?"

Wenger was the first Frenchman to make his way into the Premier League, amid a lot of talk about English football not being ready for foreign managers.

However, Wenger proved his detractors wrong soon enough as he won his first league title with the Gunners in only his second season in charge. Equally commendable was the way he brought discipline to the club, instilled a sense of character in the players and changed everything related to diet and training.

Arsene Wenger Arsenal
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is closing in on signing a new contract with the club. Reuters Reuters

The players' bar was closed and chocolate removed as part of the post-match celebrations, something which ostensibly had a distressing effect on the players. "I changed a few habits [of the players], which isn't easy in a team where the average age is 30 years," Wenger reminisced on his first game in charge of the Gunners.

"At the first match the players were chanting "we want our Mars bars!" so there were some fun things. At half time in the first game I asked my physio, Gary Lewin, "Nobody is talking, what's wrong with them?" and he replied: "They're hungry." I hadn't given them their chocolate before the game. It was funny!"

Wenger has won three league titles with Arsenal and four FA Cups in his tenure with the north London club. His biggest year was probably 2003/04 when the Gunners won the league without losing a single game through the length of the season.

Nicknamed "The Invincibles" the Premier League saw one of the greatest teams to have ever graced English football, with the likes of Robert Pires, Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, Dennis Bergkamp coming together.

However, things were about to get messy.

In 2004 Jose Mourinho arrived at Chelsea. Roman Abramovich had given Mourinho the financial independence to spend more than £100m over the two seasons, and this proved to have impact soon. The Blues won the league twice in a row, having managed to win only once in their history.

Meanwhile, the Gunners had won their last trophy in 2005 when they won the FA Cup by defeating Manchester United in the finals. Since then, the trophy cabinet has been left on its own, allowing pundits and fans alike to question Wenger's credentials as a manager in his later years.

It was a combination of bad luck and wrong tactics that exacerbated their loss, with the most painful one being their loss to Birmingham City in the final of the League Cup in 2011. The Gunners also challenged for the title in 2007/08 and were five points clear at the top before Eduardo had an unfortunate injury at Birmingham.

Wenger is partly to blame for Arsenal's failure but the period after 2005 is arguably his biggest achievement as a manager. The Gunners shifted to the Emirates from Highbury during that time, which restricted his spending.

Meanwhile, the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea spent millions scouting talent. Wenger managed to keep Arsenal in the top four and ascertain the continuous flow of money from the Champions league, without which the club would have gone into the red.

Having to sell players on a regular basis to keep Arsenal's coffers full, it was a remarkable achievement by the Frenchman to keep Arsenal in the challenge, something which the likes of Liverpool have realised in recent years.

Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho
Wenger believes Mourinho would be a good option for Chelsea.

In an interview with the official website, Wenger revealed the trouble he has had to undergo to maintain the level of consistency at the Emirates and keep Arsenal among the elites in Europe.

"When I one day look back I will certainly be very proud of what I have done [in the second half]. This was a trophyless period but a much more difficult and sensitive period, where it needed much more commitment and strength than in the first part of my stay here.

As the manager makes his 1,000th appearance against Chelsea at the Stamford Bridge, opposite one of his fiercest opponents, Mourinho, the focus will also be on Wenger's loyalty to the club.

He had the opportunity to move to any club in the world at the blink of an eye, but he staved off advances from the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and many others.

"This club gave me a chance. But I think as well at an important periods I have shown loyalty and turned many things down and have accepted to work with restricted potential."