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The World Was A Very Different Place When Arsene Wenger Took Over Arsenal

The World Was A Very Different Place When Arsene Wenger Took Over Arsenal
By Michael McCarthy
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The 1st October 1996 was the day when Arsene Wenger officially took the reigns at what was then Highbury.

After sacking Bruce Rioch in August, and talk of his successor being of the calibre of Johan Cruyff. Instead, the appointment a funny looking, unknown manager who had spent the last two years managing Nagoya Grampus in the J-League.

Wenger came in, and famously changed the culture at the club, and in his second season, won the Double. From there, he would go on to become Arsenal's most successful ever manager and last for 22 seasons.

He re-enters the world that is a very different place in 2018 than it was in 1996. Just how different things were in 1996 is an illustration of just how long he's been doing the job, and just how weird a football world without Arsene Wenger will be.

But just what was happening in the world when Arsene Wenger took charge of Arsenal in October 1996?

Bill Clinton was running for re-election against Bob Dole.



In Ireland, John Bruton was Taoiseach, while John Major was Prime Minster of the UK. It really was a time of true poilitical charisma.


Meath were All-Ireland football champions and Wexford and Martin Storey has us all dancing at the crossroads in hurling.




The Nutty Professor was big film in the UK as Arsenal welcomed their own professor.



Michelle Smith was Ireland's one true hero.



The internet was some vague, futuristic idea we had heard of but seemed very far away from the majority of us. It appeared to involve a lot of something called "chat rooms".


Des Lynam, tash and all, was still presenting Match of the Day. The panel didn't change, Trevor Brooking and Alan Hansen kept us straight and made sure we didn't get too excited.



Ray D'arcy was still presenting The Den, Gay Bryne was presenting The Late Late Show. All was OK with Irish television.



DVDs weren't commercially available yet. We all still went to the video shop every week.



CDs were gradually replacing cassette tapes as our music format of choice.


Mobile phones were rare, and blocky. The was no text messaging. Irish numbers began with "088".



Playstation and Nintendo 64 had arrived, and FIFA 97 was just about to come out with David Ginola on the front.



Paul Bearer had just turned on The Undertaker.



The Premier League featured the likes of Coventry City, Nottingham Forest, Sheffield Wednesday, Wimbledon, and even Leeds United. How '90s.


Ian Rush was playing for Leeds.


Breakfast at Tiffany's was the number one song in the UK. In Ireland, it was How Bizarre by OMC. Tune!



Pokémon took over the world for the first time, two decades before it would briefly do so again.


Pat Mustard was still at large.



Ireland were shite at rugby


Alan Shearer had just signed for Newcastle, nearly doubling the British transfer record at £15 million. This year, Wenger paid nearly 60 million for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.



Arsenal were still sponsored by JVC and had such players as Steve Morrow, Paul Merson and Andy Linighan.


We were still using the Punt, Britain was happily in the EU, the Celtic Tiger was only a cub, Boyzone and the Spice Girls were massive, Ireland were unbeatable in the Eurovision, Arsenal still played at Highbury, Richard Keys and Andy Gray were still running roughshod on the world of football, Premier League stickers were the biggest thing in our lives, and Bertie Ahern hadn't happened yet.

How times have changed. We can't even begin to wonder what the world will be like in 2040 when the next Arsenal manager, David O'Leary, retires.

SEE ALSO: 14 Of The Funniest Arsene Wenger GIFs

SEE ALSO: Opinion: Why We Will Regret Our Hounding Of Arsene Wenger

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