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The reasons behind Arsene Wenger's incredible success have kept the conspiracy theorists guessing for the past decade.

According to those on the fringes, he is so successful because he soaks Arsenal's training pitches to facilitate their passing game.

Another one doing the rounds concerns the time they spend on the practice pitches. They are so fresh because they hardly train.
Or, he compresses 22-man games into half-a-pitch to speed up players' movement.

One thousand and one reasons have been forwarded as to why the Frenchman keeps churning out title-challenging teams, pretty much at a fraction of the cost of anyone else.
Emmanuel Petit was one of his early imports — and was an early example of Wenger's brilliance.

Petit was a teenage left back under the Frenchman at Monaco. Ten years later, he formed one of the most impressive midfield alliances in Europe with Patrick Vieira and ended up winning the World Cup. He had been spotted.
Nurtured. Transformed. You can say the same about Thierry Henry. And Cesc Fabregas.

Petit has lived life under Wenger and says the secret is in the simplicity. The honesty he demands from his players and his desire to play football as it should be played. Nothing more, nothing less.

"He is very intelligent," said Petit, "but his main quality is the relationship he has with his players. Football is business. Arsene understands that. But he shares a tight bond with his squad. Not so much on the football side, but as human beings.

"He does not miss a trick. You could sometimes see him watching you get out of your car in the morning. He would pick it up if you didn't look happy. He'd ask you about it — and he would expect you to tell him the truth.

"He's very open. He trusts you. If I had family problems, or if I was feeling tired, he would leave me out or take some action that would help me. There wasn't anything you couldn't tell him. He's very open. He brings humanity into it.

"Any problems you could talk to him about. But if you lied to him, or pretended with him, that trust would go quickly.

"He's the best manager I worked under. It wasn't about money or fame or ego. It was about the person."
Petit added: "You might say that the first team he built at Arsenal was not that pretty. But remember that was in his first season. The players, the supporters, the media, the people he worked for — they did not have the confidence in him from the start.

"So, we had to go another way. We had this fighting spirit, this toughness on the pitch. We won the Double. It was not beautiful but, all of the time in training, we would play onetouch, two-touch. That has always been the same. That has carried on. Only now people have the confidence in him.
"It has just snowballed from the early days. We did it then, but it has become almost second nature now to the players at Arsenal. All of them, from the youth system upwards.

"It has always been his way. I can give you an example. I remember when I was 18 and playing for Monaco. There were some brilliant footballers in that team, people like Glenn Hoddle. In training, once he pointed at me and told me in front of everyone that I had class been the best player on the pitch, because when I received the ball, I controlled it with my first touch and gave it with my second.

"He is into receiving, moving and passing. That's the key. He sees people who are confident and have the ability to do that. That is his talent.
"I think he wants to create a brand of football at Arsenal. The Arsenal way . . ."
One player who has embraced such an approach is Fabregas. Petit says that the Spaniard is "95 per cent there".

"He's a modern midfielder," Petit says. "He can do a variety of things very well — and he has a gift for making a perfect pass. But he can improve. People may have been likening him to Michel Platini. Not yet. Platini was a one-off.

"But Fabregas can improve his decision-making. At the moment, 95 per cent of what he does is right and he can execute it because of his vision. His reading of passes is second-to-none. He draws pictures in his head of where the ball should go. Where he can pass it. And he has the ability to do it.

"He can be the leader. He can be the one that inspires Arsenal over the next few years. They should look at his ability and his maturity. He is growing and he should be the one the team is built around."
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