After months of speculation the Frenchman – who has been at Arsenal since 1996 – agreed a new contract, which will be officially announced on Wednesday.No active manager across Europe’s top five leagues comes close to matching his current 20 years and eight months in charge of one club. In fact, Wenger has the fifth-longest reign in our study.We have scanned the tenures of managers across 252 clubs from England’s current top four tiers and the top two leagues in Spain, Germany, Italy and France since 1960. Here are the 50 longest serving managers, according to worldfootball.net data

The four front-runners

From managers appointed since 1960, Guy Roux holds the longest continuous managerial term in Europe, overseeing French club Auxerre for over 36 years between 1964 and 2000, having also managed the club for a period in 1961/62 and a third spell between 2001 and 2005.Roux lifted the club from lower league origins to Ligue 1 champions in 1995/96 and managed the likes of Eric Cantona and Laurent Blanc.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s 26 years as Manchester United boss is the second longest in recent history. The Scotsman stepped down in 2013 after winning 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups, four League Cups and two Champions League titles.

In third place is a possibly unfamiliar name – Michel Le Milinaire. He was in charge of French Ligue 2 side Stade Laval for 24 years between 1968 and 1992, taking them through the tiers to France’s top flight, while Dario Gradi coached Crewe Alexandra for more than 23 years until 2007.

The rest

In the list of 50 longest managerial tenures since 1960, only four managers remain with their respective club: Wenger (Arsenal), Paul Tisdale (Exeter), Frank Schmidt (FC Heidenheim), Torsten Lieberknecht (Eintracht Braunschweig).Brian Clough’s spell at Nottingham Forest is the sixth-longest term – he masterminded two European Cup titles, four League Cups, the league title and a European Super Cup during his 18 years at the helm.Other stand-out tenures include Alan Curbishley (14 years and 10 months at Charlton), David Pleat (14 years at Luton), Sir Bobby Robson (13 years and six months at Ipswich), Joe Royle (12 years at Oldham) and David Moyes (11 years at Everton).Liverpool legend Bob Paisley ranks 45th with his nine-year spell as Reds boss between 1974 and 1983, winning six league titles, three European Cups, three League Cups, a UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup.

 

A deal had been struck between the Football Association and Premier League clubs for the sharing of data prior to Euro 2016 in order to help England build-up to the finals in France.But the agreement was not binding beyond the competition and has prompted Southgate to reveal the difficulty he faced when attempting to name his squad for England’s forthcoming matches against Scotland and France.

“To clarify. We share our data. We don’t always receive data,” the England manager said “So that’s where we would like to head towards, because it helps more around working out a training schedule when they first come into camp.”Particularly with what’s gone on in the last few weeks that can be a big help. But we can’t enforce it.”That’s got to be an agreement, sharing, and at the moment some clubs are more comfortable with it than others.”

Asked specifically if United were among the clubs to have stopped sharing data, Southgate said: “Possibly so. As I say, it helps us in terms of preparing our training. One of the dangers I guess is the perception of it being leaked.”But look, it’s very rare the data throws up something you haven’t clocked as a coach. But it can back up some of your thinking. The coach’s eye is the main thing – how a player is performing.”

The Arsenal manager will know on Saturday whether he has a strong chance of doing so once again.Wenger’s side travel to Stoke having boosted their chances of qualifying for the Champions League – a task that looked a lost cause just a few weeks ago – by winning 2-0 at Southampton on Wednesday.That left Arsenal in fifth place in the Premier League, three points behind Manchester City in the slot directly above.City will have played their home game with West Bromwich Albion by the time Arsenal kick off at Stoke, but a Gunners victory is sure to stoke up the pressure on Liverpool, who are currently in third.Jurgen Klopp’s side are four points better off than Arsenal, but crucially have played one fixture more than City and the Gunners, and are at West Ham on Sunday.Image result for arsene wenger image

“I wish we found that before,” he said of Arsenal’s recent revival.

“But now we have three games and we have to give everything to try and get everything out of all the games. Hopefully at the end we’ll reach our goals.”Arsenal will finish the campaign with home games against relegated Sunderland and then Everton, but first they must focus on ending their poor run at Stoke.Although they have not won there since 2010, losing on four of their eight visits, Wenger’s men will be hopeful of ending that sorry sequence so long as Alexis Sanchez is in the team.

CONCENTRATE

The Chile star scored at Southampton to being his Premier League goal tally for the season to 20, and 14 of those have been in away games.

“I think it will give us hope, because if we keep the pressure on the other teams, maybe they will have an unlucky game or drop points somewhere,” Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech said.

“We need to make sure we are ready to take advantage of that. We concentrate on our games, we go game-by-game and we have to win all of them to give ourselves a chance. Then we will see what happens.”

Arsenal will be facing a Stoke side with just one win from their last nine games, yet City manager Mark Hughes is confident his players will rise to the occasion.

“It’s going to be a good atmosphere, it always is when Arsenal come to town,” Hughes said.

“Saturday is our last home game as well and we will want to end with a positive result and performance, so we need everybody behind us and hopefully cheer us to a victory.

“That support always helps, we know that, and it’s important for us to play well in order to deserve any plaudits we get – that is certainly our intention.

“The last couple of performances have been good, we haven’t had maximum points from those games, but we’ve played well and we’re in good nick confidence wise so we can look forward to it

“Confidence is at a good level, Arsenal are a good side who have got back on track and have a lot of motivation which will help us make sure we’re at the level we need to be to compete with them.”

Victory at The Hawthorns will see Chelsea crowned champions in former Italy manager Image result for Antonio Conte

Conte’s first season in charge of the London club and leave them halfway to a domestic ‘Double’ ahead of their FA Cup final against capital rivals Arsenal.Chelsea are seven points clear of second-placed Tottenham Hotspur, another London club, and need just three points from their final three league games this season to be sure of lifting the Premier League trophy.Yet despite Conte’s excellent start at Stamford Bridge, there has been continued speculation he could return to his native Italy.He has been linked with a move to Inter ever since the Italian giants sacked Stefano Pioli earlier this season.

“I have two years (remaining under) contract with Chelsea,” Conte said Thursday. “It’s logical when you start the work in a new club the will is to continue to work, to try to improve your work in many years. For sure, this is my will.

“In this moment for me or for my players, the most important thing is to be focused on the moment.”

He added: “Now the most important thing is to reach our target. The most important thing is to write the history of the club. It’s important now, don’t lose the concentration, be focused.

“My players are totally focused on the moment. We mustn’t forget that we must take three points to reach this target.”

Chelsea announced they had appointed Conte on a three-year contract in April 2016 and he took up his post at Stamford Bridge in July after managing Italy at Euro 2016.The 47-year-old Conte is now on the verge of winning his fourth domestic title after capturing three successive Serie A crowns with Juventus before moving on to the Italy job.He is widely credited with reviving Chelsea after the then champions suffered a dramatic slump in form during the 2015/16 that led the Blues, owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, to sack Jose Mourinho, now the manager of Manchester United.Chelsea eventually recovered to finish tenth as 5 000/1 pre-season outsiders Leicester City completed a remarkable title triumph.

This could be another big, big step for me,” Conte said. “In my career I enjoy to have this type of big challenge. I need to have this type of situation where you arrive and you have to work a lot and also to transform the situation in the right way.

“At the start of the season it wasn’t easy. We faced a lot of problems and we had to solve a lot of problems.

“When you finish 10th in the league it means that the problem is not only one, but there are a lot of problems. The problem is not only one person.

“I have to say thanks to my players because it’s not easy to adapt to a new method, new philosophy and also to work very hard, to change totally your work, if you compare the work this season to the past.”

Chelsea beat Middlesbrough on Monday to move seven points clear after Tottenham suffered a major slip-up in losing to West Ham on Friday.

Even if West Brom deny Chelsea victory on Friday, it will likely merely delay the inevitable given the Blues remaining league games are at home to mid-table Watford on Monday and against relegated Sunderland on May 21.

“It’s not important where you win, it’s important to win,” said Conte. “Then you will have the time to celebrate the win where you want.

“Tomorrow’s game is the most important game for us. It’s a final.

“I like to repeat: this is a good season. We want to become a great season.”