Nothing signified the way in which Arsene Wenger had utterly revolutionised Arsenal more than the 1998 world cup finals in which four Arsenal players were in the victorious French squad, while Dennis Bergkamp won the award for the World Cup Goals of the Tournament.
At the time of Mr Wenger joining Arsenal in September 1996, the press were full of “Arsene Who?” From the start their total lack of knowledge about world football (he had previously won the French league with Monaco) was laid bare for all to see and so was quickly replaced by malicious gossip as an attempt to oust him as the media tried to regain the initiative.
Being defeated by Wenger’s clever moves once again, the media never forgave him, and taunted him throughout his amazing time at Arsenal as he quickly became Arsenal’s most successful manager in terms of League titles, doubles and FA Cup wins, with Arsenal becoming the most successful FA Cup team in history, and Wenger the most successful FA Cup manager in history, with seven cup wins.
Here are the anniversaries.
12 July 100BC. Julius Caesar (of whom you may have heard) born. He oversaw the destruction of the Roman Republic, discovered that he was descended from the gods, and created the formation of the Roman Empire. Had he lived in more recent times he might have bought himself a Premier League football club.
12 July 1935: There was rioting in Belfast following the annual Orange parades, with 13 dead, hundreds injured and around 2000 Catholic houses destroyed.
12 July 1958: Steve Williams born in London. He signed for Southampton straight from school, and made his debut in a 1–0 victory away to Portsmouth aged 17 helping to relegate Portsmouth Division 2.
12 July 1963: Gerry Ward sold to Leyton for £8000. He made 44 league appearances for them before moving into non-league football. He died aged just 57 in 1994.
12 July 1974: Ray Kennedy sold to Liverpool. He had played 158 league games for Arsenal, but went on to play 275 for Liverpool before moving onto Swansea and finally Hartlepool, retiring from football in 1984. According to Wiki By 2002, he was reported as living alone and soon after as suffering from hallucinations. A Liverpool fan then bought him a computer so he could make friends in football chat rooms.
12 July 1974: Brian Kidd purchased from Man U for whom he had played 203 league games and scored 52 goals, after Manchester United were relegated to the second division and felt they could no longer afford his services.
12 July 1977: Red Star Belgrade 3 Arsenal 1 (in Singapore) (Macdonald); at the start of a four match tour which included two matches in Australia.
12 July 1977: The depths to which England football had sunk was revealed to the world as the manager Don Revie announced his resignation from the job not by telling the FA but in the Daily Mail in order to take over as manager of the United Arab Emirates. The FA banned him for 10 years for bringing the game into disrepute, but it was the FA themselves who had done that, and the ban was thrown out in court.
12 July 1995: George Graham found guilty of receiving £425,000 payment from agent Rune Hauge following the purchase of John Jensen and Pål Lydersen. He was dismissed by Arsenal and banned for one year by the FA.
12 July 1995: Stefan Schwarz transferred to Fiorentina. He had played 34 league games for Arsenal and later played for Valencia and Sunderland. It is said that Sunderland inserted a clause in his contract that said that he could not travel into space. He retired in 2003 and we have no further knowledge of him.
12 July 1998. The phenomenal strength of the Arsenal team built by Arsene Wenger was revealed for the world to see as Emmanuel Petit and Patrick Vieira (along with Thierry Henry and Robert Pires who did not play in the final but were in the squad) became the first Arsenal players to win the World Cup; Petit also became the first Arsenal player to score in a WC final. Dennis Bergkamp won World Cup Goal of the Tournament
12 July 2007: Bacary Sagna signed from Auxerre for whom he had played 89 games. He had played in the same Auxerre team as Abou Diaby. His final signing was with Montreal Impact on 8 August 2018.