Wenger at Nagoya Grampus Eight: how Arsene rediscovered his greatest love in Japan

Arsene Wenger Nagoya Grampus Eight

If Arsenal fans were none too excited about the arrival of Arsene Wenger in 1996, the same could be said of Nagoya Grampus supporters in January 1995.

The Frenchman succeeded Bruce Rioch in north London, and followed another ex-Wigan Athletic boss in Gordon Milne to his new post in central Japan. Milne - once signed by Bill Shankly for Liverpool - had excellent overseas experience after leading Besiktas to three Turkish league titles, but struggled in Nagoya. The 1994 season ended with the team finishing bottom-but-one of the overall standings in a league that was split into two sections, with the winners of each playing off for the title.

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John Duerden has covered Asian sport for over 20 years for The Guardian, Associated Press, ESPN, BBC, New York Times,  as well as various Asian media. He is also the author of four books, including Rovers Revolution: Blackburn's Rise from Nowhere to Premier League Champions and Lions and Tigers: The Story of Football in Singapore and Malaysia.