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Arsene Wenger 1,000 matches - Frenchman laughs off Sir Chips Keswick's slip of the tongue: 'Managing Arsenal has made me look 1,000 years old!'

The chairman made the error when presenting Wenger with a special award

Arsene Wenger's 18 years of triumph and despair at Arsenal may have seemed like a lifetime, but not quite 1,000 years.

Before presenting Wenger with a special golden cannon today to mark the Frenchman's landmark 1,00th match in charge of the Gunners against Chelsea tomorrow, the Arsenal chairman Sir Chips Keswick slipped up in his tribute to Wenger, thanking him for his "1,000 years in charge," before correcting himself.

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Wenger picked up on the error, and offered the gem of a riposte that the 1,000 matches had made him "look 1,000 years old!"

Keswick, 73, then offered this glowing praise for his manager: "I think more important than the number is what he's done for Arsenal and actually for world football," he told arsenal.com. "He has made it back into the beautiful game, which it's often called but seldom achieved.

"I think that is the great achievement of Arsene. It's his wonderful contribution to the style and flow and charm of his football teams.


"What other things he has done for Arsenal Football Club - well, I think he's given it new character, he's given it a new sense of purpose and most of all he's given it pride and self-esteem. [This] is a rather underestimated commodity in some people but it's to be admired and not denigrated.

"I think that's what Arsene's done, he's lifted everybody up. Whatever he touches has got better and for that we're all very grateful."