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Premier League

Arsene Wenger 1,000 matches: I'm still trying to improve, insists Wenger as he approaches Arsenal landmark

Manager takes his side to title rivals Chelsea for landmark match

Arsène Wenger insists there is always reason to question himself and look for improvement, even though he stands on the verge of completing 1,000 games in charge of Arsenal.

The 64-year-old, who was appointed in late September 1996, will reach the personal landmark at Chelsea Saturday lunchtime. Victory will lift Arsenal to within a point of the Premier League leaders with a game in hand.

Wenger arrived at Highbury as a relatively unknown coach 17 seasons ago, but the Frenchman insists the desire to better himself burns as fierce as ever.

"You learn from every game," Wenger said. "You learn more from the lost games than the games won. Certainly because you go into deeper analysis, you question yourself more, you question the players more and you learn basically the most from the higher the level goes up, the more you see the limitations of your team and your players.

"You learn the most in the biggest games when the pressure is there, when the talent is against you and when the pace of the game is at the top, top level," he added. "This is where you learn."

There is genuine belief that 2014 could finally be the year that Arsenal end their trophy drought, which is now fast approaching a decade, with an FA Cup semi-final against Wigan next month.

Wenger, though, does not intend to allow himself much time for nostalgia, with a special presentation understood to be planned for training today as he aims to keep Arsenal in the title hunt.

"It makes you feel: 'Where did the time go?' It looks to me like I started yesterday, I can't believe it is such a long time," he said. "Why? Because you're always focused on looking forward to the next game and when you look back you think: 'I made quite a distance there.'

"Despite that, your only interest is the next game, our drug is the next game, the hope for the next game, the desire to win the next one. You go step by step and finally when you look back it's a long time.

"I would just like to say for me it's an honour to manage a club of this dimension for such a long time, and I would like to thank everybody who is involved in the club for giving me such a confidence for such a long time."