Saturday's match against Chelsea will mark the 1000th game in which Arsene Wenger will be sitting on the bench for Arsenal, making the French coach the longest-tenured coach still active in the Premier League, as reported by the BBC's Luke Reddy.
It's a truly remarkable feat and speaks to the brilliance of a legendary career that took Wenger from his native France all the way to Japan before settling in north London with the Gunners, the club he has coached for the last 18 years.
Of course, Wenger has had his detractors in the last few years, with a lack of silverware the main criticism fired his way. As reported by the Mail Online's Sami Mokbel, one of those detractors is the man who will be coaching Arsenal's opponents this Saturday, Jose Mourinho.
At a press conference, The Special One said:
The tribute is to say that any one of us, we'd love to have the same privilege with our clubs.
I admire Wenger and I admire Arsenal, a club that stands by their manager in bad moments - of which there were quite a lot.
Whether Mourinho sees Wenger in a bad light or he's just stirring the pot ahead of Saturday's clash isn't clear, but this wasn't the first time the flamboyant Chelsea boss called out Wenger, as he was reminded of earlier comments he made, calling Wenger a "specialist in failure."
BT Sports' Ian Darke also noticed Mourinho's reluctance to join the Wenger-parade:
Mourinho reluctant to pay any tributes to Wenger 1000 landmark. Says Arsenal now improved and a " good defensive team". BT Sport noon Sat.— Ian Darke (@IanDarke) March 21, 2014
With the upcoming clash between both teams and a Premier League title at stake, Mourinho's reservations are of course understandable, as his main focus must be on the task at hand.
But the detractors cannot drown out the endless stream of congratulations Wenger is currently receiving. Even Piers Morgan had some nice things to say about the Arsenal boss:
Had my differences with Arsene Wenger in recent years, but 1000 games is a truly remarkable achievement and I salute him for it. #Afc— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) March 21, 2014
The Times' Tony Barrett feels the lack of trophies shouldn't take away from Wenger's qualities as a manager:
1000 games for Arsene Wenger. I know trophies have been hard to come by for him lately but he's still a managerial great.— Tony Barrett (@TonyBarretTimes) March 21, 2014
As shared by Arsenal's official Twitter account, Wenger avoided questions about his future with some humour:
Wenger: "I'm extremely motivated to stay for as long as possible but I accept that the next 1000 will be difficult" #CFCvAFC— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) March 21, 2014
He also commented on how privileged he feels at having been with the club for such a long time:
The Daily Telegraph's Jeremy Wilson points out exactly how important Wenger has been for the club:
Before Wenger, Arsenal recorded 23 top four finishes in 92 seasons. They are about to make it 18 out of 18 under him....#Wenger1000— Jeremy Wilson (@JWTelegraph) March 21, 2014
Of course, he also shared how much more successful the club was during his first decade at the helm:
One of the club's all-time greats also weighed in on the impressive feat and the small part he might have played in it, as shared by Mick The Gooner:
"Reaching 1000 games it's just crazy. I'm just so proud that I was able to play a part in some of these games." Henry on Wenger's milestone— Michael ⚽ Gooner (@MickTheGooner) March 20, 2014
Fans will be hoping Wenger will be able to celebrate his 1000th game in charge of their beloved club with a win over rivals Chelsea, a result that would see the team secure three very important points in the hunt for the EPL title.
But win or lose, the Gunners will have cause for celebration on Saturday, as one of the giants in club history achieves a milestone rarely accomplished in modern football, in which coaches are usually the first out the door when faced with adversity.
From all of us here at Bleacher Report: congratulations Mr. Wenger. You've earned it.