Ex-Arsenal chief Dein recalls true story of Wenger acting out Shakespeare play

Legendary Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger acted out a William Shakespeare play when meeting former Gunners chief David Dein for the first time.

Dein was vice-chairman at Arsenal for almost 25 years and was the instigator behind the appointment of Wenger in 1996.

The Frenchman went on to become the club's most successful manager, recording three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups whilst in charge at the north London club.

But it's a good job first impressions didn't matter on this occasion with Wenger choosing to perform a one-man production of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream when meeting Dein for the first time.

Although the Gunners were flying high at the top of the table in 1989, Dein was intrigued by the Frenchman's tactics at Ligue 1 club Monaco.

Speaking to theTelegraph, Dein recalled how the future of Arsenal football club changed from the conversations had by a chance encounter.

He said: "I asked what he was doing that night and he said he had nothing planned and that answer changed our lives forever.

"Not just our lives but Arsenal’s life and the life of English football.

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"A friend was having some drinks and a get-together and we took Arsene along.

"At one point we started playing charades. Next thing, Arsene was acting out A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

"And I thought to myself, ‘This guy is intelligent, multilingual, worldly’ and he was great company."

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Following the dismissal of George Graham in 1995, Wenger was Dein's top choice to replace the outing Scotsman.

But fellow board members were reluctant to appoint an unknown Frenchman managing in Japan and instead opted for Bruce Rioch.

Dein was not to be denied a second time though – Wenger was chosen as Rioch's replacement just one season later.

The rest – as they say – is history.

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