"He is very intelligent," said Petit, "but his main quality is the relationship he has with his players. Football is business. Arsene understands that. But he shares a tight bond with his squad. Not so much on the football side, but as human beings.
"He does not miss a trick. You could sometimes see him watching you get out of your car in the morning. He would pick it up if you didn't look happy. He'd ask you about it - and he would expect you to tell him the truth.
"He's very open. He trusts you. If I had family problems, or if I was feeling tired, he would leave me out or take some action that would help me. There wasn't anything you couldn't tell him. He's very open. He brings humanity into it.
"Any problems you could talk to him about. But if you lied to him, or pretended with him, that trust would go quickly.
"He's the best manager I worked under. It wasn't about money or fame or ego. It was about the person."
Petit also told the Daily Mail: "You might say that the first team he built at Arsenal was not that pretty. But remember that was in his first season. The players, the supporters, the media, the people he worked for - they did not have the confidence in him from the start.
"So, we had to go another way. We had this fighting spirit, this toughness on the pitch. We won the Double. It was not beautiful but, all of the time in training, we would play one touch, two-touch. That has always been the same. That has carried on. Only now people have the confidence in him.
"It has just snowballed from the early days. We did it then, but it has become almost second nature now to the players at Arsenal. All of them, from the youth system upwards.
"It has always been his way. I can give you an example. I remember when I was 18 and playing for Monaco. There were some brilliant footballers in that team, people like Glenn Hoddle. In training, once he pointed at me and told me in front of everyone that I had class been the best player on the pitch, because when I received the ball, I controlled it with my first touch and gave it with my second.
"He is into receiving, moving and passing. That's the key. He sees people who are confident and have the ability to do that. That is his talent.