Wenger, who will preside over his 1000th game in charge of the Gunners when they travel to Chelsea at the weekend, is searching for his first piece of silverware in nine years.
"At first we didn't really know who Arsene Wenger was," Parlour said.
"But we trusted (vice-chairman) David Dein at the time, him saying Arsene Wenger was going to push the club forward - and certainly after six weeks or so you could tell that he was a top-class manager.
"When Arsene Wenger first turned up, he took me to another level. His training methods were always great, he was on that pitch every single day, which is so important as a coach.
"He had lots and lots of brains about football and what he wanted to achieve."
He added: "I think Arsenal was on a slippery slope down and he brought us right up again."
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