STEWART Houston yesterday arrived as manager at Queens Park Rangers under a barrage of television lights while Frenchman Arsene Wenger's installation as the Scot's successor in the Arsenal hotseat was being confirmed from the far side of the Pacific.

As he took charge of QPR, Houston promised to act on the lessons he learned as George Graham's right-hand man at Arsenal. He was installed as Ray Wilkins' Loftus Road successor three days after quitting his second spell as caretaker manager at Highbury and ending his 10-year association with the Gunners.

But the 47-year-old Houston, who has agreed a three-year contract with Rangers chairman Chris Wright, is determined to make the fullest use of the experience he gained working alongside Graham for almost a decade.

``Anybody who doesn't learn quickly working under George Graham is a fool,'' said former Scottish international defender Houston, who added he had made no decisions about his backroom staff.

``You've got to learn from a manager of that calibre and I gained an enormous amount of knowledge from the man.

``George was a teacher, and also a winner. That was his great strength.''

Houston said that he had spoken to Graham before accepting the QPR job, although he refused to disclose whether he had been offered the chance to team up with him again at Leeds.

He added that the opportunity to test himself as a manager was one he believed he simply had to take. ``I had a conversation with George, and he felt the timing was correct for me,'' said Houston, who had agreed to mind the Highbury hotseat for a second time after Bruce Rioch's eve-of-season sacking.

``They have been a fantastic six weeks, and the strength I have gained has been enormous. What it told me was that it was time for me to progress to a fresh challenge and have a go at being a No.1.''

What might make him feel more comfortable still is the free hand and ``substantial'' amount of transfer cash which the ``delighted'' Wright has given him.

Reports that the departed Wilkins had been told of a #9m pot were dismissed, but Wright added: ``We're not Manchester United or Arsenal, and it's less than #9m, but there is no necessity for him to sell if he wants to bring people in.''

Back at Highbury, Wenger will be handed an open chequebook to restore Arsenal's crumbling credibility.

The 47-year-old Frenchman's appointment - probably the worst-kept secret in football - was confirmed yesterday and he will take over on September 30 with a three-year contract believed to be worth more than #2m.

Chairman Peter Hill-Wood said he expects Wenger to lead the club into a shining new era.

Japanese club Grampus Eight at last rubber-stamped Wenger's move to Arsenal yesterday afternoon, having looked likely at one stage to hold him to the full term of his two-year contract, which does not expire until January.

Hill-Wood insisted: ``I don't see a crisis here, no matter what you might read, and the club is very stable.

``It is a pity we have lost Stewart Houston because he was a very good man for us, but I don't blame him for being ambitious.

``But this signals a new era for us and I believe Arsene Wenger is going to be a great success - and drag football in this country into the twentieth century.''

Wenger admitted in Japan yesterday: ``It is my dream to take over a club in a top European league and if I didn't take the opportunity now, it may never happen.''

There is little doubt that Wenger has already had a strong influence from afar at Highbury, with two French stars, Patrick Vieira and Remi Garde, joining the Gunners last month, just hours after Rioch was sacked.

Hill-Wood confirmed that coach Pat Rice, in charge until Wenger's arrival, is wanted to stay on as No.2.

Meanwhile, mercurial Uruguayan Danny Bergara slipped in almost unnoticed as English football's third managerial appointment yesterday.

He was ushered into the Rotherham hot seat within hours of the departures - by ``mutual consent'' - of joint managers John McGovern and Archie Gemmill.

Bergara's name had been bandied about South Yorkshire for more than a week - and the former Nottingham Forest pair's lease was effectively ended with the 2-2 draw against Bristol City on Saturday that left them with just two points this term.

Bergara had spells as assistant manager at Luton - under David Pleat - Sheffield United, and Middlesbrough before a season at Rochdale.

It was when he switched to Stockport in 1989 that he really made his name. The team's whose aggressive, physical style seemed the perfect reflection of Bergara's own personality.

q PREMIERSHIP and Football League players are to face random post-match and training drink tests for players as part of an FA drive to warn about the dangers of alcohol. Former England skipper Tony Adams admitted this weekend that he is an alcoholic, and Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor spoke of the dangers of the ``pop star'' lifestyles of top players.

FA spokesman Steve Double said: ``Last season we announced a programme of 500 drugs tests that would be carried out, and as part of this process a substantial proportion will include breath-testing players for the presence of alcohol.''