The asteroid was discovered on March 29, 1998 by Ian P. Griffin, who is a fan of Arsenal Football Club. The asteroid was named after the Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger, and is believed to be the only asteroid named after a football manager. The naming citation is as follows:
Asteroid 33179 Arsènewenger is named to honour the achievements of Arsène Wenger OBE (1949–), a French football manager, who has been manager of Arsenal in England since 1996. He is the club's most successful manager in terms of trophies won. In 2004, he became the only manager in Premier League history to go through an entire season undefeated. Wenger's teams is renowned for their beautiful approach to the game. The asteroid, which is between 3 and 9 kilometres in diameter orbits between Mars and Jupiter taking 4.23 years to complete one circuit of the Sun.