THE NEXT LEGEND IS REVEALED AND OF COURSE IT’S OUR GREATEST MANAGER EVER – THE ONE AND ONLY ARSENE CHARLES ERNEST WENGER OBE: by Ken1945
Arsene Wenger was awarded an honorary OBE for his contribution to British football, with discussions having been held to award him the honour of a knighthood, meaning he would have had the rank of Knight Commander (KBE) as he is a foreign national.
So, let’s take a look at his Arsenal record. I have included his Community Shield wins, because without his league and cup wins, his teams wouldn’t have had the opportunity to compete in them – ignore them if you wish!!!
Premier League Winner:
1997/98 – 2001/02 – 2003/04
FA Cup Winner:
1997/98 – 2001/02 – 2002/03 – 2004/05 – 2013/14 – 2014/15 – 2016/17
FA Community Shield Winner:
1998 – 1999 – 2002 – 2004 – 2014 – 2015 – 2017
Personal Honours at Arsenal:
Premier League Manager of The Season:
1998 – 2002 – 2004
League Manager of The Year:
2001/02 – 2003/04
Premier League Manager of The Month:
March 1998 – April 1998 – October 2000 – April 2002 – September 2002 – August 2003 – February 2004 – August 2004 – September 2007 – December 2007 – February 2011 – February 2012 – September 2013 – March 2015 – October 2015
THE NUMBERS GAME, as laid out in the Huddersfield programme at Arsene’s last premier league game for The Arsenal:
1996 was the year Arsene joined the club – 3 was the number of doubles he won – 49 was the number of premier league games the Invincibles went unbeaten, from May 2003 to October 2004 – 7 was the number of FA Cup trophies won, a record – 221 the number of players to play for The Gunners under Wenger – 704 was the number of wins under his management – 1,553 was the number of goals scored by his teams – 1,621 was the number of premier league points won by his teams.
For twenty of his twenty-two-year reign, he guided The Arsenal to:
3 number 1 positions.
6 number 2 positions.
5 number 3 positions.
6 number 4 positions.
In doing so, we saw our club compete in the CL for a record 20 consecutive seasons, including one final, two semi-finals and reaching the knockout/quarter final stages on 16 occasions.
The Invincibles have gone down in football folklore and it was Arsene’s dream of building a team that would go unbeaten for a full season that drove him and that wonderful group of players to achieve their own immortality.
Seven FA cup wins saw him personally become the most successful manager in the oldest cup competition in the world and The Arsenal sit proudly holding the record as the most successful club in this competition also.
Here are just a few of the quotes from fellow professionals within the game:
MANAGERS: PAST AND PRESENT
SIR ALEX FERGUSON – “What a career, absolutely fantastic. Apart from his managerial skills, he’s shown an incredible endurance, durability and determination”.
JOSE MOURINHO – “He made lots of history in that football club. The nickname is there…The Invincibles…Amazing. A coaching philosophy, the almost perfect team. He is one of the best managers in the history of football.”
JURGEN KLOPP – “I admired his work always; it was always brilliant – he was and still is an influencer in football. He has a fantastic career, outstanding personality, he’s a really big player in the business.”
PEP GUARDIOLA – “He has all of my respect for what he has done. The Premier League is about huge personalities like Arsene. It is what it is because of what he has done, his vision.”
MIKEL ARTETA – “I had a dream and it was to play for this football club – There was one man and his name was Arsene Wenger who believed in me and gave me the opportunity to play for this club. After that he made me captain of this football club and I wouldn’t be sitting here if he didn’t have the vision to give me the opportunity to enjoy this incredible football club.”
PLAYERS: PAST AND PRESENT
TONY ADAMS – “Thanks for everything Arsene.”
THIERRY HENRY – “When you think about Arsenal, you think about Arsene and vice versa.”
PATRICK VIEIRA – “He gave me trust and that trust and confidence allowed me to express myself.”
LAUREN – “We all have something from Wenger, Dennis, Thierry, Patrick – because it was masterclass in everything. In psychology, in tactical situations, how to put your body in certain positions to win the ball, how to pass the ball at the right moment.”
MARTIN KEOWN – “This guy was an incredible visionary, a hugely intelligent individual and he’s not part of the football club. That is a waste, a massive waste.”
ADAM TOMLINSON – “A man who helped transform English football and one who has written his name in both Arsenal and Premier League history.”
IAN WRIGHT – “He was so far ahead of his time – he took you to a place where you had to be, literally the best you could be and that’s what he did with us.”
DENNIS BERGKAMP – “We had the same idea about football. We like the creative style of football and off the pitch, we like the discipline to give everything to football. It was good from the beginning and it only grew and grew and we respected each other a lot.”
CESC FABREGAS – “He deserves all the respect in the world – I will never forget his guidance and support, his tutelage and mentorship. He had faith in me from day one and I owe him a lot, he was like a father figure to me, who always pushed me to be the best.”
PER MERTESACKER – “He’s someone who has been so magnificent for this club. It would be great to get him to share wisdom and share his experiences with a lot of young people who have not seen a lot in the world of football, and he has.”
GILBERTO SILVA – “The winning mentality was a key factor for all of us. It started from Arsene and came down to every player. It was great to play under him. He was remarkably simple in the way he would tell us what to do but in a very effective way. He always went back to basics to provide us with the best training sessions.”
ADRIAN CLARKE – “With Arsene, warmups were more like Pilates class, so it was a shock to the system, but we felt stronger in a matter of weeks.”
EMMANUEL PETIT – “He was amazing to my career. He was like a father figure to me at Monaco and it was amazing to come with him to Arsenal and achieve this success. I will never forget what he did for me.”
BOB WILSON – “Arsene was different to everybody else who was around at that time. He changed the philosophy of managers, of clubs, of players. He bought football into a totally different era. The man was a visionary.”
DOUBLE ACT PARTNER:
DAVID DEIN – quoted as saying “A star has dropped out of the sky” when Arsene announced his resignation – “His legacy will last forever, and he has made his mark on English football. His legacy will be for global football – His style of play – The way he has conducted himself – His integrity – His honesty – The way he has handled players – What he has done for the club is immeasurable – He will go down in history as the greatest Arsenal manager ever – We’ve built a fantastic training ground, sensational stadium – it was on the back of The Invincible team of 2003/04 that we managed to get financing for the stadium.”…….
The Emirates stadium move was first discussed in November 1999, planning permission granted in May 2002 and building begun in February 2004, after funding was secured. Part of the security for this funding, was that Arsene would be at the club for five years and he signed a contract to that effect, imagine that one man had that kind of impact on the banks!!!!
The move came at great expense, not only the building of the stadium, but also the consistent need to sell our top performing stars to help pay for the project.
As an example, during the 2011/12 campaign, we suffered a humiliating 8-2 defeat to Manchester United, but it is worth remembering that Wenger had been forced to transfer Fabregas (Barcelona) and Nasri (Manchester City) within a week of each other and just before the season started.
At the end of the season, however and with, once again, Wenger having to rebuild his team when his most important players forced a move, he still kept us in the top three and the Champions League.
The seasons goal tally, despite the United result, read – For 74 – Against 49 – GD +25
His signings that season, as he rebuilt the squad, were Arteta, Mertesacker, Benayoun and Santos and it is interesting to note as well, both Arteta and Per Mertesacker remain, achieving great results for the club and more than happy to talk about the positive influence Arsene had on their individual careers.
The fact that our present owner, Stan Kroenke, was also beginning to flex his financial muscle by buying shares and David Dein being sacked in 2007, saw Arsene continually trying to rebuild his teams and, when Gazidis replaced Dein in 2009, the changes left Arsene battling to reach the heights of previous years, with a new owner, who gave him peanuts to replace top players and a man, in Gazidis, who would eventually stab him in the back (my personal opinion regarding Gazidis).
Despite all the above going on, Arsene was able to keep The Arsenal in the top four for 20 consecutive years, even after the new money arrival of Chelsea’s Abramovich and City’s oil reserves that completely changed the face of English football.
One final fact obtained from a blogger called CG – Arsene Wenger has more premier league wins @ 476 than the spuds football club has had @ 457, what an incredible stat to digest!!!
Arsene has since admitted that he stayed at the club too long but was obsessed with trying to deliver the title once again.
Now those are the FACTS – here are my PERSONAL OPINIONS:
It seems most supporters, including myself, are of the opinion that he should have resigned after beating the champions, Chelsea, at Wembley in 2017 and following his side finishing fifth – the first time his side had failed to qualify for the CL – and the season after, going down a further place to sixth.
BUT STATUES ARE ERECTED TO THOSE WHO HAVE BROUGHT SUCCESS TO THE CLUB – JUST LOOK AT THE FOUR LEGENDS ALREADY IN PLACE:
Arsene Wenger’s twenty two years at the helm elevated The Arsenal to new heights around the world for his attractive, attacking, full flowing style of football and those of us lucky enough to witness it, will always remember it as the best time ever to be an Arsenal supporter.
His final home game, a five-nil thrashing of Burnley, saw a reported 60,000 plus fans, both inside and outside the stadium, rise to Arsene Wenger and give him the send-off he thoroughly deserved.
There was over a one hour line of fans waiting to sign a book of recognition outside the Armoury shop (I know this, because I was part of it!!) and the club arranged the kind of send-off fit for the great man.
Arsene has remained quiet about his final two years, but he did say the following when asked about his feelings for the club:
“I miss Arsenal, I left my heart in there. I gave my life to this club for 22 years. Every minute of my life was dedicated to this club and I miss the values we developed. I support Arsenal, it will be forever my club”.
Arsene, we salute and thank you for the wonderful years you gave to our/your club – you surely deserve the statue and, thereby, become one of the Immortals that surround The Emirates.