Ex-Gunner says Arsenal’s current declines shows how underappreciated Wenger was

Nacho Monreal was one of the under-the-radar signings that Arsene Wenger made at Arsenal and the Spaniard has so much admiration for his former manager.

He was at the Emirates from 2013 to 2019 after arriving from Malaga and spent most of his Arsenal time under the management of the Frenchman.

He recently granted an interview to The Telegraph and spoke about the man that led the Gunners to an unbeaten league season in the 2003/2004 campaign.

Wenger came into England and conquered the Premier League and other domestic competitions.

Monreal said he had to sell his best players because of the club’s move from Highbury to the Emirates, yet he still achieved top-four finishes.

Since he left the Emirates, the Gunners haven’t made the Champions League and Monreal reckons that it shows how good yet underappreciated he was.

“His work was wonderful,” says Monreal to The Telegraph. 

“He took over a historic team and he totally changed them. He chose to sign young players, particularly French, and was champion of England.

“Then he had to evolve and change because when the club moved from Highbury to the Emirates they had to pay for the new stadium by selling their best players. But even so, Wenger managed to always keep the team in the top four. Since Wenger left, no one has returned the team to the Champions League.”

The Gunners are still a long way from making the top four with Mikel Arteta’s current team at risk of not playing European football next season.

Tags Arsene Wenger Nacho Monreal

21 Comments

  1. chris says:

    Rubbish. Arsenal declined under Wenger for 6 or 7 years and we still feel the after effects even now.

    1. Thomo says:

      Your right Chris just because we weren’t playing Europa league football doesn’t mean the decline didn’t start under Wenger, as well the premier league is stronger now with more teams competing for European spots so it was inevitable

      1. Jay says:

        So for how long are we going to blame Wenger for the decline and how long would it take to move on from Wenger? We can’t continue to live in denial, Wenger was a genius, achieving so much despite the challenges on and off the pitch

    2. Bebe says:

      U are a liar…wenger is the best..and will always be the best.since he left arsenal is playing rubbish football and is no more attractive like it used to be….am always for arsenal wenger no one like arsene.In arsene we trust…God bless wenger wherever he is.

      1. Highbury Hero says:

        Amen!

      2. jon fox says:

        NOT A QUESTION OF “LYING”, SONNY. ITS HIS OPINION, TO WHICH HE HAS A RIGHT!

    3. Masotja Vilakati says:

      The truth hurts especially to the Wenger haters.

  2. Goonster says:

    They say Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
    Isn’t it?

  3. ThirdManJW says:

    I love Monreal, in fact, one of my fav players from the previous decade, but he’s so far off the truth on this one.

  4. Kenny says:

    The commentators here are either rubbish or foolish. “Monreal reckons that it shows how good yet underappreciated he was.”, Commentators here have proved Monreal’s “underappreciated”

    So many years in top 4, Arsenal just need the owner to come out more money to buy 1 or 2 top players and many EPL titles are within reach. Why can’t the commentators think about this.

    I think Arsene is foolish to stay in Arsenal, he should join top clubs like Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus, Bayer Munich & etc to win more titles under his resume. Why stay in Arsenal to get blames from unappreciative Arsenal fans. I am starting to count how many years will Arsenal be out of top 4?

    One good thing if Arsenal is out of top 4 for more than 5 years, the owner will likely to sell. To get an owner who is passionate about Arsenal is better than this US businessman.

  5. The Real Vieira Lynn says:

    Two words…David Dein…he was the most underappreciated figure in our club’s history…he was the true innovative mastermind behind the rise of what some might mistakenly refer to as Wenger’s Arsenal…without him there would be no Wenger and we all witnessed first hand what transpired once he was removed from the building

    1. ken1945 says:

      And what did David Dein do before Arsene Wenger arrived?
      He was part of the club from 1983, when he joined the board.
      Since then and up until AW arrived in 1996, we had Terry Neill, Don Howe, George Graham and Bruce Rioch as managers.
      It wasn’t until the 91/92 season that we were involved in any European football, we lost to Luton Town at Wembley in 87/88, but beat liverpool in 86/87 – lost the first ever fa cup semi final to the spuds in the 90/91 season – while in the league, we won it twice and had our worst position of 12th in the 94/95 season, along with a 10th position in the 92/93 season – so why wasn’t he the “true innovative mastermind” with those managers?

      The truth is that Wenger and Dein were the perfect match together and it was Dein who pursued Wenger for two years, before getting his man.

      Unfortunately, it was Dein who introduced kronkie to the club and he was stabbed in the back when the board and Stanley sacked him.

      I believe that AW would have been successful without DD, simply because of his revolutionary thinking with regards to football and the players.
      Likewise, DD has proved their is life away from our club and the two men were the perfect partnership – of course, our club continued to be a top four club years after DD was so ridiculously sacked.
      Great memories from one of AW’s most consistent players – thanks Nacho.

      1. The Real Vieira Lynn says:

        “Yet, on reflection, Dein was behind every good thing that happened previously at Arsenal. He even single-handedly engineered the purchase of Dennis Bergkamp at a time when Arsenal weren’t playing the type of attractive football that they became synonymous with after 1996.

        Wenger’s empire was missing its cornerstone and as he tried to become Mr. Arsenal in Dein’s absence, things began to crumble. Distracted by his insatiable desire to control all the daily events at Arsenal from the length of the grass to the coffee in the canteen, Wenger dug himself an inescapable hole. His ability to get the deals over the line were heavily handicapped and the proposed building of the Emirates would be the final straw that saw Arsenal become underachievers and worse still, a selling club.”

        1. ken1945 says:

          And apart from DB, what were the examples that made you say he was the “true innovative mastermind”?

          Did he buy Henry, Vieira, Pires?
          Did he put together the Invincibles?

          Your silly comments about the length of the grass etc shows the weakness of your argument and I do hope you can come up with better examples when your long awaited article on the Arsene Wenger reign is finally produced.

          1. ozziegunner says:

            Ken, “apart from DB”, “Dennis Bergkamp, the greatest signing Arsenal has made or is ever likely to make” (Ian Wright). Ask any player who played with or against him, what they thought. DB was the player who made the then Arsenal players to question their lifestyles and professionalism. When they saw how hard he trained and practised, despite his amazing talent.
            David Dein also signed Arsene Wenger from what to many appeared left field. DB was already there to support AW in implementation of his lifestyle changes and training methods.
            It can’t be argued that Arsene Wenger and Arsenal FC were not as successful post David Dein. David Dein oversaw two great eras of Arsenal success under both George Graham and Arsene Wenger.

          2. ken1945 says:

            ozziegunner, agree with what you are saying regarding DB, but suggest you look into the GG era.
            Selling players such as David Rocastle and Charlie Nicholas – the drinking culture that surrounded his time as manager – the scandal of being caught with his hands in the till – just three examples, without going in to the his final three years league positions of 10th-4th-12th.

            I also notice that you did not question the examples of the Invincibles, plus twenty years of top four and CL under AW…in my opinion, David Dein really started to flourish once Arsene Wenger arrived…and visa versus.

  6. Reggie says:

    The decline was started by wenger and was accelerating under him. The fact nobody has been able to halt the decline or abate it is something that cannot be compared with wenger. Two completely different issues that some may feel wenger was the instigator and cause but not the reason for todays troubles. That is down to the two people coming in and not rectifying it.

  7. Benjamin says:

    @ Ken1945
    Sir, I wish everyone on this site read this/your reply, so that they will wake up from their delusion.

    Seems like most of us just write whats in our head.

    Keep it up.

  8. Jay says:

    So for how long are we going to blame Wenger for the decline and how long would it take to move on from Wenger? We can’t continue to live in denial, Wenger was a genius, achieving so much despite the challenges on and off the pitch

  9. Tony says:

    David Dein and Arsene Wenger were the dream pairing,
    all the time they were working together we were on the up

  10. Henry Lwanga says:

    Wenger spoiled the team and thats all ,

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