Stop the myths about Wenger and just honour his achievements…

Stop The Myths About Arsene Wenger! By Dan Smith

This week Arsene Wenger has been promoting the release of his autobiography. With it being an international break and not a lot to write about, some Gooners have seen it as a convenient time to pay respect to the Greatest Manager in Arsenal’s history. Some though, within our fanbase, feel the need to now play down the man’s achievements.

Like anyone, the Frenchman was not without his flaws. Yet it’s one thing to point out the mistakes you feel he made. It’s another thing to take his success and try to trivialise them.

Like for most managers, winning ONE Premiership makes you a legend, so you would think that winning 3 (only one man has won more) couldn’t be questioned.

There are so many other things to beat the 70 year old round the head without underscoring that what he actually did win wouldn’t be one of them.

Firstly there’s this myth that he inherited one of English Football’s most famous Back 5’s. Those who suggest that this proves that Mr Wenger could never build his own defence are either too young to remember, have an agenda, or are so desperate for Arteta to succeed they are now making up history to make the current progress better than it actually is.

First of all there is an element of inheriting for any new coach who walks into a club. Jose inherited Lampard and Terry, Pep inherited Aguero, Silva and Kompany. Arteta inherited Aubameyang, etc.

That’s football. You move to a club and part of your job criteria is to get the best out of the resources you find waiting for you. As good as Adams, Dixon, Seaman, etc, were, it’s worth pointing out they hadn’t won the title in 5 years at the point Mr Wenger arrived.

In fact the Gunners had become a Cup side due to individuals being inconsistent, largely due to the drinking culture at Highbury. How many of those defenders over the years have credited Mr Wenger’s introduction of Dietary and Training Methods for adding years on to their careers. So the idea that Mr Wenger just showed up to training and had a readymade title winning back 4 at its peak is simply a lie.

The other flaw repeated is that Wenger couldn’t build a defence. This simply isn’t true. It’s literally Arsenal fans either have zero knowledge or need to lie to the next generation of fans because bashing Wenger gets attention.

Arsene Wenger bought Sol Campbell, Lauren and Kolo Touré while promoting Ashley Cole from the academy. Now ask most fans what’s a good measurement that shows a defence is quite decent. Winning a Title? Not losing a game an entire season? I think that should do it.

Didn’t 3 of that defence get to a CL final, setting a record for how long they went not conceding a goal? Yet Mr Wenger never made a defence? See how some will just make things up?

Again Why?

You would understand if this were Spurs fans, but why we as Arsenal fans feel the need to discredit the most successful manager in our history.

I have long believed some have seen it as a chance to get subscribers and a few views, others have to be angry with him. They feel if they give him any credit, they have to admit that we have gone backwards since he left. If they admit that, they have to admit that they got it wrong by standing outside with banners and verbally abusing someone who loved Arsenal.

Use AFTV as an example. That platform grew off the basis of who could swear the most and shout the loudest to get Mr Wenger to leave. Have you noticed since they got their way, they never once admit they were wrong, that the grass hasn’t been greener?

We have gone backwards since he left, that’s a fact.

So the narrative changes…. It’s now, ‘well, the mess Wenger left is going to take years to clean up’. Well isn’t that convenient.

You preached and preached how the manager was the issue yet just in case you are proven for wrong, for the next 5 years it’s Wengers fault?

At least I own my opinion. I said we would fail if Wenger left and guess what… we finished in our worst position in 25 years.

Let’s break down this mess when he left.

When most clubs change managers it is most likely because something wasn’t perfect, but what was this unique mess at the Emirates which made us any different to any other club.

What makes you think Arsenal are so special? What made the mess Wenger left so unprecedented from every other club in the world?

How many times did you hear at Chelsea there was a poisonous atmosphere left by the previous regime? Did their fans say, ‘this mess will take years to fix?’

Is the mess our recruitment of players? Again does that do not happen at every club.

Was Guardiola impressed with the fullbacks he found at the Etihad? How quickly did he fix it?
Overpaying Ozil? You think we are the only club to do that?

Barcelona – Coutinho, Real Madrid – Rodríguez, Chelsea – Torres – Man UTD – Sanchez, etc. It happens and clubs get on with it, you don’t hear their fans blame the manager who left two years previous

If you were someone who wanted Wenger out, you got your way. Be big enough though, that when he’s releasing books or having statues unveiled to show this man respect. Whatever your opinion of him he tried his best, which is what you can only ever do.

He has always been dignified when talking about The Arsenal so be dignified in return.

Don’t get me wrong have your own opinions but don’t lie, don’t rewrite history. If you said Wenger was the issue, be honest enough to admit that we haven’t improved since he left yet.

Arsene Wenger gave many of us memories to cherish forever, memories we most likely won’t see again.

Don’t try to take those away.

Be Kind In The Comments

Dan Smith

37 Comments

  1. Winston says:

    Mourinho was asked why he was not mentioned in Wenger’s book, and replied: “Because he never beat me.

    “You are not going to do a chapter about 12 or 14 matches and never win one so why should he speak about me in his book? A book is a thing to make you happy, to make you proud so I understand perfectly the situation.”

    In total, Wenger only ever beat a Mourinho team twice — in the 2015 Community Shield as Arsenal defeated Mourinho’s Chelsea at Wembley and again almost two years later as when Mourinho’s Manchester United side lost 2-0 at Emirates Stadium. Mourinho won nine of their meetings since their first encounter in 2004.

    Mourinho sounding like Donald Trump. Annoying as usual

    1. Kstix says:

      Mourinho is a clown. He forget Arsene beat him twice. He’s just deluded

    2. RSH says:

      His point remains though. It was a huge rivalry that was a staple of the Premiership and AW glosses over it. To be fair I have yet to read it and see if other rivals like SAF are mentioned.

      1. Simon says:

        Nonsense rivalry made up by English media…. Mou is just a loud mouth

  2. Thomo says:

    He may of had the invisible defence after that his choice of defenders weren’t great may I remind you of stepanov scquillaci Cygan andre Santos

    1. Declan says:

      No, please don’t remind us 😳

    2. Simon says:

      Even Ferguson bought bèbè and njemba, So what’s the big deal, everyone has a terrible buy

      1. Thomo says:

        Wenger bought more dud defenders than good

    3. Dan Smith says:

      point is he built his own defense which many claim he didn’t?

    4. Angus says:

      Cygan played 15 games invincible year. None of Cole, Campbell, Toure or Lauren were inherited from Rioch/Graham either

      1. Angus says:

        In terms of since then Clichy, Koscielny, Gallas and Sagna is a decent defence whilst the back up Kola, Vermaelen, Per and Bellerin is hardly terrible either. Current ofc Kola, Holding, Chambers and Bellerin are his. Kola could be replaced with niles if you like too.

  3. Highbury Hero says:

    Excellent article Dan, as always! You have summed it up perfectly. Case closed. I think for anyone to argue further they have to give very strong points.

    There were lows in his rather illustrious career but what is the need to point them out in manner of countering when celebrating the great one achievements?

    Those who do this do you think those low points outweighs what he has done for this club? For you to feel the need to point them out whenever he is given his deserving praise?

  4. Kstix says:

    What an Article, Yes Arsene is a legend and no one in their right minds can trivialise what he achieved in his first 10 years for Arsenal. Like Sue, I’m looking at the good he has done but I’m not going to live in the fantasy world this article seems to want us all to be in that the last 10 years of wenger were not below standard. We went 9 years without a single trophy, not even a carabao cup. Yes we made champions league, but that’s just like sevilla making champions league in la liga, they were not up to the standards of barca, real Madrid and Athletico madrid but they were at least more competitive than the remaining clubs. That was how Arsenal was for over 10 years in England. Up until the last 2 years of wenger when some clubs like spuds and Liverpool started to wake up by signing the right managers and providing the right structure than they have for the past 10 years Arsenal had been finishing in the top 4, the moment they did, Arsenal could not get into the champions league again twice in wenger’s Last 2 years, with the likes of wolves, Sheffield and Leicester turning up last season, I can almost guarantee we wouldn’t have finished better than where we did last season if Arsene was still in charge. Yes the grass in not greener on the other side but we can see steady growth and I’m most certain the grass would have been much more less green if Arsene was here, yes I idolise the man but his stubbornness over the years and inability to adapt to modern football got the better of him that even he has admitted that maybe he should have left sooner.

    I don’t understand the dig at AFTV once again. I was a pro wenger out fan despite that I genuinely loved the man. The fact that you love something or someone should not make you oblivious to reality. Arsene is a great man and by far the greatest manager we ever had, I shed some tears on his last day here but if at that point someone asked me if I would like him to stay on as manager, with tears in my eyes, I would scream “Hell No”. The entire stadium was in unison when they sang “There’s only one Arsene wenger” because in reality there is actually only one Arsene wenger and everyone loved him, including the AFTV guys you constantly slate but the club was stagnant for a long time and when other clubs started to wake up, we started to go down. The separation was inevitable.

    I still have a poster of Arsene in my room but I disagree completely with the article that we wouldn’t have been worse off if Arsene was still here. That said, I LOVE YOU ABSOLUTELY ARSENE WENGER. You gave me some of the best memories as an Arsenal fan.

    1. Highbury Hero says:

      9 years without trophy yes but under what conditions? When billionaires started coming and invest in best players and at the same time with the Emirates stadium and all Arsenal was at a disadvantage. In that difficult times and with few resources the great one had he cared for personal glory should have easily gone to Real Madrid or Bayern Munich where he would have done wonders with their resources.

      But no he couldn’t do that. He could not just leave us in difficult times. When the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City and Man utd were heavily spending, the great one turned to kids with the likes of Fabregas, Flamini and others and made them not only capable of finishing in the top 4, but also challenging for the title and doing it with the most beautiful football the Premier League has ever seen. For me this is just as impressive as what he did before the Emirates.

      It has always been my belief ( you may call it a conspiracy theory) that at that time Arsenal were sabotaged. Where the billionaires were investing and spending and changing the game there was still a dinosaur who was turning kids and cheap unknown players into world beaters capable of challenging for title and easily qualifying for champions League as if it was their right from heaven.

      Why else suddenly everyone was against us? The referees, the media, our rivals, horrific injuries to our players and the likes.

      1. Kstix says:

        I think that’s just an excuse, did Liverpool and spuds spend as much before they overtook us in the league table. Arsene is a great coach, no doubt in my mind but we were gradually going backwards under him and there’s no telling where we’ll be now.

        1. Highbury Hero says:

          From our invincible year to the end of our 9 years drought according to Transermrkt dot com

          Tottenham have spent 530.39M

          Liverpool have spent 517.190M

          Arsenal have spent 301.060M

          And in those barren years none of those two overtook us in the league did they?

    2. jon fox says:

      One of the most moving and accurate posts with superb context(aka realism) to ever appear on JA. Huge congrats Kstix!

      1. Kstix says:

        Thank you Jon. I’m glad someone else sees things like I do.

    3. Winston says:

      This Arsene thing is like a divorce. You got out of it because it was unbearable. Comparing your next with your ex won’t make a difference, because even if you ex is better, staying on with your ex would still have been unbearable. I guess you just have to keep moving on until you find someone who doesn’t make you miserable.

      It could be the beer talking but that’s the first thing that comes to my mind when I ask myself whether we would be better or worse off with Arsene

      1. Thomo says:

        Its not always about the money and how much a player costs, fergie bought Vidic for £8 m Wenger just decided on players who just had technical ability instead of marrying pace and power with it like he did before 2007 you won’t win the epl with technique alone, you need fight and players with character these were some of the things that held us back and what arteta is addressing nowwe used to get bullied by the likes of Bolton and stoke

      2. Kstix says:

        That’s nothing short of the truth Winston. We couldn’t say for certain were we’d be. We could also argue that we finished in our worst league position in 20 years in wenger’s last 2 seasons prior to finishing 8th last season.

    4. dan Smith says:

      Think he would have done better then 8th

      1. Kstix says:

        Dan I like the fact that you said you think, which means you don’t know for sure, nobody saw Liverpool winning the league by 19 points last season, Heck nobody saw what wolves, Leicester and Sheffield were going to do. It got so bad in wenger’s last 2 years that we won just one away game in how many months? I’m telling you, we would have gotten worse than 8th but then that’s what I think too. Nobody knows for sure but it was a downward trajectory.

  5. John Burke says:

    Excellent article. To be honest there were plenty of times i got frustrated with Mr Wenger but i am a firm believer in better the devil you know. As for murinho he is and always will be trying to get the one thing Mr Wenger has in abundance Respect. From other’s and for other’s
    Thanks again for a great article

  6. Gunner SA says:

    When Arsene Wenger still uses We when he speaks of Arsenal in the current set up or situation during an interview ,it sums up his love and devotion to this club. He remains a legendary manager who served with only a deep sense of loyalty and commitment. He made mistakes and brought great memories over 22 years. People who insult and hurl abuse at him cannot appreciate because they are blinded by ignorance. Over 20 years in a management position will not be repeated because its a very hard stressful position. Arsene brought entertainment thrills glory and ultimately some disillusionment and he did so with great humility and love for his club and players. That’s class

  7. durand says:

    There is good and bad entwined within all of us; arrogance and humility, comparison and cruelty, the list goes on. It lies within each of us which we choose to express to the world and be characterized by. I choose to remember Wenger for the class he displayed towards the club and others.
    Through all his successes and failures he exuded class, loyalty to the club, and loyalty to the players. I will fondly remember him for these; he stayed when tempted to leave for greener pastures, and honored the values and traditions of the club.
    I smile and laugh hearing him talk of “cohesion,” or frowning over the condition of an opposing teams pitch, I shall always remember his smile and goal to play beautiful football; to become poetry in motion.
    Let others darken the sky with their clouds of blame, their fury of assigning blame to one man, when Gazidis and Silent Stan, and the board should all take an equal share.
    I will say Thank you Arsene for making the bright days brighter and the good times greater, but all fades in the end, even our great manager. Alas the winds of change blow cold, and he left on a bitter note; but that note does not corrupt the symphony he created over 22 marvelous years.

    People will see and remember what they wish to see and remember, but let’s not rewrite history, or ignore the flaws.

    1. Winston says:

      That’s a beauty. Cheers

    2. siamois says:

      classy comment!

  8. Meaner says:

    I started to support Arsenal because of Wenger. Wenger started to decline due to many sugar daddy clubs. I am always again anti Wenger fans. F U

  9. O says:

    What I saw and always see in Wenger is his virtue. What is a 8-2, 5-1, 4-0 etc compared to invincible. Till today my heart is filled with joy of our invincibility. Do I feel bad with those high scored defeat now, not at all. That is how we should remember the man.

  10. Jasa says:

    Agree with you Dan, AW will remain the best manager Arsenal ever had and his is a legend…

    His approach, His achievement, His charisma goes on without saying.

    Merci Monsieur Wenger …

  11. Sid says:

    Yeah AW will always be my favourite manager.

  12. ThirdManJW says:

    Wenger is an absolute legend of Arsenal, and the English game, but his time was mixed at our club. A lot of success, and failure. One should also note, that he left Arsenal in a far worse state from what he inherited, and that the Emirates move (for which he played a major role in), turned out to be an absolute disaster, not only for the club, but for his own Arsenal career. From 2006 onwards, it was just depressing!

    For most of the fans though, especially the younger ones, Wenger has given us some unbelievable memories, that we’ll cherish for a lifetime. These special moments are what Wenger’s legacy is. I’ve lost count the amount of times I’ve repeatedly watched great goals, and matches on YouTube from the Wenger era.

    A classy man, that sadly lost his way.

  13. Kailash says:

    Nobody is perfect. Wenger obviously had his issues- whether it came to spending money on the wrong players, or not spending money (as were the allegations) in his later years..

    But to overlook the obvious facts such as the Invincibles season, the assembly line of talented players that were produced during his time, and the absolute joy that he brought to Arsenal fans with the style of football that was played – is just wrong in my opinion! The man was and is a legend, and thoroughly deserves a statue outside Emirates Stadium. Personally towards the end- I believe Arsenal failed because of ownership in addition to Wenger. He’s not faultless, but the fact that Arsenal still aren’t back anywhere near the top suggests it was and still is the ownership’s fault as well.

    I personally think he is an absolute legend for the Arsenal, and as Gooners we are all poorer for having treated him the way we did towards the end of his career. Even now- he has nothing bad to say about the club, which to me speaks volumes about the man’s character.

  14. ThirdManJW says:

    Also, A dreadful final 8 years in Europe, 14 years straight without even being competitive in the league, and 9 years straight without winning a thing, are not myths! They are hard facts.

  15. Sean Williams says:

    Although I wanted Wenger to go at the end of his reign, I will be the first in line to say what a great manager he was. The football his teams played was as much dance as football. The pure enjoyment of watching players, from Henry, Pires and Bergkamp, Adams and Campbell, to Fabregas, Rosicky and Van Persie made my heart swell with excitement and joy. Wenger was the greatest manager ever because of one simple fact…..”The Invincibles”. Never to be repeated.

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