Arsenal had the “best years of his life!”
In a Q and A session with the BBC, Arsene Wenger was asked what he would like his legacy to be and his answer pretty much summed up our former manager and the time he spent at the club.
Although he downplayed his successes he wants to be remembered as: “Somebody who served his club with total commitment and integrity and honesty and who loved the club. I gave Arsenal the best years of my life. In different circumstances, but I always felt with the same passion.”
And every word of that answer is the truth.
From arriving as an unknown figure, coming to a big club, where everybody looked at him and said “Wenger who?” back in 1996, it took him a while to settle in but his outlook was clear to see.
Arsenal finished third in the league in Arsene’s first season, missing out on UEFA Champions League qualification to Newcastle United on goal difference. And it seemed as though the start of his managerial career was going to be a slow burner, but it only took him a few years to really get things up and running. 1998 was the season where Arsenal won the double by lifting the Premier League trophy and then beating Newcastle in the FA Cup final and people soon took notice.
Of course, we know one of his major successes came when he led us to the invincibles title in the 2003/4 season, where the team went a whole season and a total of 49 games unbeaten, to lift the Premier League trophy. The unbeaten run is feat which as yet has not been matched and let’s hope it never is!
Despite losing his way after 2005 having not won anything since the invincibles, he did manage to lead Arsenal to the Champions League final in 2006, and we all know how that panned out.
It seemed as though time was running out for Wenger and that each season would be his last, but he managed to hang on and in doing so, led Arsenal to consecutive FA Cup wins in 2013/14 and 2015/16 and after a season giving everyone else a chance he won it again in 2016/2017.
In 2018 though it was time to say goodbye to the man that gave us Thierry Henry, Ian Wright and Dennis Bergkamp to name a few, as well as the unforgettable Invincibles trophy.
He was a manager that changed the way football was viewed, he made people stand up and take notice and he will forever be a legend in our eyes and the legacy he helped build will never be forgotten. Gooners?