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Arsene Wenger, Thank You For The Memories

Arsene Wenger Arsenal manager

I was just a tiny four-month old toddler when Arsene Wenger took over at Arsenal, so I cannot compare him to previous great managers at the club. What I do know, which I’ve known since the early 2000’s, is that we have a master tactician in our ranks.

Wenger is all I’ve known, but the thought of a new era does excite me.

Scenes may have got ugly over the past couple of years, but the club will always cherish what the Frenchman has achieved. All this time, I’ve said that Thierry Henry and Robert Pires were the reasons I support Arsenal, when in fact, it is Wenger’s philosophy that convinced me to be a Gooner.

What Pep Guardiola is doing right now, he did years ago, and perfected it too.
In Wenger’s first full season at the helm, he gifted the supporters with the league and cup double. We didn’t have to wait long as fans for our next pieces of silverware, when the Gunners boss provided yet another league and cup double-winning season in 2001/02.

From then, a great rivalry had built between Arsene and Sir Alex Ferguson which lasted a decade. Many great managers entered the Premier League in the early 2000’s, most notably Chelsea boss at the time, Jose Mourinho. Still, Wenger kept up with the times, instilling his team to be exciting, yet ruthless, which, at the time, led to success.

In 2004, Wenger made the unthinkable possible, when his team went the entire season unbeaten, thus, becoming ‘Invincible’.

For me, that was the best team I had ever since in the Premier League. From shot-stopper to marksman, Arsenal Football Club were untouchable. Wenger’s record still stands to this date, riding an unbeaten run of 49 league games.
That is simply unheard of.

Things began to get more difficult when the Gunners shifted from their home at Highbury to the Emirates Stadium, where the fans were made to wait nine years to see their beloved club lift a trophy again.

In that time, fighting for a spot in the top four became the target for Wenger’s men, where he managed to achieve that year in, year out. That was until the 2016/17 season, where the club finished outside of the UEFA Champions League places for the first time in 21 years.

Things then became sour, with supporters turning their back on the manager, fans accusing the club of showing no ambition, and not to mention the ongoing protests.

With the club now set to finish sixth – if they’re lucky – Wenger has opted to walk away and leave the team he loves so deeply. My only prayer is that Arsenal avoid the route that Manchester United took when Fergie dropped the bomb at Old Trafford.

It seems that the likes of Ivan Gazidis, Chips Keswick and Stan Kroenke have prepared for Wenger’s departure, so like I said before, life after the Frenchman is something to look forward to, while the players deserve to give him the best send-off by winning the UEFA Europa League.

Despite the chaos, rants and protests in the last couple of years, we, the fans, would like to thank you for the memories. Merci Arsene.

Written by  Jesse Nagel