Today is the 13th anniversary of Arsene Wenger’s managerial career at Arsenal, making him the longest-serving manager in our beloved club’s history.
It goes without saying that 13 years is a bloody long time for someone to stick at just about any one job. And 13 years as a top-flight manager at the same club is almost unheard of. Indeed, were it not for Alex Ferguson’s almost preposterous 23-year stint as Manchester United manager the Frenchman would be longest-serving manager in the European game, a remarkable achievement considering his reputation before joining the club.
Although a lot of Arsenal supporters are – not unfairly – concerned at the lack of silverware over the past four seasons, I think today is a day where we should remember the positive things that Wenger has done for this club.
Results-wise he’s has brought three Premier League trophies, numerous FA Cups, the unbeaten season and the only European Cup final in Arsenal’s history.
Player-wise he has brought in and developed some of the best players in our club’s history; Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Cesc Fabregas, Robert Pires, Patrick Vieira, Fredrik Ljungberg, Kolo Toure, Robin van Persie and Sol Campbell.
Football-wise he has developed a brand of football that almost every football observer who doesn’t support Arsenal is jealous of. It is attacking, skillful, positive football based on technique and athleticism and he has nurtured it through every level of the club from the first-team right down to the youth-team squad.
What’s more, all this has been achieved whilst helping Arsenal achieve a level of financial success that has allowed us to build a new stadium without relying on unmanageable debt or overseas investors who don’t have the best interests of the club at heart.
Wenger has had a brilliant run as Arsenal manager and it should not be forgotten.
It’s undeniable that results-wise, Wenger has had a tough few seasons as the boss. But looking at our squad and the start we’ve made this season, I honestly believe that barren run could be over. It’s been four long years since we won a trophy and although it would foolish to bashfully predict the run to end this year, the signs are very positive that 13 could be very lucky for Wenger.
So to end things today I just want to wish Arsene a happy anniversary. Thanks for the memories, the culture of attractive football and positive team spirit that you’ve encouraged and the ethical way you go about your job.
You make me proud to be a Gooner.
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