Yesterday was the twentieth anniversary of one of English football’s stalwarts. From the first successful foreign manager in England to a possible obstacle to Arsenal’s evolution, Arsene Wenger’s career has changed immensely but he will always have a legacy.
Arsene Wenger entered Highbury as a fresh new face and became the clubs most successful manager, leading them to three premier league titles and six FA cups, he also brought them to a UEFA Champions League final in 2006.
So what has happened since 2006? Two FA cup wins in 2013/14 and 2014/15 have been the only silverware to add to the gunner’s collection. For a long period this could be justified by there being less money at the club than other big spenders. The Emirates stadium debt took a huge toll on finances and fans were told to be patient before seeing any huge money signings. However now that the stadium debt has been repaid Arsenal still don’t seem to have reached the heights that they once stood.
The signings of Mesut Ozil and Alexi Sanchez the future for Arsenal should have been bright and fruitful, however with only two FA cups in recent years to show for the added money can Arsene’s time nearly be over?
Sanchez and Ozil’s signings have been two big signings alongside a lot of penny-pinching. Last season Arsenal only signed one player, Petr Cech, Arsene has even spoke of how he doesn’t want to spend big on players who’s player’s values have been inflated by the surge of funds created by lucrative TV deals.
To some extent he has a point, when eleven Premier League clubs broke their transfer records in one window most overseas clubs are looking to make as much as they can from much richer clubs. So Arsene’s hesitancy to over pay for players is understandable, but sadly unlikely to cheer up Arsenal fans.
This season Arsene Wenger has brought in Granit Xhaka and Lucas Perez who both look like decent buys with both scoring goals midweek against Nottingham Forrest. However Arsenal fans want to see bigger transfers, they want to see the biggest names playing in North London so that they can reach the glory years of the early 2000s again. Sadly for Arsenal fans I don’t think we’ll see Arsene Wenger lift the Premier League title again, his attempt at Barcelona-esque tiky-taka football in the Premier League has shown little results while occasionally looking beautiful. His transfer policy of trying to pull in cheaper players won’t stand up to the big spenders of the billionaires Manchester United and City.
However I think Arsene Wenger will always be seen as a legend of Premier League football. For a league that rotates managers as fast as it does, Arsenal and Arsene should be applauded for sticking by each other for two decades. If Arsene Wenger retires or leaves Arsenal I believe everyone from every team in the country will give him a fond farewell, even those who currently doubt him.