Once a Gunner, always a Gunner. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will finally step down as the North London club manager after 22 years at the end of this season. The 68-year-old who joined Arsenal in August 1996 after the sacking of Bruce Rioch revolutionized the top division of English football ever since his appointment at Highbury—the then home of the Gunners. The Frenchman brought in new revelations to the London club and enjoyed early success at the Highbury base by assuring fans top first class football along with exciting prospects. Wenger made a habit of luring promising figures in the world of football at Arsenal.
Arsene enticed French teenage sensation Nicolas Anelka after spending a year at Arsenal. He also went to his French roots from where he signed Christopher Wreh, Gilles Grimandi and Emmanuel Petit. It was Wenger who made Arsenal the home of blockbuster signings along with young talents that turned out to be talisman of Arsenal and further went on to become masters of the beautiful game. Soon, Wenger went on to land the coveted Premier League title at Arsenal, their first in 7 years. Reaching the top of the pinnacle in English football, Wenger then revamped Arsenal’s attacking line-up with the inclusion of Thierry Henry from Turin club Juventus for £11.5 million.
With that rest became history, the invincible tag, the 2006 UEFA Champions league final—first by a London club, a stellar cup success in the FA cup and the iconic move from Highbury to Emirates. Wenger went on to become as one of the most successful manager in modern football. On 20th April 2018, Wenger confirmed that he will bid farewell to Arsenal after serving them right and perhaps the best a manger can could in 22 years.
Here are Arsene Wenger’s top 5 moments as Arsenal boss:
1) 1997 Premier League title: The 100th competitive season contested by Arsenal where Arsene Wenger took centre stage in his first full season, The Frenchman gave the London club their first Premier League triumph in seven years. Wenger in the 1997-98 season not only clinched the English league title but also handed club’s second domestic double after 197-71. The Gunners defeated Newcastle United 2–0 in the FA Cup final to lift the famous trophy.
2) The invincible era in 2003-2004: Wenger created history with his unprecedented and yet to be challenged ‘Invincible’ tag in the year 2003-2004 where Arsenal dominated every opponent they faced and went on to clinch the Premier League title without conceding a single defeat in the season. Under Wenger, Arsenal emerged victorious 26 times and there were only 12 occasions where their opponents salvaged a draw against them.
3) The iconic move from Highbury to Emirates in 2006: With traits of being the master tactiacn in English football, Wenger stretched his hands financially when decided to move from Highbury. The Emirates was indeed Wenger’s vision to ensure that Arsenal will have a financial future for years to come.
4) Wenger’s Rich FA Cup success: In Wenger’s era, Arsenal bagged six FA Cup titles making him the second manager to repeat such feats. Aston Villa’s great has been only second by Arsene Wenger. Thanks to Wenger, Arsenal are also the only club to win the FA cup 13 times—the most by any another club in English football.
5) Master of signings in transfer market: From signing Henry and making him the greatest player of all times to finding a rock-solid leader in the form of Patrick Vieira, Wenger revamped Arsenal in every department. Whether it was the appointment of Robert Pires from Marseille in 2000 or getting Sol Campbell from arch0-ribvals Spurs on free transfer, Wenger has the bragging rights when comes to signing players for reasonable amount and making them household names. His love for signing exciting prospects in world football and making them iconic went strength to strength from Highbury to Emirates. Be it Van Persie from Netherlands or Cesc Fabregas from Spain in the past to Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez in present, Wenger was indeed the master of signings in transfer market.