Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger did not know of his faith with his beloved club before the 2017 FA Cup finals at Wembley against Chelsea. Arsene Wenger has spent 21 years with Arsenal and in the last 13 years, Wenger have not won a premier league for Arsenal.
Shortly after Arsenal defeated city rivals Chelsea to win the 2016-17 FA Cup, the board members met with Arsene Wenger to discuss his future with the club. After the board meeting it was announced that Arsene Wenger have been given a 2 years contract extension with Arsenal. The contract extension came with 2 targets under which Wenger must achieve. The two targets for Arsene Wenger are;
- Attract players with big names to Emirates Stadium.
- Challenge and Win the Premier League next season.
These are the targets given to Arsene Wenger by the board of directors for Arsenal.
Arsene Wenger’s Life at Arsenal.Arsenene Wenger (67) have stayed on top of his game as a manager for over 20 years in the most competitive and strongest league in the world. The English premier league is the worlds most watched league in the world and the pressure that comes with the premier league, it takes managers with good characters and dynamic ideas to stay on top. Each and every season, the league becomes stronger and stronger so to be top takes a manager with though skin to stay on.
Appointment and Early Decisions.
On 22 September 1996 Arsene Wenger was unveiled at Arsenal and he officially began working at Arsenal on 1 October 1996. Wenger was given full freedom as manager of Arsenal and the board did not influence his decisions as they used to do before. Some supporters and the media did not like the idea of Arsene Wenger as manager for Arsenal because they argued that he did not know more about the English game. Wenger signed players like Nicolas Anelka, Christopher Wreh, Gilles Girmandi, Emmanuel Petit and Marc Overmars in his early days at Arsenal.
Change in Transfer Policy
In 2006 Arsene Wenger contributed a lot in building the Emirates Stadium. New Stadium for Arsenal will boost the prestige and financial capabilities of the club but it hard a short term implications for the club. The board decided to invest in building the stadium that investing in the team which Arsene Wenger supported so he sold some experienced players to make money for Arsenal to build the stadium. The players sold included Campbell, Lauren, Piers and Cole etc. Arsene Wenger had to depend on academy players promoted to the team, he introduced the likes of Theo Walcott and Alex Song. Arsene Wenger’s team in 2007 had an average age of 21 years and were finalists in the league cup. The 2007 squad still remains the youngest team to have played in cup finals in England.
Player Management Skills.
Wenger regards a well balanced diet as an essential part of a player’s preparation. Their diet is basically boiled vegetables, fish and rice. No fat, no sugar. At Arsenal, Wenger brought in dieticians to explain the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, and acquired the help of Philippe Boixel, an osteopath for the France national team to realign the players’ bodies each month. Plyometrics, exercises designed to strengthen the muscles, were introduced and Wenger routinely made players stretch before and after matches. Until 2004, he encouraged his players to take Creatine for increased stamina, later stopping when he noticed side-effects. The innovations had a desirable effect on the team as it prolonged the careers of his defence, and made Arsenal stronger in the second half of seasons
October 2004 Manchester United ended Arsenal’s 49 games unbeaten run in the premier league at Old Trafford with the winning goal claimed by Arsene Wenger as a dubious penalty. The rivalry between Arsene Wenger and Alex Ferguson reached it peak. The rivalry became very stronger and turned into the use of offensive language which Wenger was fined £15,000 for his comments. The rivalry was defused in 2009 after Arsenal was not able to compete with Manchester United for major trophies.
In 2005 Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho engaged in war of words which Mourinho called Arsene Wenger as a “Voyeur” Mourinho later apologized. The war of words did not end there. In 2014, Mourinho labelled Arsene Wenger as a specialist in failure. With Wenger reacting that Mourinho’s comments were silly and disrespectful.
The Golden Record: In the 2003–04, Arsene Wenger leg Arsenal to an unbeaten top flight league season. Since the establishment of profesional league in England only two clubs have achieved such honor Preston North End in 1888/89 season and Arsenal is 2003-04. A golden premier league trophy was awarded to Arsenal for that achievement.
Trophies for Arsenal.
- Premier League:3 trophies won(1997–98, 2001–02, 2003–04)
- FA Cup:7 trophies won(1997–98, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2004–05, 2013–14, 2014–15, 2016 – 17)
- Community Shield:6 trophies won(1998, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2014, 2015)
Personal Awards as Manager at Arsenal.
- Premier League Manager of the Season for three seasons(1998, 2002, 2004)
- League Managers Association Manager of the Year for two seasons and that was 2001–02 and 2003–04
- French Manager of the Year in 2008
- IFFHS World Coach of the Decade from 2001 to 2010
- Football Writers Association Tribute Award in 2005
- Listed into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2006
- Won the Freedom of Islington in 2004
- BBC Sports Personality of the Year Coach Award on two occasions 2002 and 2004
- Onze d’Or Coach of The Year award for three times 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2004
- Commissioned to Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2003
- Premier League Manager of the Month for several months.
Performance at Arsenal: Since joining Arsenal in 1996, Arsene Wenger have won 16 trophies for Arsenal all of it being domestic trophies. In 1,175 games that Arsene Wenger have managed for Arsenal, he have won 676 and drawn 269 with 230 loses. Arsene Wenger’s winning rate at Arsenal is 57.5%
Arsene Wenger is not said to be a failure at Arsenal and also cannot be said to be successful but rather an average manager keeping Arsenal at a sustained position in the top four since 2006. With his new targets for the next 2 years Wenger I believe is capable of delivering for Arsenal and challenging for the premier league trophy.