Arsene Wenger have stayed on top of his game as a manager for 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.
In this article, SportsGoogly will analyze Arsene Wenger’s 20 years career spent at Arsenal the successes, regrets and the way forward. Arsene Wenger is a manager who is likened to Sir Alex Ferguson due to his long stint with Arsenal and compared to Jose Mourinho due to his versatility exhibited. Arsene Wenger began this long at Arsenal from 1 October 1996 up till date.
Arsene Wenger’s Journey to Arsenal:
Arsene Wenger born on 22 October 1949 in Strasbourg, France is a former player for Mulhouse and RC Strasbourg. During Arsene Wenger playing days he played 80 games as a midfielder and scored 6 goals. He started is football career on 1969 and retired in 1981. Arsene Wenger holds a degree in Economics from the University of Strasbourg.
In 1983 Arsene winger joined French league 2 side Cannes where he was an assistant manager. Wenger was a hard working manager always dedicated to studying his opponents. In 1983, Cannes could not quality to the league 1 but Wenger’s performance was seen by Nancy owner Aldo Platini.
At Nancy things were more difficult for Arsene Wenger because he inherited substandard players. He managed Nancy for 3 seasons till Nancy was relegated to the league 2. At Nancy Wenger managed 114 games winning 33, drawing 30 and losing 51. His winning rate was 29% Wenger left Nancy by mutal agreement.
In 1987, Arsene Wenger was confirmed as manager for Monaco. Arsene Wenger made good signings by purchasing Glenn Hoddle, Patrick Battiston and Mark Hateley. In his first season that was 1987-88 Wenger won the French league with Monaco. In 1990-91 season, Arsene Wenger won the Frence Cup for Monaco and in 1992 Monaco were finalist at the European Cup Winners’ cup. In 1994 Wenger led Monaco to the UEFA Champions league semifinal which they eliminated by AC Milan. In that season German giants Bayern Munich expressed interest in Arsene Wenger but Monaco did not release him. In the 1994-95 season, Monaco had a poor start to the season and Monaco fired him. Arsene Wenger managed in 266 games for Monaco with 130 wins, 53 draws and 83 defeats. Wenger’s winning rate at Monaco was 49%.
Arsene Wenger after months of negotiations decided to join the Japanese side Nagoya Grampus. Wenger Coached Nagoya Grampus for 1 and half seasons winning the Emperor’s Cup in 1995 and the Super Cup in 1996. Wenger took charge in 73 games for Grampus and won 47 and lost 26 without a draw. His winning rate was 64% his impressive performance in his coaching career.
Life at Arsenal:
Appointment and Early Decisions:
On 22 September 1996 Arsenal 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 Arsenal 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 Arsenal 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. You notice when you live there that there are no fat people. 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 defense, 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 call 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.
Style of Play and Future with Arsenal:
Arsene Wenger is a coach that mix inter positional play with pace. Many pundits claim that Arsenal is a boring team to watch with lack of creativity and fluidity. Arsene Wenger have the sold backing of the board of directors due to his long term plans and dynamics to transfer. Arsene Wenger’s transfer policy changed in 2006 where he had to cut transfer budget to make way for stadium building. Despite winning no premier league trophy in the last 10 years, Wenger is still the board’s favorite. Until his resignation I do not for see the current board parting ways with him.
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: 6 trophies won(1997–98, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2004–05, 2013–14, 2014–15)
- Community Shield:6 trophies won(1998, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2014, 2015)
Personal Awards as Manager.
- Japanese League Manager of the Year in1995
- 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:
Performance at Arsenal: Since joining Arsenal in 1996, Arsene Wenger have won 15 trophies for Arsenal all of it being domestic trophies. In 1,128 games that Arsene Wenger have managed for Arsenal, he have won 646 and drawn 263 with 219 loses. Arsene Wenger’s winning rate at Arsenal is 57%
In conclusion, Arsene Wenger have demonstrated clearly that to be on top, we must merit it. He have demonstrated qualities and attributes that desire him to be on top. Happy anniversary to Arsenal’s legendary manager he deserves his monuments.