Today is a special day for Arsenal Football Club. It’s a day to remember, rejoice and look forward to the wonderful world of Wengerball. Ten years – that we have been lucky enough to be gifted the best manager in the world. A professor of the game, an ambassador for the greatest club in London and a truly unique individual.
Apologies for the lack of posts but I’m in the middle of moving to a new house. Since the last time I wrote we beat Utd, then the other Utd (Sheffield) and two days ago we beat a very decent Porto side by two goals to nil. Why have I taken out time from my hectic moving schedule to write some words on Arsene Wenger, but not for those other very happy occasions? The answer is simple – it is out of respect and honour for the man who has been the leader of a footballing club that gives me something to smile about on a Saturday afternoon…his ten years in charge have been phenomenal and it is his attacking philosophy that makes our club so special.
He came ten years ago to noises of “who is he!?”…and boy did he prove himself. Within his first full season at Arsenal he won the double, a few years later he did the double once again with the team of Pires, Vieira and Henry. Then two seasons later his most impressive feat (in my own opinion) was the creation of a team that lost zero games in a 38 game season. This done with his philosophy of scoring goals, attacking until the very end and playing the game in a deserved beautiful manner. No other team has ever achieved this and it is likely nobody every will; the “invincible” season should never be forgotten and it’s part of a ten year period that has revolutionised the game of football.
Taking his young side into last years champions league, with a less than average league season – Wenger took us to the Champions League final, where we out-played most teams that we came up against. Not even Barcelona the winners outplayed everyone, in fact without being biased – with only 10 men for majority of the match, we had as many clear cut opportunities, if not more, than Barcelona. My point being, that without spending vast amounts of money on “well known” players, that often are already moulded into the player that they want to be, Wenger picks up players from all over the globe and turns them into superstars. None more so than what we are witnessing now, with the youngest side we have seen under Wenger. After a couple of seasons now where teams have sat back and packed their own half with 9 or 10 players and often getting a point or three by frustrating us. We have seen in the last three games that Wenger is once again revolutionising how the game should be played. This is his fourth great team in the making and now seeing that we are actually crossing the ball and using the width of our pitch, playing with three playmakers in Rosicky, Fabregas and Hleb…we are seeing an attacking way of playing that’s different from what we have seen in the past.
Wenger’s net spending in ten years has been £50 million. That’s £5million a year. Converting players like Petit from centre back to a fine left footed central midfielder, Henry from a winger into the most prolific and productive attacking player in the world, Toure from…well…every position on the pitch apart from keeper to an awesome centre half who is already now one of the best in Europe, one who is under-rated on the world stage, but is known to Wenger as one of the best signings he has ever made. Lauren from midfielder to a solid and efficient full back…Ljungberg from an unknown Swedish winger to one who scored goals for fun and so on…Anelka, Overmars, Pires, Vieira etc.
Have faith Gooners and be grateful to a man who has sold his soul for Arsenal Football Club, who has taken us into this new era of the Emirates…with his vision and drive we will see it through to being one of the most dominant sides in world football. Hats off to you Mr. Wenger…you are a true legend and let the Emirates stand in testament of your achievements in modern history.