It was 22-years ago when Arsene Wenger took over the managerial duties for Arsenal. At the time, Arsenal was nothing more than a mediocre club and average in all respects. By then, Alex Ferguson had already steered Manchester United to Premier League glory and was experiencing success everywhere.
While many expected Liverpool to be the main rivals for Manchester United, it was Arsene’s Arsenal that did the job. Despite the excellence of Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger managed to beat him more times than he would’ve liked.
Assembling a team of European greats, including Henry, Fabregas, and Vieira, Arsenal were living a dream. Their unbeaten run to the Premier League title is still remembered as one of the most remarkable achievements in football. The golden trophy in Arsenal’s trophy case is still the most unique thing in Europe.
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 20, 2018
But repeating that incredible feat became impossible for Arsene Wenger and Arsenal. The club hasn’t won a single League trophy since that one. Some blame the lack of funds to build a great team (all the funds were used on the new stadium). Others blamed Arsene’s old methods and tactics. It took them 9 years to finally win an FA Cup trophy, a feat they repeated last year against the Premier League winners, Chelsea.
The club announced today that Arsene is to be replaced when the season ends, with his successor to be announced very soon.
The club’s majority shareholder said on Arsenal’s website: “This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport. One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsène has brought to the club on and off the pitch. His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched.
“Arsène has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful to him. Everyone who loves Arsenal and everyone who loves football owes him a debt of gratitude.
“Three Premier League titles, including an entire season unbeaten, seven FA Cup triumphs and 20 successive years in the Champions League is an exceptional record. He has also transformed the identity of our club and of English football with his vision for how the game can be played.
— B/R Football (@brfootball) April 20, 2018
“We have high ambitions to build on Arsène’s remarkable tenure and to honor his vision by ensuring that Arsenal competes for and wins the biggest and most important prizes in the game.
“We must now focus on making a strong finish to the season and ask our millions of fans around the world to join us in paying appropriate tribute to one of the greats of Arsenal’s history and one of the greats of the game.”
Arsene himself said a few words upon the news of his resignation:
“I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years.
“I managed the club with full commitment and integrity.
“I want to thank the staff, the players, the Directors and the fans who make this club so special.
“I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high.
“To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club.
“My love and support forever.”
Bookies believe that former Borussia Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel will take over the reins at Arsenal. Pundits favor Patrick Vieira for the job, who has already coached New York FC for two consecutive seasons. Arsene himself favored Vieira in a previous interview.