How will Arsenal Wenger be remembered at Arsenal?
By Ben Grounds
Last Updated: 22/04/18 11:41am
Arsene Wenger will be remembered as a man who "changed a club and a football culture", according to the Daily Mail's Chief Sports Correspondent, Martin Samuel.
Wenger confirmed on Friday he will step down from his role as Gunners boss at the end of the season, having led the club to three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups during his spell in charge.
The Frenchman, who could now be in his final season as a manager, takes charge of Arsenal against West Ham on Super Sunday and the Sunday Supplement panel reflected on the 68-year-old's 22 years at the Gunners.
Martin Samuel - Chief Sports Correspondent, the Daily Mail
He will be remembered as a man who changed the club and who changed a football culture. Once Wenger came, English football was never the same again. There won't be many players or managers you can say that of.
There's obviously two acts in the career: the first act in which they are competing for titles every season, they're in European finals and they're the benchmark which ends with the Invincibles season, even though they've won the FA Cup after that.
You watch Manchester City this season and they try to win every game playing beautifully and if you're clawing around for a reference point for it, you use Arsenal, not Manchester United or Chelsea who are more successful as clubs during Wenger's tenure.
You use Wenger's Arsenal because they tried to win every game by playing more beautifully, not effectively. Arsenal were absolutely unique in the way they played, but in the second act he took one for the team.
The club built the stadium and he didn't have the same budget even though the club released figures which suggested he wasn't willing to spend, and he still kept winning the FA Cup. It's not enough for the fans, and they want more.
But you only have to look at Mauricio Pochettino. What would Tottenham fans give to win the FA Cup? If Pochettino had won three of the last four FA Cups… he could barely be talked up more than he is at the moment. That's what Wenger did and it wasn't good enough. We accept that, but he was a great manager.
Rory Smith - Chief Soccer Correspondent, New York Times
I think the right time to end was at the end of the 2013-14 season, with the bus parades, just before it turned sour.
The real underachievement in terms of the league started in 2012-13, that's when they started to slip away from title and Champions League contention.
They have put money into it since then, and Wenger hasn't been able to deliver on that. He has outstayed his welcome but there is still enough emotion in his farewell that he is perhaps not quite at the end of the end, but two or three years ago would've been better.
The Invincibles is the greatest achievement but the first team has been overlooked a bit. It really opened up your eyes and made you realise we're seeing something we've not seen before.
He has got caught out by circumstances as well, they had a big summer in 2003 when Roman Abramovich comes along, and then Wenger was also just about to assert his dominance following the stadium move when Manchester City had their takeover. He couldn't compete with that and it put him out twice.
There's a debt that is owed to him not just by Arsenal but the Premier League. The fans that wanted him out should salute him today. He deserves a month's long valedictory tour.
Jason Burt - Chief Football Correspondent, the Daily Telegraph
I was a news reporter at the time of 'Arsene Who?' Then, it was extraordinary, a guy from Japan taking over in England. It was left-field to say the least. There was an alien element to what he was bringing.
It is two parts of a career, but I don't think he's moved on a lot since the first part in terms of his methodology. Ferguson evolved but Wenger is doing the same thing over and over again. Inevitably it becomes a bit stagnant.
The coaching they do at Arsenal now isn't intense enough, it isn't cutting-edge, but that's inevitable. He needed to reinvent himself a bit more, but he's carried on doing the same things.
His strength has always been his stubbornness, and his weakness has also been his stubbornness. It was said the other day, he was the greatest analyst of football apart from everything at his own club.
We are in danger of looking at the second half of his career as being his career at Arsenal, but you can't forget what he did when he first arrived. He came in from Japan, he came in from nowhere. No one is going to say 'Arsene Who' now.
Will Arsenal be remotely as bold as when Arsene arrived? He will carry on, and he may be interested in something away from direct-line management. He may be interested in a sporting director role or as a national team coach.
I think the PSG thing has gone now, I'm not sure if he will stay in England but I'm sure he'll be interested in a coaching role.