The bad of Wenger is often cited....what about the good??
I’ve often critiqued the manager. I do think that too many mistakes have been made, and he still needs to go.
Nonetheless, these are things I like about him, through his achievements, legacy, and persona. Too much these days, vis a vis Wenger, is negative. However, he is not all bad, and he has taken Arsenal to a higher level overall. I wish to highlight the positive of Wenger, and what I enjoy about him and his tenure here at Arsenal:
His name sounds like the club
Arsene. Arsenal? Co-incidence? Hardly. Well it is a co-incidence, but then it was funny in 1996, and still is now.
Bucked the trend
Wenger is the first non-British manager to win the English league. If there was no Wenger, then the likelihood of Mourinho, Ranieri, Mancini, Pellegrini, Conte, and Ancelotti, winning it was less likely. It was often said that a foreign manager could never adapt to the league here, but he proved that notion wholly wrong. He was not the first foreign manager in England. Gullit had won the FA Cup in 1997, and Aston Villa had Dr. Venglos. Wenger though was the first foreign manager to have sustained success in England.
In line with Arsenal traditions
Arsenal is an institution. And as an institution, Wenger proved both successful and innovative. Chapman, Graham, and Wenger all created teams that in some way stood out from the rest. Wenger has also created and broken many records, most of which still stand. And besides a poor league season in 16/17, he became the most successful manager ever in FA Cup history. This record will likely stand for many years to come, considering the poor longevity in contemporary football.
Arsenal stands out as a club of distinction and pushing the envelope. Wenger certainly has extended this in his tenure here. He also changed the diets, curbed alcohol use in the squad, and inspired the entire league in a more technical and fitness-oriented approach to football. This amongst others highlights his, and Arsenal’s, innovative approach.
Witty, intelligent, and articulate
It amuses me that as a non-native speaker, his English is often better grammatically than British managers. His interviews are generally witty, and he has a calm, welcoming, and assured persona. Other managers may win more (, e.g. Mourinho), but certainly lack Wenger’s charm. Wenger is a polyglot, since apart from his native French he speaks English, Spanish, Japanese, German, and Italian.
Is our most successful manager
Chapman and Graham attained great success. Though Wenger has won the most trophies of any Arsenal manager. This alone warrants respect, in my mind.
Wenger has ten trophies to his name, including three league titles, and seven FA Cups. In terms of consistency, and let alone trophies, Wenger’s tenure is the best ever in our history.
Has made Arsenal global
Arsenal for many decades has been a prime British footballing institution. We’re now a global brand, and this is down to Wenger. There are few countries where Arsenal fans, or our presence, are not noted. On most financial metrics, Arsenal is firmly within the highest echelons. Only the very biggest clubs, such as Real Madrid, Barca, Bayern, etc. surpass us in these regards.
Despite the general antipathy towards Wenger, I do respect and admire him a lot. He should go, but he still is a great man, who has achieved a lot for us and for football generally.