When Arsene Wenger was appointed Arsenal’s manager in the last quarter of 1996, few would have thought that the professorial Frenchman would still be at the helms at Arsenal after so long thereby becoming the longest serving manager in the Premier League. With the innovations he brought, his early years was laden with success with numerous trophies won, but the years from 2006 to 2013 were particularly trying years for Arsene Wenger after the movement to the Emirates at Ashburton Grove coincided with some trophy less years for the club, which for the first time meant that many persons of Arsenal persuasion questioned his stay at Arsenal for the first time.
With just one year left on his contract last season, and the club doing well in the league, some were of the opinion that it would be good for the Frenchman to leave on a high by winning the league. But following the failure of the club to win the league after it collapse in February, attention shifted to the FA Cup as pressure built on the Manager to end the trophy drought, but after the way the Wembley triumph was secured, some from different quarters called on him to go having ended on a high. However after weeks of haggling a three year contract extension was signed. Yet the reaction of the inevitable signing from a few meant they wanted a change of guard.
However, with the way things have developed over the past transfer window, it shows Arsene Wenger still commands huge influence in the game. With his personal intervention on the transfer of Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez as well as reports that he also spoke personally to Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina, reveals that it was a wise decision for the Arsenal hierarchy to tie him to another contract.
The comments by both Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez when they signed that, the manager was instrumental to their decision to sign for the club reveals the influence of the manager.
Some within the Arsenal sphere might still have reservation about the manager’s methods in terms of his approach and tactical preparations for games; however it is no doubt he still commands a huge influence and respect within the game amongst players. And his ability to speak numerous languages means he has been able to persuade and convince players by speaking in their first language which resulted in them joining Arsenal.
The hue and cry from some before now was that le prof could not handle big name players, and that was why he was loathe to bring them in. But, the fact that the world class player that have been signed as the club’s financial situation has changed, has linked their signing for the Arsenal to Arsene Wenger means those cries never held water in the first place.
The fact that the club has allowed the Frenchman to reap the benefits of the new financial power of the club shows the confidence they have in him, and that has been translated in the transfer dealings of the club.