The Frenchman was 46 when he took the reins of Arsenal …
After twenty-two years on the Arsenal bench, Arsène Wenger will leave his post at the end of the season. The epic of “Invincible”, its titles, its European history thwarted in the Champions League: here is his career in stats.
A unique place in the history of Arsenal
At 68, Arsène Wenger said stop. The Frenchman was 46 when he took the reins of Arsenal after experiences in France (Nancy and Monaco) and two years in Japan. In the meantime, twenty-two years have passed. Wenger, who will go all the way to the end of the current season, is the man who has spent the most time on the Arsenal bench. George Allison, coach between 1934 and 1947, held the record for longevity before the reign of the Alsatian which now exceeds it by almost ten years. He is also, logically, the club’s most successful coach with seventeen trophies won. Among them, not all have the same value since he has three titles of champion of England (1998, 2002, 2004), seven Cups of England (1998, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2014, 2015, 2017) and seven Community Shields (1998, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2014, 2015, 2017).
He beat Ferguson … only in the Premier League
Among his contemporaries in England, the Frenchman is second only to Alex Ferguson in terms of longevity on a bench. The legendary Manchester United coach has remained in office for the Red Devils for 27 years. In the English Championship, he directed 1035 matches against 823 for the French. With the rest of the current season, the former defender (he notably played in Strasbourg) will reach 828 matches. A respectable distance from the Scotsman. But he is the man who has lived the most Premier League matches (name of the English Championship since 1992).
Ten years at the top
Wenger’s early years at Arsenal were also the most successful. Of his seventeen titles, eleven were won in his first decade in power. Since then, he has settled for six titles and has never finished at the top of the Premier League. Its winning ratio, however, remained constant with 57.6% of matches won in the first period mentioned against 57.1% in the second. But the club has won fewer matches that count and is now struggling to keep pace on the national scene (sixth of the current fiscal year).
Thierry Henry, the symbol
The first non-British manager in Arsenal’s history has often relied on a beautiful colony of French players. But none has marked the history of the club more than Thierry Henry. With 228 goals, the 1998 world champion is still the best fireworks of the Gunners. He spent just over eight years in London between 1999 and 2007 and a freelance in the winter of 2012 while playing for the New York Red Bulls in MLS. With him, Wenger conquered two of his three titles of champion of England. In the Premier League, the Frenchman reached a total of 175 goals. The duo he formed with Wenger is still the most prolific in the history of competition. The former striker, currently assistant coach of Belgium, is one of the men who could take over on the bench.
The Champions League, a step never crossed
This year, and for the first time in twenty years, Arsenal was absent from the Champions League. The European competition will remain the eternal pitfall of Wenger at the head of the Gunners. He played it a lot, but she always refused him. To his credit, four quarter-finals but especially a final in 2006 lost against Barcelona while his team, reduced to 10, resisted what they could after the opening of the score (2-1, final score). He also made a lost UEFA Cup final (2000). The current season is his last chance to win a continental title. The club is still racing in the Europa League where it qualified for the semi-finals.