Arsene has been in charge at the Emirates for 22 yearsFlickr/Ronnie MacDonald

In today’s dynamic football world, the changing of the managerial guard rarely comes as a surprise, especially when passionate fans are involved. None have been more vocal than the notorious “Wenger-out” campaigners, who have finally got their wish. The Frenchman will bid adieu to North London; despite the air of inevitability, the announcement still came as a surprise.

After a series of two-year contracts, few would have anticipated this news breaking with a significant portion of Arsenal’s season still to come. Ultimately, however, this makes sense. As much as we have giggled at “Wenger out” placards appearing anywhere, from WWE to political protests, the Arsenal Fan TV-inspired storm surrounding this campaign has unfairly tainted Wenger’s reputation. The prolonged au revoir that will now follow will at least give the nay-sayers an opportunity to thank the man who changed not only Arsenal, but English football.

Wenger’s time certainly had come, but Arsenal Football Club and football lovers everywhere will forever be in debt

It has been well documented how, since arriving as an unknown from Japan in 1996, Wenger proceeded to revolutionise training, tactics, and nutrition. His subsequent record speaks for itself. Three Premier League titles, two doubles, seven FA Cups, and a Champions League final defeat to arguably the greatest club side ever later, Wenger is by far and away the club’s most successful manager. The battles between Wenger’s Arsenal and Ferguson’s Manchester United at the turn of the millenium were legendary. He brought to these shores the joy that was Thierry Henry, and it is unlikely that we will ever see another invincible season. Anyone with this record should be revered, not ridiculed. The recent lack of patience afforded him came as a result of his achievements.

Arguably Arsene’s greatest compliment is that he is a victim of his own success. Wenger’s time certainly had come, but Arsenal Football Club and football lovers everywhere will forever be in debt to a man who cannot zip up a coat.

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