Is Arsene Wenger one of the GREATEST ever managers?

132So somehow GC and Keenos got into a debate on twitter which spilled over onto whatsapp and will spill over into the pub next season on just if Wenger is one of the all-time greatest managers in world football. With the restriction of 140 characters, neither could exactly get their point across fully, so a blog was born.arsenal77_2741542a

Wenger is not one of the greatest – by GC

Well my point initially was quite simple, no manager can be classed as one of the greatest ever unless they have won all the big domestic (title + FA Cup) and European trophies.

It’s very easy in this debate to try and distract from Wenger and start comparing to others from different era’s who may or may not be considered one of the greatest, so I’m going to stick to a bit of opinion and the facts on Wenger.

Let’s clarify the difference between great and greatest.

Firstly Wenger is a great manager, well his 1st 10 years at ours were great, FA cups, League titles, doubles and unbeaten season the blot being one thing, the European cup.

Just over 10years ago 100,000 (est) Arsenal fans took over Paris in probably the greatest ever away travelling support from any club in any country, that was the only Euro cup final Wenger has got us into and it ended with heartbreak. Since then its been a long run of getting knocked out at the last 16 stage.

There is also no denying Wenger built one of the greatest ever Arsenal sides, he added Vieira, Henry, Pires, Freddie (all world class in there prime) to George Graham’s famous back 5 who were the greatest ever defensive unit in English maybe European football ever, only rival there is the famous Milan back 4. But even with Bergkamp, one of the greatest ever forwards, Wenger hasn’t win the big ear’d one in 18 attempts.

So is Wenger one of the greats in the English game?

Despite never winning the league cup (losing 2 finals), no-one has finished in the top 4 for so many years running, no-one has won as many FA Cups and of course no modern day side has gone unbeaten in the league for a season or gone 49 games unbeaten. But too often when Wenger was in his prime and before ‘he built a new ground’ we finished 2nd in a 2 horse race to Man United who at the time were not only beating Wenger for trophies domesticity they also won the European cup.

Wenger also has the record of finishing 2nd in the league more times than any other Arsenal manager and has the longest run of not winning any trophies of any manager of The Arsenal.

Is Arsene Wenger great ? YES
Is he one of Arsenals greatest ? YES
Is he one of the greatest managers in world football? NO

The greatest of any era not only win the big prizes domesticity but then go on to win the biggest prize in Europe and then World Club Cup, and sadly Wenger has not done this.

Wenger is one of the greatest – by Keenos

Arsene Wenger is one of the greatest of all time.

When he came to England in October 1996, he transformed the English game in a way that changed coaching, fitness, training, scouting and diet methods forever. He led, the rest of England followed.

Yes, he might have now fallen behind others, but what he did in those first 10 years in English football has shaped how clubs now run now.

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7 thoughts on “Is Arsene Wenger one of the GREATEST ever managers?

  1. Martin Whittle

    I know many will class this as merely semantics but my opinion is that Arsene Wenger ‘was’ great and for a period ‘was’ one of the greatest managers around. That for me is no different than many of us retrospectively admiring the achievements of Herbert Chapman. Despite AW’s first decade of tenure at Arsenal I couldn’t count him in own my Top 10 of greatest managers.

    Reply
  2. Jim

    He was greatly helped by the defense he inherited when he first came to Arsenal…he brought in some excellent additions to the team, and along with that aforementioned defense..the team became great..unbeatable in fact in 2004…..but since then he has failed season after season to come anywhere close to rebuilding a solid defense..it would appear he doesn’t know how, and I can only wonder how well he would have done in 1996 if he’d inherited a team with a defense like the one we have now… I fear he would have struggled..
    So was he great? It’s all personal opinion..but I don’t think so..he was different to anything the top flight had previously seen and introduced a number of regimes that improved the way footballers eat, drink etc..In that respect he deserves a lot of praise..but great??? if he was, then sadly that’s something he certainly hasn’t been for many years now…

    Reply
    1. Jame

      Actually the back 5 of the invincibles were all Wenger purchases, so to put some of his earlier successes on that inherited back 5 is rubbish.

      Reply
  3. Jamie

    Why is there no mention whatsoever, of – in my opinion – one of his greatest achievements? I know it mentions about staying the the top 4, but what it neglects to say, is that for 9 or so years, Arsenal were managing to do that with a positive netspend, whilst the clubs around them were spending on average £60million a season.

    Wenger knew that these years would be extremely hard and during this period, he had offers from some of the biggest clubs in the world; yet he stayed with us and helped us achieve everything we needed to do during the dry period. Every season we had to sell our best players and spend very little, yet he still somehow managed to guide us to a CL spot for every single season.

    Reply
    1. Saminu Helma

      He had the opportunity to change everything this past season. The stadium paid off, over 20 players shipped out, no debts, a good season to build on except that it wasn’t. Cech was the only player he bought. What could be the excuse this time?

      Reply
  4. goonersx

    Vieira – was sold
    Cole – Club went back on an already agreed wage deal
    Pires – was refused a 2yr deal aged 30
    Henry – forced a move away
    Cesc – forced a move away
    Song – money too good to refuse
    Sagna – left on a free
    Ade – forced a move away
    RVP – Forced a move away
    Sol – lied to move away on a free

    vieira aside who were these players we HAD to sell ? This ‘had to sell star players’ is a complete fable

    Reply

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