Arsenal after Arsene Wenger

Can any incoming coach at Arsenal replicate what Arsene did in 2003-04 Premier League season?

Arsenal brought in Arsene Wenger as a head coach in September 1996. Arsene didn’t have much coaching experience. He faced a lot of opposition, many supporters of the club at that time asked “Arsène who?” Much was forgotten as Arsene won the Premier League and the FA Cup in his second managerial year. Wenger became the first foreign manager to win the double when his team beat Newcastle United in the 1998 FA Cup Final.

Arsene Wenger also won 2001–02, 2003–04 Premier League titles. The 2003-2004 Season was very special for Arsenal and its Gaffer.  Arsenal ended that season without a single defeat – the first team ever to do so in a 38-game league season.

Thierry Henry was instrumental in Arsenal’s exceptionally successful campaign; together with the likes of Dennis Bergkamp, Patrick Vieira, Freddie Ljungberg, and Robert Pires, Henry ensured that the Gunners became the first team in more than a century to go through the entire domestic league season unbeaten, claiming the league title in the process. Apart from being named for the second year running as the PFA Players’ Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year. With 39 goals scored in all competitions, the Frenchman led the league in goals scored and won the European Golden Boot.

Wenger won 36 individual honors for his managerial career at Arsenal including 3 Premier League Manager of the season, World Manager of the year 1998, and the Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award: 2019. The Premier League commissioned a unique gold trophy to commemorate Arsenal’s achievement of winning the 2003–04 league unbeaten. Wenger was given the trophy as a parting gift from the club after his last home game as manager on 6 May 2018.

Arsene spent around 22 years at the club as a manager and had won almost everything in English football. He was though not able to win a European trophy. Supporters got frustrated with Arsene as the club was constantly finishing at the fourth position in his last few managerial years. Fans wanted more and change was brought eventually.

On 23 May 2018, Emery was appointed head coach of Arsenal. Arsenal won 12 games in a row under Emery, their best run of form since 2007. Arsenal then extended their unbeaten run to 22 games. Arsenal finished the season in the fifth position, one place higher than the previous season, narrowly missing out on a Champions League spot. On 29 November 2019, following a series of poor results and a winless run of seven games, Emery was sacked by Arsenal.

Mikel Arteta, a former Arsenal player under Arsene was made the new head coach in December 2019. Arteta was brought back due to many reasons. Firstly, he was a former player so he knew the club members and its philosophy well. Secondly, he worked under Pep Guardiola as an assistant coach at Manchester City, which won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup, and two EFL Cups.

Arsenal has won 40 games out of the 78 played under Arteta. Arsenal is currently sitting in 9th place in the Premier League and is certainly in no position to qualify for the Champions League next season. There is no doubt that Wenger was the greatest coach Arsenal ever had and his leaving the club has created a hole that is still to be filled.

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