Not every Arsenal fan was pleased to see Arsene Wenger sign a new two-year contract this summer.
Large sections of supporters were calling for the Frenchman’s head after a tumultuous beginning to 2017. The Gunners suffered a brutal 10-2 aggregate loss to Bayern Munich and racked up five losses in just eight league games.
Nevertheless, Wenger kept his job with Ivan Gazidis conceding ahead of this season’s opening weekend that he found no better alternative. The powers that be at the club still deem him the best man for the job.
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There can no denying, though, that the glory days of his first decade in the position are long gone. Gooners will remember the gutting nine-year spell without a trophy all too well.
The man himself has even admitted that the period between 2006 and 2015 was by far the toughest he has experienced at Arsenal, or any club for that matter.
After defeat in the 2006 Champions League final, the Invincibles squad swiftly dissolved and Wenger failed to sufficiently restore a title challenging side.
In many respects, Arsenal became a selling club. The likes of Robin van Persie, Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri were all conceded at the zenith of their Arsenal careers.
That being said, in a remarkably honest interview with the Mirror, Wenger has sought to explain the goings on of Arsenal’s lowest moments under his command.
He explained: “People do not take a step back to look at what has happened.
"For me, the environment changed between 2006 and 2015, because we were under financial restrictions (the construction of the Emirates), at a time when a lot of money was injected into English football.
“We had less money, we had to sell our best players, whilst other teams were strengthening… sometimes with our players. But the expectations were exactly the same.
"To be completely honest, I have never worked more than during this period, between 2006 and 2015. I had signed a five-year contract, because the banks required it whilst we were building a new stadium.
“We had absolutely no guarantees and I went to the end of my contract because I wanted to respect this challenge. But it was difficult. I am proud of what I have done.”
Justified pride, Arsene.
Few managers would have the tenacity to endure such a period of transition, never mind while keeping the club in the top four. All he has to do with his new contract, though, is prove that those days really are a thing of the past.
Do you think Arsenal were right to give Arsene Wenger a new contract? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
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