Despite all the trophies that Arsenal have won under his tenure, it is the Financial Fair Play (FFP) victory that may well be Arsene Wenger’s lasting legacy.
By levelling the Premier League playing field, the frugal Frenchman paved the way for Leicester City’s historic title win, taking the Premier League from ‘The Invincibles’ to ‘The Incredibles.’
Arsenal themselves need just one more point from their final match against already relegated Aston Villa to secure a top-four place in the Premier League and guarantee a 20th consecutive year in the Champions league.
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Consecutive FA Cup wins in the previous two years seemed to have reawakened Wenger’s desire to win trophies but that proved to be a false dawn.
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No team other than the famous four, except Blackburn Rovers in 1995, had ever won the Premier League, so it is a severe disappointment for Arsenal fans and the fact that the manager is reluctant to acknowledge that pain, is merely hiding the truth.
Making the case in 2005 that excessive and reckless financial investment was tantamount to ‘financial doping’ eventually brought about the introduction of the FFP regulations. This in turn
brought the big spenders back down to earth and allowed frugal and well-managed clubs to prosper.
The fact that Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur were eventually more frugal and better managed than Arsenal is a bitter pill for Wenger to swallow.
After years and years of a vice-like grip on the Emirates purse strings, the 66-year-old splashed the cash in recent years with £42.4 million on Mesut Ozil and £35 million on Alexis Sanchez, but it was too little and too late.
Speaking in 2012, the Frenchman said: “My legacy will be our style of play. A way to see football. A way to see the development of the game. And, overall, a happy attitude towards the game. I believe the club has grown since I arrived.”
Leicester and Spurs may have taught ‘The Professor’ a lesson that he will never forget, but his place in Premier League history is secure.
What is a bigger Premier League achievement? Arsenal's 'Invincibles' or Leicester City's 'Incredibles'? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!
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