Arsene Wenger’s 22-year spell as Arsenal manager will come to an end in May, with the 68-year-old having made the shock announcement of his departure on Friday.
The Frenchman took over in 1996 and has won 10 major trophies, including last season’s FA Cup, which was clinched with a 2-1 win over Chelsea at Wembley.
Such a long spell in north London has produced numerous memorable occasions, both good and bad, but Wenger’s status as a club legend – despite a clear split in the current opinion of fans – is secure.
Here, we look at five of the best moments from Wenger’s reign.
Wenger became the first foreign manager to win the double in England when he led Arsenal to Premier League and FA Cup success in 1997- 98, his second season at the helm.
The title was a stunning triumph, with Arsenal overcoming a 13-point deficit to Manchester United in order to be crowned champions.
From Boxing Day, Arsenal won 15 and drew three in an 18-match span. The run culminated in the title being won with a memorable 4-0 home win over Everton, captain Tony Adams scoring the fourth goal.
Arsenal went on to seal the double with a 2-0 FA Cup final victory over Newcastle United, Marc Overmars and Nicolas Anelka scoring at Wembley.
SIGNING THIERRY HENRY
Arsenal suffered a massive blow when Anelka was granted his wish to join Real Madrid for a reported £23million in 1999.
Wenger had planned to sign Thierry Henry to pair with Anelka in attack but instead the arrival from Juventus would have to replace his compatriot, with his task seemingly made all the more daunting by the fact that he cost half the price (£11.5m).
The signing of Henry proved to be a Wenger masterstroke, however.
In eight seasons, the forward scored 174 Premier League goals and 226 in all competitions, passing Ian Wright to become the top scorer in the club’s history and earning himself a statue outside Emirates Stadium in the process.
Henry was sold to Barcelona in 2007, a move which more than recouped his initial transfer fee, before returning to the club for a loan spell in 2012, adding another two goals to his tally and cementing his place in Arsenal fans’ hearts.
OLD TRAFFORD WIN SEALS SECOND DOUBLE
Arsenal had gone three full seasons without a trophy before Wenger led them back to top of English football with his second double in 2001-02.
With Henry leading the league’s goalcoring charts, the Gunners only lost three Premier League matches all season en route to the title.
They ultimately took the crown from defending champions United by winning the penultimate game of the season at Old Trafford, a 1-0 victory given to them by Sylvain Wiltord’s famous second-half finish past Fabien Barthez.
Four days earlier, Arsenal had beaten rivals Chelsea in the FA Cup final in Cardiff, late goals from Ray Parlour and Freddie Ljungberg proving decisive.
Wenger orchestrated the most famous season in Arsenal’s history in 2003-04, as his ‘Invincibles’ team went through the whole Premier League season without defeat to win the title.
Arsenal won 26 games and drew 12, conceding just 26 goals in their 38 unbeaten matches.
The Gunners were the first top-flight team to achieve the feat since Preston North End had managed it 115 years prior and the first to do so in the 38-game era.
Henry scored 30 goals to be named PFA Player of the Year for the second straight year, while captain Patrick Vieira was also nominated for the accolade, with Ashley Cole, Sol Campbell, Lauren and Robert Pires all joining them in the Team of the Year for a campaign Arsenal fans will never forget.
FA CUP WIN ENDS NINE-YEAR TROPHY DROUGHT
Arsenal won the FA Cup in the year after their Invincibles season but went through nine years without silverware after that, piling intense pressure on Wenger.
That made victory in the same competition in 2014 a huge milestone for the manager.
Success was far from straightforward, though. Arsenal beat Tottenham, Coventry City, Liverpool and Everton to reach the semi-finals, where they were hot favourites for glory.
But they needed a penalty shoot-out to beat Championship side Wigan Athletic in the last four and then had to come from two goals down to eventually defeat Hull City in extra-time of a dramatic final that ended the club’s trophy drought.
Arsenal went on to make it back-to-back FA Cup triumphs by winning the 2015 competition, too. It was Wenger’s sixth winners’ medal, and his seventh in 2016-17 made him the most successful manager in the competition’s history.
FRIDAY 4 MAY
THURSDAY 3 MAY
WEDNESDAY 2 MAY
References: - https://us.soccerway.com/news/