The final acts of Arsène Wenger’s Arsenal – a long read

A stroll through the final 12 years of Le Professeur’s time as “the boss”.

While riding the tsunami of success from the Invinsibles season in 03/04, and the six other trophies Wenger and Arsenal plundered since his appointment in 1996, they set out on a bigger adventure as the club announced a new stadium to stand ready in 2006. This is when the final acts of Arsène Wenger’s reign in north London began.

A time Wenger himself described in May 2017 as, “That was, for me, the biggest period of pressure between 2006 and 2014. If you told me today I’d do that again I would say ‘no thank you, I’ll leave that to someone else.’”

It is a tale of a new time, difficult choices, successes and failures, and a surprise ending.

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Another crazy transfer window shuts

Fans have followed their club’s respective transfer sagas with extreme attention and articulation all summer. Reporters turned into the cool, older kids you felt honoured to hang out with for 20 minutes after school. And clubs have just finished — some impressively, some not — a bloody tough exam that could determine which European competition they get into next season.

One can argue that Arsenal fans occupy the more extreme part of the spectrum. Evident on social media, which is used as an echo chamber telling the world of their every thought about the latest rumours. Euphoria and depression are hours apart. And on deadline day, it all accumulates into one sweeping emotion.

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The Arsenal youth’s impact this season

The League Cup tends to give a good indication of who will be the first teams’ B level players for the upcoming season. Who will live in the shadows of the first team, in the dreaded “limbo zone”, where they fight just to get a seat on the bench.

This is often where the team’s younger players operate. So, who are they, what can they expect from the 20/21 season, and should they stay, be loaned out or sold?

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How Arsenal’s attack evolved since Wenger

Besides obvious focal points such as the start of the new season and new, flourishing signings Willian and Gabriel, was the impressiveness of Arsenal’s attacking.

How the Gunners attack has changed massively through the club’s many tactical changes and philosophies in the last three years, and it looks like it has arrived at a place of modern sufficiency. Let’s take a look at Arsenal’s attacking evolution since Arsène Wenger, shall we?

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Analysis: Arsenal’s top prospects of the last 15 seasons

Us Arsenal fans have always prided ourselves on the culture of giving young players a stage to flourish. A scheme at the foundation of Wenger’s philosophy for the club and football in general, and something Emery has said to continue.

It colours the history of the club with great and unlikely stories of courage, trust and integrity.

Fabregas, van Persie, Ramsey and Bellerin are some of Arsenal’s most important players in the last decade or so, and their stories of overcoming the odds as young players at a top club is worth remembering.

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Guendouzi: A shining light in a pretty dark place

There haven’t been too many shining stars from the midfield down at Arsenal this season (except Torreira), but 19-year-old Matteo Guendouzi has sparkled beyond anyone’s expectations.

The French kid’s impressive performance away against Man City in Sunday’s 3-1 loss – and throughout the season – demonstrates just how brilliant he is and how excited we should be to see him develop in an Arsenal shirt.

Here’s a list of what to be grateful for:

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Are Özil’s days numbered? Should they be?

  • Continuous omission by “tactical” reason bad sign for Özil’s future
  • A mis-fit to Emery’s tactics
  • Sacrifice the queen

How valuable is Mesut Özil to Arsenal – to Unai Emery – really?

Özil’s place on the fringes of the Arsenal starting lineup is evident in his relocation to the bench in this weekend’s loss against Man United in the FA Cup, last weekend’s important win against Chelsea and his complete omission from the squad against West Ham the week before that. It exemplifies Emery’s ruthlessness and pragmatism, and the tactical mis-fit of Arsenal’s brightest star.

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Mislintat’s exit a major blow for Arsenal – but something stinks…

  • Sven’s exit leaves Arsenal vulnerable
  • Similar replacement desperately needed
  • Something stinks…
  • From Arsenal 2.0 to Arsenal 1.5

Fourteen months after Sven Mislintat joined Arsenal after a nasty breakup with Dortmund, “Diamond Eye” moves on, again, after a reported breakdown. This time it’s said he was overlooked for the position of technical director at the club, which he wanted and also marginalised his current position as head of recruitment.

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How Arsenal are untying their transfer knot

Earlier this week Unai Emery exposed just how close Arsenal are to their Financial Fair Play limits while considering new player signings.

In an honest but self-defaming comment on Arsenal’s transfer situation, Emery, amid speculation that Barcelona’s Denis Suarez and/or China-occupant Yannick Ferreira Carrasco could be arriving at Colney any day, said this about the January window:

“We cannot sign permanently. We can only loan players. (…) We can sign players later on.”

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