This week has been something of a joyous occasion for the media, as Arsene Wenger gets ready to celebrate his 20th birthday as Arsenal manager, and France Football have a big exposé on the matter.
Looking at his five most important and five worst games during his time in charge of the London club, the five players he narrowly missed out on, his five best quotes, as well as his five favourite expressions (“a little bit”), the French magazine also spoke to Rémi Garde, who played under Wenger when he first started.
Explaining how the team were very mature and welcoming towards this new manager, despite the ‘Arsène Who?’ mob in the English media, and how Wenger quickly changed opinions with his brand of football, the former Aston Villa manager also touched upon his mentor’s longevity in charge.
He said: “I hear he’s being criticised for how long he’s been around, that they’re saying he’s not spending enough money to help the club win. You can debate all you want, but it’s an unfair shortcut. The critics are coming from a minority.
“People can see it’s not easy to win a Champions League, that you can’t program it, that Manchester City, Liverpool and PSG are spending loads without managing it. The Premier League isn’t a sentimental league.
“If Wenger wasn’t doing the job, he would be told to go without a second thought. Today, he holds a very respected place in English football. And don’t get me started on his spot in the club’s history.”
As is common knowledge, fans are fickle. If things don’t go right, it’s easy to quickly blame the manager and be done with it.
There will come a time when Arsène Wenger steps down, or gets fired, but until then, he has a job to do, and let’s be honest, he’s not exactly terrible at it, either.