Arsene Wenger was the head coach of Arsenal for 3 separate decades. His reign lasted from 1996 to 2018. Winning 3 premierships and many other accolades with the north London club. Arsenal meant Wenger; Wenger meant Arsenal. An obsession of over 22 years should not be underestimated. He and Sir Alex Ferguson were the last of their kind.
Saying that, Let’s put Arsenal under the microscope and discuss their life after their forever left.
Now when a manager has been in charge for 22 years, it is not easy for the club to adapt after that. That is exactly what happened to Arsenal with Wenger. The adaption process has been hard on Arsenal, and as a result, they have suffered. But they are not alone. Another club in the red half of Manchester went through the same misery, 9 years ago when Alex Ferguson retired. A string of managers but none of them could quite create the magic, Ferguson spelled on Old Trafford.
So Arsene Wenger retires in 2018. Now Arsenal shortlists 2 candidates for Wenger’s replacement those are – their former player Mikel Arteta and the PSG manager Unai Emery.
Arsenal board loved the pitch Unai Emery gave them. His vision for the club and honest energy impressed them, and they decided to sign the Spanish manager on a 2-year basis.
Unai Emery lost the first two games in charge but won the third one. After this game, Arsenal won 11 games in a row the most for Arsenal since 2007. Arsenal extended their unbeaten run to 22 games which included the crowd-pleasing victory against Tottenham Hotspurs.
Although, Arsenal did lose their steam near the fag end of the season. Finishing 5th on the table and narrowly missing out on the champions league spot. Well, at least via the premier league route. Arenal still had hopes of Champions League Qualifications as they had made it to the Europe League finals. But as luck would have it they lost to their Rivals, Chelsea.
So, a Europe League final and nearly finishing in the top 4, Unai Emery delivered more than expected. Arsenal fans and board alike were all geared up for the next season. Signings like Nicolas Pépé, David Luiz from rivals Chelsea, and Kieran Tierney from Celtic and midfielder Dani Ceballos on loan from Real Madrid. Arsenal was looking exciting for the season.
But with a string of poor results and mediocrity, Arsenal sacked the former PSG man.
Emery was replaced by Freddie Ljungberg who acted as an interim manager for a period of one month before Arsenal decided to bring back Mikel Arteta to the club. This time as a manager.
Mikel with a huge task in his hands tried his best to salvage the season. Arsenal finished 8th on the table, but they did manage to win their favorite cup competition – the FA Cup.
Next season Arsenal won the Community shield but finished 8th on the table again.
Arteta who was the assistant coach to pep Guardiola at Manchester City must have had many things to learn. Arsenal fans would hope he can replicate the same at Arsenal in some capacity. With this season (21/22) already past its middle stage, Arteta is looking to seize the top 4 spot for Arsenal. Which they haven’t achieved in a very long time.
With a little bit of time and funds, Arsenal fans can hope that Mikel will bring the Euphoric Nostalgia of winning back to the Emirates.