Twenty years. That is a long time. Especially in the current footballing atmosphere where managers are changed so often by clubs. ‘The Professor’ as he is called lovingly, Arsene Wenger has achieved almost everything there is in club football, except a Champions League.
From being an unknown entity when Arsenal got him onboard 20 years ago, Wenger has gone on to epitomise longevity in football management. A team that plays an attractive brand of football, a club with solid financial stability, that will be the Frenchman’s legacy when his time at the Emirates will come to an end.
He may not have won a Premier League title in 12 years, but qualifying for the Champions League for 19 successive seasons is no mean feat. The 2003-04 Invincibles team achieved something historic and are a true marker of the 66-year old’s managerial pedigree.
Wenger in his 20-year long tenure as the Gunners manager has made some great signings, club and football legends, like Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry to name a few. But for every Henry there has been a Nicklas Bendtner, for every Patrick Viera there has been an Emmanuel Frimpong.
With Wenger completing 20 years at the helm, here we compile a team (4-4-2 formation) of the worst signings made by the Frenchman:
Signed to provide competition for Jens Lehmann, Almunia impressed during his early days in the Gunners’ goal. He eventually displaced the mercurial German as first choice in 2007-08 and took the No.1 jersey the subsequent season, but his performances became highly inconsistent with time.
He could be brilliant one day, and utterly poor the next. And soon enough, he had become third choice behind Polish keepers Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski. He was finally released by the club in 2012.
In a period that showed promise, the Spaniard was not consistent enough and made some costly mistakes in his time at Arsenal.