It came as an unexpected shock to the Premier League – and the footballing world – when Arsene Wenger announced his decision to leave Arsenal at the end of the 2017-18 season. Much of the Gunners’ successes came during Le Professeur‘s two-decade reign at the helm of the club’s affairs. The brilliant tactician and manager built his players into legendary stars.
"It will be hard to adjust but I will have to deal with that. I will remain an Arsenal fan above everything else."— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) May 13, 2018
Both sets of fans gave Arsene Wenger a standing ovation as he brought the curtain down on his Arsenal reign.
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It comes as no surprise that every member on this list of Arsenal’s all-time Premier League XI has played under the Frenchman. Whether you’re an Arsenal fan or not, it’s hard not to give Arsene Wenger his laurels for an astute scouting eye. He also had a tremendous penchant for youth recruitment and shrewdness in the transfer window.
With Wenger in control, the North London side went from strength to strength, enthralling both fans and opponents alike with their vibrant attacking appeal. Granted, the Frenchman found it challenging to replicate those successes in later years, but his tactical approach and style of play remained central to the evolution of English football.
🗓 On this day 23 years ago:— Football Super Tips (@FootySuperTips) October 1, 2019
Arsene Wenger joins Arsenal.
Is he one of the greatest Premier League managers of all time?
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Let’s take a look at eleven of the very best footballers who have played under Arsene Wenger’s stewardship, making up Arsenal’s all-time Premier League XI.
GK: David Seaman
Known for more than his trademark ponytail, David Seaman is inarguably the best goalkeeper Arsenal have ever had. While Jens Lehmann might come in second place, it is the British goalie who takes pole position on this list.
Arriving at Highbury from QPR in 1990, the star goalkeeper went on to win two Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three Community Shields, one League Cup, and a European Cup Winners’ Cup. Consistent with the first team throughout his 13-year stint with the Gunners, Seaman made over 400 Premier League appearances for Arsenal. Very few goalkeepers can boast of such an illustrious career.
His mustache and ponytail marked his figure on the pitch, but it was his goalkeeping qualities that stood him apart from the other goalkeepers in his era. His most notable save came at the end of his career in an FA Cup semi-final against Sheffield United. While Seaman did make a couple of drastic mistakes, he was generally regarded as a highly reliable man with a commanding presence between the sticks.
Starting his distinguished career in Spain, the former Mallorca star made the switch to English football at the turn of the century. A strong attacking force in the right-back position, Lauren would go on to make the first-team after Lee Dixon’s exit from Arsenal.
An integral part of Wenger’s title-winning side, Lauren picked up two FA Cups and three Premier League trophies during his six-year stint at the club. He was also an indispensable member of The Invincibles that went undefeated in the 2003-04 season.
After struggling with a knee injury in 2006, Lauren found his spot at Arsenal overtaken by Emmanuel Eboue and Justin Hoyte. Resultantly, the Cameroonian decided to leave for Portsmouth. However, he is still regarded as one of the Arsenal greats, and he remains a notable legend at the Emirates Stadium today.