Arsene Wenger has been in charge at Arsenal for just a little over 15 years now, and in that time he has delivered a style of play that his predecessors could only have dreamed of. Besides the way that Arsenal now play football it also has to be remembered that he has also won three Premier League titles and four FA Cups in his time at Arsenal. It may have been almost seven years since Arsenal's last trophy, but there can still be no better man to lead the club forward in my opinion.
In this article I will attempt to highlight the reasons why I think Arsenal need to stick with their manager, and allow him to build his next all-conquering team.
1: Style of Play
When Arsene Wenger took the reins at Arsenal in October 1996 the memory of the George Graham era was still fresh in the minds of Arsenal fans. Graham delivered trophies for Arsenal, but the style of play could best be described as "agricultural" at times. Arsenal concentrated on a strong defence, and putting the opposition under aerial pressure all too often.
Wenger arrived a year after Graham was sacked, and he quickly added some quality attacking players to the strong defence that was already in place. The defenders that remained at the club even learned to play the game a little, and the trophies soon followed.
Besides changing the style of play he also introduced forward thinking diets, and stopped the drinking culture that existed at the club. These moves helped to extend the careers of the magnificent defence he inherited, and they spread through English football very quickly. The vast majority of professional footballers are no longer eating all the wrong foods and drinking at every opportunity, and Wenger was the man who helped put an end to all of that.
Wenger is a man of honour and respect, and he would never see himself involved in the underhand dealing which cost Graham his job. He has brought a sense of decency and decorum to Arsenal that the club are famous for, and there are very few managers in world football capable of doing that.
2: Future Planning
Under Wenger Arsenal continue to produce young players of the highest quality, and those players will be the future of the club. Every Arsenal team from the youngest age plays the game in the same way, and it's of huge benefit when the players make their breakthrough. Some would argue that not enough young players have come through the ranks in Wenger's time at the club, but it takes a long time to change things at every single level.
The current Arsenal squad has Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs, Emmanuel Frimpong, Wojciech Szczesny, Francis Coquelin and more who look destined for future stardom. Besides those players Weger also has a knack of buying young players at a stage in their careers when they are about to burst on to the scene, and Arsenal benefit from it. I have no doubt that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be a real star of the future, and Arsenal will benefit from his skills.
3: Working Within A Budget
Much has been made of the effect the vast fortunes both Chelsea and Manchester City have spent on players has had on football in England. It's impossible for other clubs to compete with them in terms of fees paid and wages offered to players, but thankfully Wenger has managed to keep Arsenal competitive despite this. His ability to make huge profits on the sale of certain players has helped, as has his ability to buy players at reasonable prices.
The club have a strict wage structure, and Wenger has to work within that when he is planning any purchases. There is a train of thought that spending huge sums of money would help Arsenal to stay ahead of other clubs, but both Liverpool and Spurs have done so with little reward in recent years. Liverpool haven't won a league title in over 20 years, and despite their current league position Spurs last won the league in black and white.
These are very uncertain economic times for everybody, and Arsenal's ability to stay in profit can only be a good thing for the club. The transfer kitty may be feeling a little unused at the moment, but I'm sure when the right players are available Wenger will be prepared to delve into the market.
4: Ability to Attract Star Players
There is no doubt that Wenger is a very well respected manager throughout the football world. Over the 15 years of his reign Arsenal fans have been lucky enough to see some of the best players in the world grace their colours. The style and ability of those players has been a beauty to behold at times, as the club broke records and won trophies.
From the very start Patrick Vieira arrived, and others such as Marc Overmars, Thierry Henry, Robert Pires and Cesc Fabregas followed. There are more of course, and those players are just a sample of the players who have often been on view. With Wenger in charge there is no reason why the stars won't continue to arrive, or even some of the homegrown players won't turn into stars.
Robin van Persie has always been a talented player, and he is finally getting a chance to show exactly what he can do on a prolonged basis. Oxlade-Chamberlain and Wilshere look to have the makings of true superstars of the future too, and Wenger is the right man to nurture their talents.
5: Arsene Wenger Is Arsenal
The most important thing in Wenger's life is Arsenal football club, and he is totally committed to bringing future glory to the club that he loves so much. It hurts him just as much as the fans when Arsenal lose, and he never takes a defeat well. Some people see that as bad sportsmanship on his part, but how can he react well to something which hurts him.
He is involved in virtually every single aspect of the running of the club, and his desire and commitment have to be admired. It was through his foresight that Arsenal moved to their magnificent new stadium, and he always has the club's best long-term interest at heart. The new stadium may have been expensive, but in the long-term it will help to keep Arsenal at the top in both English and world club football.
It's almost impossible to imagine Arsenal without Wenger, and when the day comes when he eventually decides to retire I'm sure there will be tears shed by him and many Arsenal fans too. I hope that day isn't for many years to come yet, as I feel he still has an awful to offer to Arsenal and football in general.
That's it for today.
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