A decade of Wenger

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Victory Through Harmony

Nitesh Padhi

As our dear Gaffer prepares to receive the Manager of the Decade Award 2001-2011 this May, I thought we would have a close look at how Arsenal have fared under him during this period.

Season Played Games Won Games Drawn Games Lost Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Total Points Final Position
2000-2001 38 20 10 8 63 38 25 70 2
2001-2002 38 26 9 3 79 36 43 87 1
2002-2003 38 23 9 6 85 42 43 78 2
2003-2004 38 26 12 0 73 26 47 90 1
2004-2005 38 25 8 5 87 36 51 83 2
2005-2006 38 20 7 11 68 31 37 67 4
2006-2007 38 19 11 8 63 35 28 68 4
2007-2008 38 24 11 3 74 31 43 83 3
2008-2009 38 20 12 6 68 37 31 72 4
2009-2010 38 23 6 9 83 41 42 75 3
380 226 (59.47) 95 (25%) 59 (15.53%) 743 (1.95 goals scored per game) 353 (0.93 goals conceded per game) 390 773 (77.3 points per season) ——-

As you can see, Arsenal were always around the top of the pile in the first 5 seasons of the decade, alternating with Manchester United for bragging rights. Then, in the 2005-2006 season, we saw the first signs of Arsenal weakening. This was due to a number of factors. The Invincibles were nearing the end of their prime, the arrival of the ‘Special one’ (!) at Chelsea and the megalomaniacal bucks starting to flow, and of course the impending move to Ashburton Grove.

People will argue that these are just excuses, but they are pretty big excuses if so {although I leave that to the AAA clan}. The move to the Emirates cost a pretty large sum of 390 MILLION POUNDS. That would be a sum large enough to make the Oil Arabs at Manc C hesitate before splashing out! Now that that storm has been weathered, people are saying it was a masterstroke on Arsenal’s and indeed Wenger’s part, and other clubs are looking to emulate the same. During this part, due to there being limited funds to get players in, Arsene turned to his youth academy, promoting it vigorously. He also started on his mission to get players in young and reap the benefits when they grow older. A prime example of this is Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri. Fabregas, of course joined when 16 in 2003 and Samir joined the club in 2008. Both cost next to nothing, and both will be worth infinitely more now. But that’s not that we are selling.

But now, because this is an award for the best in the world, I thought of comparing the result with that of other teams. I decided to take only Premier League teams you really cant compare between two different leagues.

Team Games Won Drawn Lost Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
Man U 380 253 67 60 751 306 445 826
Chelsea 380 236 86 58 713 294 419 794
Arsenal 380 226 95 59 743 353 390 773
Liverpool 380 204 94 82 625 330 295 706
Tottenham 380 149 91 140 529 506 23 538
Man C 342* 117 84 141 438 452 -14 435

*Man C were relegated in the first season of the decade and spent the 2001-02 season in the championship.

Well, that was a shock. I knew Man U would be first but I never expected Chelsea to creep ahead of us in the table. Just goes to show that sometimes, just sometimes, you can buy your way to success.

Man U came first. Would kind of been embarrassing for them had they not done so. Of course they pay something like millions of pounds to the referees to buy them off. Where else did they get their 770 M debt from? Of course, their insane amounts paid for and to the players also helped.

How can I speak about insane amounts without mentioning Chelsea? The arrival of the Special One coupled with the Oligarch taking over the club sparked a period of absolutely mad spending. Meanwhile, Arsenal took a backseat, silently shifting their base to the Emirates. Arsenal’s total spending during the period 2004-08 was below 30 M. Compare this to Man U’s 100+M and Chelsea’s 300+.

See this and we wonder that Arsenal managed to remain competitive throughout. Of course, I am not accounting for the Misery brigade. They want Arsenal to win every trophy. Losing anything will prove that Arsene has lost it and needs to go. After all, he didn’t buy the world class player there was available. A few extra mil wouldn’t have hurt, would it? Well, leaving that aside, we must now concentrate on what Arsene did to deserve this award. Why not Ferguson? Why not Mourinho? They won everything there is to win. But these are all things that can be seen on the outside. None of them really was successful on the inner jobs. Mourinho, of course, acted as if his main aim was to get immediate success and then leave the club when the debt collectors came calling. Ferguson played his role in the massive debt piled up for the club. Supporters only seem to blame the Glazers, but the manager also plays a hugh role.

People need to have a high level of intellect to see what Arsene did during the past decade. I never expected Fifa officials to have any kind of intellect, so has someone been hacking the computers to tip a few extra votes in? If so, I take my hat off to them, or whatever I happen to be wearing whenever you read this.


Go easy on me, please. This is my first article and at 15, I have a whole life ahead of me, doing the thing I love, supporting the club I love. 😀


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22 Replies to “A decade of Wenger”

  1. I quote from your article “… Man U came first. Would kind of been embarrassing for them had they not done so. Of course they pay something like millions of pounds to the referees to buy them off.”

    Nice article but at 15, you should not make it a habit of sprouting unsubstantiated allegation on the referees.

  2. Well done Nitesh, a first class effort and very interesting to boot. May this be the first article of many. Given the tendency for young lads of 15 to be impatient and wanting everything now you show a remarkable grasp of the long term strategy adopted by our esteemed boss. Let us hope that the trophies follow, but if they don’t we are still blessed with seeing the game played as it is meant to be played, truly the beautiful game. Good luck to you Nitesh, and may you enjoy supporting the Arsenal for many years to come.

  3. Good article, certainly better than anything I would’ve written at that age. If I was to give you a word of advice, it’d be to stick to what you’re writing about. Mentioning United’s debt took away from your main argument, and indeed wasn’t relevant as none of their debt is related to player costs. By a couple of measures, they run a more sustainable club than us 😛

    Nice article though, I’m sure Tony will be delighted if you write in again.

  4. Great article, Nitesh.
    Obviously you’ve offended some manure supporters with this:
    “… Man U came first. Would kind of been embarrassing for them had they not done so. Of course they pay something like millions of pounds to the referees to buy them off.”

    Congratulations young man. You already know how the PL works.

  5. Good stuff, Nitesh. People seem to divide Wenger’s reign into two parts – pre and post 2004. Pre-2004, everything good. Post-2004, everything bad. That’s how some people make it seem. But as your chart shows there were seasons even before where we finished with 70 points and years when we wouldn’t win anything. I keep reading that “vieira and bergkamp wouldn’t have allowed that!” but the truth is that they too had bad days.

    And a bit off topic, what’s up with this Adam Kemp guy? Have any of you read his “articles?” I thought he was confined just to writing articles but I noticed him making “wenger…OUT!!!!” comments on another blog and calling everyone else an idiot because they supporter Wenger. He also claimed that he had “more rights” as a supporter because he was “born and bread” in london. I only have three letters for him: WTF?

    The reason I mention him is that he seems like a spam bot designed to go around websites and copy paste anti-wenger comments. I wonder if he’s ever posted here.

  6. Good article Nitesh
    And that at the age of 15 is remarkable.

    And one could point at a few things in this article but take this from an older writer: if I look back at some things I wrote in my early Untold days I now shake my head and think: was it really me that wrote this or was it Tony just putting my name above it. It was really me. And even now some people will shake their head sometimes when they read my articles.
    But if you want to write, just go for it and just like the youth players: the more you do it the better you will become.

    Is Tony forming an Untold youth acadamy to replace the older writers. 😉

  7. Good stuff, Nitesh. Impressed with your effort and endeavour. I am not sure if we have enough evidence that English referees are indeed involved in spot fixing in the premier league. However, there is ample proof to show that these referees are racist, xenophobic and intent on not ‘allowing’ Arsenal to win any trophies. Fortunately or unfortunately, Arsenal is not ‘English’ enough!

  8. I have to hugely admire AW for staying in England with Arsenal a less eductaed man would have walked years ago.
    The abuse we take from the press and the decisions against us by EPL Reffs would be enough to turn a saint into a sinner.
    To do the right thing and remain as posied and above them alll takes some doing.

  9. Great point from Walter there. It’s given me the idea to reread my oldest articles (bet I’m still as rubbish as I was then)!

  10. I read your blog, and am a massive Arsenal fan (20 years+), but Nasri didn’t cost next to nothing. If you’re putting stuff online, do your homework.

  11. Good to see that there are so many gooners from India!! 🙂 ARSENAL ZINDABAD!!!! 🙂

  12. For Catholics, it’s the Vatican. For Muslims it’s Mecca. For kids, it’s Disney World. For Beatles fans, it’s Abbey Road. Religions and cultures all have that one sacred location that everyone should see at least once.
    For Arsenal fans its the Emirates thanks to Wengers hard work 🙂
    There’s a million and one reasons Arsen deserves the credit he gets.

  13. Great article Nitesh and at 15 its really great to know that you are following one of the best clubs in thwe world playing beautiful football (among thugs) under the guidance of an intelligent manager. I imagaine sometimes where we would be if Wenger started to spend the likes of chelski or manure though eventually get us into debt. Surely it would have left us with no Wilshere, Walcott, Nasri, Vermi or Kos.
    Though many would have come in just for money i dont think its easily building team that could stay in top 4 spot for more than 5 years. And the bitter thing to accept is that no one in english football wants to appreciate what Wenger has done rather than to discriminate him just because he is not english and he doesn’t know what REAL english football is like (thuggery and bloodshed 😛 )

  14. Great article Nitesh, and keep it up. It really is refreshing to read an Arsenal blog where all of the writers and readers share a similar (realistic) view of our great club and our GREAT manager. (AW is the REAL speacial one).
    What he has done for us is truely remarkable and im so glad he is being recognised for his great service.
    Keep up the good work gents, helping to keep me sane.

  15. if his article can be published then mine should get a chance too…. :p

    Jokes aside, nice try dude.
    But to be fair, heading and body of the article don’t go along.
    Instead of highlighting wenger’s achievements it seemed as u focussed on mustcheat utd and charity fc bosses.

  16. That why I love this site. True supporters who undertands the bigger picture and long term strategy of AW. Without his footballing philosophy, foresight and indeed thickskin we as a club may well have been floundering at the bottom of the league with massive debts and no real future. Well done Niten..

  17. by the way, i was joking about my article. It’s not “untold” type, it’s more like “Told u so” type. :-p

  18. @Waleed

    Adam Kemp posts on Just Arsenal every time Arsenal lose with an anti-Wenger tirade Grovers would be proud of. He seems to be a very narrow minded individual with a big gob, more often than not, spewing tripe!

    Also, so I don’t completely break Tony’s rules about commetns relating to the article at hand… great article Nitesh. Wenger’s long term policy is genius. Must say I was also a little surpirsed about Chelsea pipping us too.

  19. @Walter: Untold youth academy??????:-D 😀
    Then, Great scouting and good young signing by Tony 😉
    Play him more often Tony starting with carling cup match reports.. hehe..Would be very Wengerist in approach.. Nice article.

  20. Well articulated Nitesh- a good post for a first timer.Hope to read more from you in these pages.
    At fifteen I would have written to Bertie Mee begging him to buy Malcom “SuperMac ” Macdonald ( he did );Duncan McKenzie (Nottingham Forrest to Leeds Utd) and Ted McDougal (B’mouth to Man Utd)-but I did not as mail used to take ages to reach.Just as well!

  21. Thanks a lot, people. Hehe, yeah, I could be one of the first graduates of Tony’s ‘Youth Academy’!!
    @Gun Salvo, i turn 16 next month. Perhaps that’s enough??

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