Arsene Wenger's longevity at Arsenal is what every top team around the world searches for in their managers. A truly selfless man, with his best intentions aimed toward the football club rather than himself. From 2004, when construction of the Emirates stadium began, to 2013, Arsene had a very limited transfer fund. Keeping Arsenal a top club in world football throughout this difficult period is possibly Wenger's most impressive achievement. Many would argue leading his team to an Invincible season would warrant that title. Arsenal remain the only team to go a full 38 game season without recording a single loss, and were rewarded with the only golden Premier League trophy to date. Both are rightly appreciated by Arsenal fans.
One major characteristic of Arsene Wenger is his stubbornness in directing his team's style of play over the years. Arsenal are famous for focusing on the technical side of the game, where they tend to have more of the ball in terms of possession and look to quickly combine with teammates through short passes. A manager with a taste for this kind of play is more attracted to players with great ball control and quick decision making, rather than bigger, more defensive minded players. Current players that exemplify these qualities are Santi Cazorla and Mesut Özil. These two midfielders are an absolute pleasure to watch when Arsenal are in possession, but it's a gamble to play these players in games where you might not have as much of the ball. Özil and Cazorla aren't going to have as much of a defensive contribution as say Arturo Vidal, but that's what Wenger does; he takes risks. This is definitely one of the reasons Arsenal has such a vast fan base, as this beautiful approach to the game is both exciting and nerve wracking.
Despite competing against the financial powerhouses of Manchester United, Chelsea, and Manchester City, Arsenal never dropped out of the top four and consistently competed in the UEFA Champions League knock out stages, hugely benefitting the club. Not only does competing in the Champions League increase the club's financial power, but it makes luring the world's best player's to Arsenal much easier for Wenger, as the best of the best want to play in the most desired club competition in the world. Arsenal have qualified for the Champions League for an incredible eighteen consecutive seasons, the most of any English team, coming closest to lifting the trophy in 2006, as they lost 2-1 to Barcelona in the final.
Arsenal fan's would be lying if they said they weren't scared of the year Arsene Wenger chooses to pass the reigns on to another man. It seems an impossible task to fill his shoes, and while Arsenal will no doubt continue to compete among Europe's most elite, there's bound to be a few seasons of decline in transition. Just take a look at how Manchester United are fairing in their post Sir Alex Ferguson era. Despite some fans angrily expressing their problems with Wenger, he has stuck by this club, refusing offers from top clubs such as Real Madrid, Paris Saint Germain, and the French National team. These fans vent their frustration over a lack of signings and blindly blame the man in the suit they see every week, as if he's in control of the finances of the club. Wenger definitely has his faults, as he can show a bit too much loyalty to the players he's raised through the youth system. When players such as Kieran Gibbs, Jack Wilshere, and Wojciech Szczesny are fit, they have failed to string together consistent performances, but still get game time and contracts. This can be a liability to Arsenal, as perhaps a new manager, would judge players strictly on their attitude and ability, rather than past experiences and sentiment.
Arsene Wenger deserves the right to decide when he will leave and hopefully the club will show the due respect when the day comes. He has with a doubt earned a statue of himself outside the Emirates stadium alongside Theirry Henry and Denis Bergkamp.