Dear Mr. Wenger,
Since our last trophy win in 2004/5 you have had to endure a great deal of criticism from both the media and, sadly, many of our supporters. I say sadly because although everybody has the right to their own opinion my belief is that it’s not always an original thought that has created the supporter dissatisfaction but more one that is fuelled by the incessant and ongoing media obsession with demeaning The Arsenal.
Over my 66 years of support I’ve witnessed every manager and team since Tom Whittaker’s team of 1947-1956 and I was very fortunate to be around to watch his team win the League trophy in1947/48 which was my first season of supporting Arsenal. He followed that up by winning the FA Cup in 1949/50 and then another League trophy in 1952/53. It felt good to be an Arsenal supporter, in those days, after all winning 3 major trophies in 6 seasons was something to be proud of and gave us those all important bragging rights.
How could we possibly have known that it would take 16 seasons and 4 different managers before we would recapture that feeling? It was a very, very difficult time to be a supporter, but like true fans do – we just toughed it out and remained solid supporters of The Arsenal.
It was not until Bertie Mee arrived on the scene that we won our next trophy, the European fairs Cup in 1969/70. Then in 1970/71 we had, up until that time, the greatest season in our entire history by winning both the League title and the FA Cup for our first double, the joy of being an Arsenal supporter was almost overwhelming, and the memory of it all is imprinted in my sub conscious.
How could we possibly have known that in the next 16 seasons we would win only one further trophy, the FA Cup in 1978/79 under the management of Terry Neil?
Again it was a very rough time for us supporters but by this time our skin had been thickened by the many barren years that we had already endured.
George Graham arrived as manager in 1986/87 and he won the League Cup in his first season. George went on to win us 2 League Titles, the FA Cup, another League Cup and a Cup Winners Cup trophy. Once again our spirits were raised and Arsenal were the talk of the town – after all 6 trophies in 8 seasons was something to be proud of – even though we had the sound of “One Nil to The Arsenal” ringing in our ears. In 1994/95 it all came crashing down, we finished a lowly 12th in the league, which was our worst finish in 19 seasons. To make it even worse George was caught with his fingers in the biscuit barrel and his time at The Arsenal was over. During the 1995/6 season and the first 8 games of 1996/7 Stuart Houston and Bruce Rioch stood in as caretaker managers.
Frankly, Mr Wenger we were all surprised when you were named as our new Manager because many of us had never heard of you – but it didn’t take very long for you to stamp your impressive mark on our team. Incredibly, in your first full season as manager you achieved what had only been accomplished once in our history, you won the League and FA Cup double, the streets of Highbury, and Arsenal fans worldwide were overjoyed.
Since then you have won another double, a further EPL title plus 2 more FA Cups.
Oops I almost neglected to mention the pinnacle of your current successes at Arsenal, how could one possibly forget 2003/4 the year of the unbeatable “Invincilbles”?
Of course there are also our 16 consecutive seasons of Champions League football where we have been privileged to be able to watch Arsenal compete against the best teams in European football.
You envisaged and created a new training ground and training techniques, moved us from Highbury to Ashburton Grove and you have treated us to the joys of “Wengerball” played by some of the most accomplished super stars who have ever pulled on the famous red and white shirt.
Mr. Wenger I could go on and on and on about the accomplishments during your tenure at The Arsenal but suffice to say you will stand proud and tall alongside Herbert Chapman as Arsenal managers whose achievements are both legendary and historic in their very nature.
Mr. Wenger in closing I would like to express my personal regret at the attitudes of the few fans that are simply short sighted glory hunters and the sports reporter’s looking to impress their editors by increasing circulation. You see most of us are not blinded by looking at only your early achievements – we are able to look at your entire career at Arsenal and those of the managers that came before you in an overall perspective and we consider ourselves privileged to have you as our manager.
I sincerely hope that you remain as our manager for many years to come and that when you do decide to retire you grace us with your presence as a Director.