Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes critics are overly harsh about the end of his time in charge at the Emirates Stadium.
Wenger spent 22 years in charge of the Gunners, delivering them instant success when he took over in the late 90s, and going on to build some of their best ever sides around legendary figures like Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Patrick Vieira and numerous others.
However, the move from Highbury to the Emirates Stadium in 2006 made it harder for Arsenal to keep up with their rivals financially, and there was increasing pressure on Wenger for many years as the club became less competitive in the race for major trophies.
Still, with hindsight, it seems pretty clear that Arsenal fans didn’t really know how good they’d had it, with the team’s problems just getting worse since Wenger left, with both Unai Emery and Mikel Arteta struggling in the job.
The Frenchman can perhaps feel a little smug now as he insists people were harsh on his achievements in those final few years.
“I think people are quite harsh about the last years,” Wenger told the Telegraph.
“In 2016 we finished second in the league. Leicester won but other teams were behind Leicester as well, and Leicester only lost three games. In 2017 we did not qualify for the top four for the first time in 20 years but we got 75 points.
“People don’t realise. We won the (FA) cup against Chelsea who had just won the championship and had the chance of winning the double. And after, in 2018, we lost the League Cup final against (Manchester) City, we lost in the semi-final of the Europa League against Atletico Madrid but by just one goal.”
Despite the difficulties associated with moving to the new stadium, Wenger also insists he’s proud of the position he put the club in during his time in charge.
He added: “Arsenal will be in my heart forever but, yes, I focus on my next life now.
“Look, I gave the best years of my career to develop what I think is important – the stadium and pay it back and put the club in a position where it was capable of facing the future and had the potential to do well.
“At the end of the day, above all, we won and what I am most proud about is putting the club in that position.”