The Arsenal manager will always be known as the person who revolutionized Premier League football with his holistic approach to the game, and as the man capable of plucking players from relative obscurity and turning them into global superstars.
But 17 years is a long time to be manager of a football club, especially after 8 trophyless years. But Arsenal fans, more or less, are prepared to give Wenger the benefit of the doubt for one more season - they appreciate what has been achieved on and off the pitch during his time at the club, and they remain unsure whether a management change will result in anyone else better coming in.
Wenger's contract expires next year, and although Arsenal have indicated that another deal is available, it's far from certain that the Frenchman will agree to sign-up for another period. Much, of course, depends on the success (or lack of it) Arsenal has on the field this coming season. Wenger will not want to ink a new deal if the fans are on his back if silverware remains elusive again next term.
The pressure is on, of course, in other ways too. If Manchesters City and United and Chelsea, all with new managers, have successful seasons, and Arsenal don't, this will only serve to demonstrate further that Wenger is yesterday's man (whatever the Arsenal board may care to think).
The fact that the top three are going through management change, however, could ultimately play to Arsenal's advantage. Whatever he says, Wenger must be hurting. He is a proud man, and will not like the fact that his professionalism and competence have been questioned within the game. He will be fired up this season perhaps like never before, will be keen to spend well (yes, this season I think the club will push the boat out), and will be determined to prove his critics wrong.
For both Arsenal and Wenger, though, it's important that the Professor gets his mojo working!
image: © dyobmit