For all of Arsenal’s 2012 woes and shouts of ‘Wenger Out’ it is sometimes easy to forget just how incredible the team have been in 2013.
They finished last season with a tremendous run of form, beat Bayern Munich in the Allianz Arena and have now started the current campaign with a magnificent set of results in the Premier League - that sees them five points clear of Liverpool and Chelsea in the chasing pack.
And one man deserves all the credit - Arsene Wenger.
Through thick and thin he has stuck to his guns and been the model professional - laughing off criticism of the clubs lack of silverware and progress in the transfer market.
This summer he made a move for Mesut Ozil - the biggest transfer of his managerial career in both monetary and prestige fashion.
All in all 2013 has been a stunning year for Wenger. Overcoming the taunts of his own fans and constant media scrutiny and criticism to prove them wrong over the past 12 months - it is a truly remarkable story.
Not that the French are that impressed.
France Football’s annual French Coach of the Year award was handed out last night - and it went to Rudi Garcia.
The talented young gaffer at Serie A barnstormers AS Roma has had a very successful year himself. His start to the season with the unfancied but fashionable Italian capital club has taken everyone by surprise - including the man himself:
"Fortunately I was sitting when I learned the news ... I will not say I was happier with it than the first, but I was honestly moved by the surprise."
One area where he can claim to have defeated Wenger is in the production of Gervinho's talents. Wenger cast him aside like old leftovers this summer and Garcia has turned him into a wonderful looking bubble and squeak with the Ivorian in sensational form with the Giallorossi.
However, he only led Lille to a sixth place finish in Ligue 1 last term - so perhaps he is fortunate to receive the award.
But more surprisingly Wenger doesn’t even come second, or third.
Voted for by French football journalists it just begs one question.
What planet have they been living on in 2013?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald