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Arsene Wenger - the (new) Grand Old Man of the Premier League
Now that Sir Alex Ferguson has decided to finally hang up his boots, the onus of the English Premier League glory would fall on the shoulders of the man who is the second longest serving football manager in the country – Mr. Arsene Wenger. Sir Alex has overseen more than 20 glorious years at Old Trafford and during his reign his club was consistently the team to beat and emulate in the country. Few teams, like Wenger’s old “Invincibles” squad, have come close to challenging United’s domination day in and day out on the pitch.
The Premier League has been the cream of European football for a long time and the level of competitiveness that we see in it does not exist anywhere else in the continent. Granted, there are massive clubs like Bayern Munich and Barcelona which, on any given day might best the beasts of Premier League, but when observed on a League level, the EPL easily triumphs other leagues in terms of attractiveness, physicality, pace of play, viewership and many such factors. Infact, players often refer to it as the ultimate place to play and rarely deny offers of a transfer to top teams in the Premier League.
Fergie’s rampaging Red Devils were a major reason that EPL became what it is today – the center of global football attention. Their constant perch at the top of the league meant that other clubs had to frequently put forward their best resources forward to dismantle them.
Arsene Wenger, a shrewd philosopher of football and whose outlook towards the game is often discussed as professor-like, is undoubtedly the best exponent of the League now and with other top clubs in the league caught in a web of inconsistency, Wenger’s young and upcoming team could be the one to dictate the terms in the league in the future. Add a couple of marquee signings to the club over the summer and we could have a perfect blend of youth and experience which could consistently compete and make a serious run for the title. Wenger could also finally taste success more often now that his thwarter-in-chief will no longer be around.
With United’s future reign an uncertainty – we never know how they might respond to a complete transition after 26 long years – Arsene Wenger needs to bear the burden of taking the Premier League back to the top of Europe’s elite. His club could become the one against which success is measured. The Professor certainly has it in him to revisit his glory days of old of Henry and team, and only a sustained level of success and competitiveness by his club in the future years to come could make him be remembered in the same breath as Ferguson in the decades to come.
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