After a first decade of revolutionary football in the English Premier League that saw Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger earn the sobriquet ‘Le Prof’, the Gunners have had to endure a change in fortunes characterized by a desert trophy cabinet and more than a little groaning.
While the second decade of Wenger’s Arsenal reign is hardly a patch on the first, it still came down in blistering fashion with 3-0 drubbing of London rivals Chelsea.
On a brilliant evening of Premier League football, Monsieur Wenger’s men turned on the style, much as they’ve done over the past few weeks, and eviscerated Chelsea to the delight of their longsuffering fans and their manager, of course.
Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott separated the sides early on before Mesut Ozil put them out of sight before the break in a merciless display of title credentials.
Wenger has had many fond memories in his 20 years at the club, but Saturday’s victory – his first in the EPL over Chelsea since 2011, was special to the Frenchman.
“There were times in the first half it was nearly perfect. We played with style, pace and movement, and that’s the style we want to play,” Wenger said.
“It’s one of those moments in your life as a manager when you think, ‘Today it is a great day’ – especially in the first half.
“We wanted to play this high pace and put them under pressure, play at the very high speed and it worked quite well.
“I felt in the last three weeks the team was on the way up and this was a test to see if it was real. We confirmed it — from the goalkeeper to the centre forward you cannot fault any performance.
“I’d say that was one of our best performances in recent years. The inconvenient facts were to get those recent defeats out of our system and we did that.”
Bad news for the Premier League title rivals is the fact that the 67-year-old Frenchman insists the fire inside burns as brightly as ever even after two decades at the helm.
“I’m hungrier than when I arrived because I know I haven’t another 20 years in front of me.
“The weight of keeping people happy and making people happier is heavier than when I arrived.”