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Arsene Wenger's seasons at Arsenal


Arsene Wenger takes charge at the Emirates for a 22nd season.

Arsene Wenger takes charge at the Emirates for a 22nd season.

Arsene Wenger takes charge at the Emirates for a 22nd season.

Arsene Wenger has extended his reign at Arsenal into a 22nd season.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a look back at the Gunners' campaigns under the guidance of the Frenchman.


Having been announced as Bruce Rioch's successor in late September, the former Monaco and Grampus Eight coach went on to help sign a young Patrick Vieira and Nicolas Anelka while guiding the team to third - their hopes of a title challenge ended by a poor run in February. Arsenal missed out on a place in the Champions League on goal difference.


After strengthening his team with Marc Overmars and Emmanuel Petit, Wenger guided Arsenal to their first title in seven years despite trailing Manchester United by 12 points at the end of February. The Gunners then beat Newcastle in the FA Cup final to record the north London club's first Double since 1971.


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Arsenal would be second best to Manchester United in this season, losing the title by a single point, and losing the FA Cup semi-final in extra-time to Sir Alex Ferguson's side courtesy of Ryan Giggs' famous goal.


Anelka was sold to Real Madrid, but the arrival of Thierry Henry from Juventus began a new era at Highbury. There were also major changes at the back, with Steve Bould retiring and Nigel Winterburn dropping down the pecking order - the end of the old guard. Their replacements were only good for the runners-up spot again.


Robert Pires and Sylvain Wiltord were among the summer arrivals, but Overmars and Petit left for Barcelona and without them Arsenal had to settle for second again, also losing the FA Cup final to Liverpool.


Sol Campbell arrived on a shock free transfer from local rivals Tottenham, and Wenger unearthed the little known Kolo Toure as Arsenal reclaimed the title and did the Double again, memorably beating United at Old Trafford to win the league before seeing off Chelsea in the FA Cup final.


With Tony Adams retired to be replaced by Pascal Cygan, Vieira was elevated to captain and Gilberto Silva arrived to strengthen the midfield. However, Arsenal could not defend their league crown as they finished second, consoling themselves with an FA Cup final victory over Southampton.


The 'Invincibles' season will forever stand out on Wenger's resume. Goalkeeper Jens Lehmann was the only significant arrival in a quiet summer, (discounting a little known youngster called Cesc Fabregas, initially bound for the academy) as Arsenal's funds were taken up by the new stadium.

But it worked a treat as the Gunners became the first team since Preston North End more than a century before to complete a campaign unbeaten. Wenger had splashed the cash in the winter, signing Jose Antonio Reyes, and at the end of the season he agreed a deal to sign Robin van Persie for £3million.


Arsenal's unbeaten run ended at 49 in the infamous ''Battle of the Buffet'' at Old Trafford, and it signalled another momentum swing as United regained the title. However, they did beat Ferguson's side on penalties in the FA Cup final, which would prove to be the last major trophy Wenger won for almost a decade.


Vieira's departure to Juventus preceded a rapid fall in Arsenal's league fortunes as they only managed fourth place, their worst finish under Wenger.

However, there seemed no reason to panic as they reached the final of the Champions League, where they were edged out 2-1 by Barcelona after the controversial dismissal of goalkeeper Lehmann.


A major end-of-season clearout saw the likes of Pires, Cygan, Campbell, Reyes and Ashley Cole transferred while Dennis Bergkamp retired, and without them Arsenal - celebrating a first season in their new 60,000-seater home in Ashburton Grove - again laboured to fourth, with little comfort to fall back on in the cup competitions.


The exodus continued a summer later with Henry leaving for Barcelona, while Freddie Ljungberg and Reyes also departed. Arsenal topped the table for much of the season regardless, but faded to finish third, while losing to rivals Tottenham in the semi-finals of the League Cup.


Wenger signed Samir Nasri and Mikael Silvestre in a bid to get back in the title frame, but Arsenal could do no better than fourth, while losing in both the FA Cup and Champions League semi-finals.


Although Fabregas had now emerged as a truly outstanding player, scoring 19 goals from midfield, Arsenal were still off the pace in the league, finishing third, while they lost to Barcelona in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.


Wenger spent big on Laurent Koscielny and Sebastien Squillaci to try and fix Arsenal's defence, but it was a now familiar story in the league as they came in fourth. They had faded badly at the end of the season, something many attributed to their stunning League Cup final loss to Birmingham, who scored an 89th-minute winner as the Gunners' trophy drought went on.


Big money deals for Gervinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Mikel Arteta did little to placate fans after the departure of Fabregas - and their fears were borne out by a 8-2 defeat to Manchester United. The season ended with another third-placed finish and cup campaigns that fizzled out early.


Another tough summer saw Van Persie join United and Alex Song move to Barcelona. Wenger's new-look side found themselves in a battle with rivals Tottenham for the final Champions League place. Fourth spot - secured only on the final day of the season - was deemed a success, but unrest grew over the following summer until the club-record £42.5million signing of Mesut Ozil signalled new ambitions heading into 2014.


Despite again failing to deliver a sustained title bid, eventually finishing an all-too-familiar fourth and also going out of the Champions League once more to Bayern Munich, not to mention Wenger losing his 1,000th match in charge 6-0 at Chelsea, the long wait for some silverware to put in the Emirates Stadium cabinet was ended by an energy-sapping extra-time FA Cup final win over Hull, having trailed 2-0 inside the opening eight minutes.

The following day, an estimated 250,000 Gunners fans turned out to watch an open-top bus parade through Islington - which many probably thought would never come.


Chile forward Alexis Sanchez arrived in a £30million summer move from Barcelona, while England forward Danny Welbeck followed from Manchester United on deadline day. However, old inconsistencies continued as Arsenal would finish third in the table and suffer a hugely disappointing Champions League exit at the hands of Wenger's former club Monaco.

The FA Cup, though, brought more success - and this time with far less hassle as Aston Villa were thumped 4-0 at Wembley before the Gunners' got back on their bus.


The free transfer of Chelsea veteran Petr Cech was supposed to prove the missing piece in Arsenal's title jigsaw. Key defeats, though, in crucial matches, notably 4-0 at Southampton on Boxing Day, while also failing to see off below-par Chelsea and Manchester United teams meant the Gunners were unable to eat into Leceister's 10-point lead - but took some solace from finishing above Spurs once again on the final day.

Another exit in Europe at the last-16 stage came against Barcelona, while hopes of an FA Cup treble were ended by an unexpected home defeat to Watford in the quarter-finals.


After a failed summer move for Leicester and England striker Jamie Vardy, Wenger completed late deals for defender Shkodran Mustafi and forward Lucas Perez to add to the earlier addition of midfielder Granit Xhaka.

An opening weekend defeat to Liverpool was followed by an unbeaten run that had Arsenal in the mix in the Premier League title race until February when back-to-back defeats to Watford and eventual winners Chelsea saw them drop away.

Again the last-16 stage of the Champions League would be as far as Arsenal went, with Bayern Munich prevailing once more and the Gunners eventually finished fifth in the Premier League, the first time they have finished outside the top four under the Frenchman but they rounded off the season in style, beating Chelsea to win the FA Cup.

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