Don't let anyone tell you that Arsene Wenger wasn't one of the best characters in the Premier League during his 22 years at Arsenal.

By 90Min
April 20, 2018

It's the day we've all been waiting for. But now it's here, there's more than a tinge of sadness and a huge desire to look back and reflect on one of the greatest to ever manage a football club.

Arsene Wenger is stepping away from Arsenal, finally. After 22 years, three Premier League titles, an unbeaten league season, more FA Cups than anybody else in history and years of pent up frustration and anger from Gunners supporters, he's calling it quits. 

So much of what you'll read today will come in the form of defenses of Wenger's tenure and proud tributes to what he's achieved, but it's time to take a lighter-hearted look for - let's admit it, one of the best characters we've ever seen in the Premier League.

Here's nine of Arsene's best (alternative) moments from his time at Arsenal. 


That Time He Said "I Didn't See It"

Laurence Griffiths/GettyImages

Okay, it was more than once.

Premier League managers aren't great for biting their tongue when things don't go their way. 

Penalties not given, penalties incorrectly awarded, wrongful dismissals, cases of mistaken identity; they're all sure fire ways of making managers angry. But Arsene Wenger was always a master of avoiding trouble even after being wronged on the pitch.

Why? Four words - "I didn't see it". 

He's spouted it so many times down the years that it's one of the best (off the pitch, obviously) things he'll be remembered for. But he admitted in 2009, as we'd suspected all along, that it was a ploy to avoid trouble for himself and his players: "Sometimes I see it but I say that I didn't see it to protect the players and because I could not find any rational explanation for what they did."

Wenger absolutely must drop this in one more time before he departs the Emirates, just for old time's sake.


Getting Fighty With Alan Pardew

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After Marlon Harewood (or 'The Hare in the Wood' as beautifully profiled here) scored in the dying moments to secure a win for West Ham over Arsenal, Wenger got tetchy with Alan Pardew after he over-celebrated on the touchline.

Rightly so, Arsene. He's a bit of a berk, isn't he.


When Wenger Finally Ended Jose Mourinho

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If some fella spent the best part of a decade putting you down in public, what would you do? You'd at least want to push him over, wouldn't you? 

Jose Mourinho had it coming to him. You can't call someone a "voyeur" and a "specialist in failure" and go unpunished, but it certainly took enough time for The Weng to lose it. We had to wait until October 2014 for this gem.

Clearly sick of being chastised - and beaten, probably, since Mou had won their last encounter 6-0 - Wenger had finally had enough when Arsenal played Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. So much so that after seeing Gary Cahill nearly break Alexis Sanchez's leg, the Frenchman charged into Jose's technical area and gave him a shove the entire world had been waiting for. 

It was a watershed moment. Wenger had confirmed himself as the harder man, the real boy, The Champ, even while Chelsea obviously won the match 2-0. 

Hopefully they have a full on scrap for the ages when they meet at Old Trafford next Sunday.


Arsene Wenger vs Zips - Chapters I-CXXVI

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If there's one thing Arsene Wenger hates more than Jose Mourinho, it's zips. 

We've been treated down the years to so many wonderful moments of Arsene's battles against his clothing (many of which have been caught on camera) that it'll go down as one of his most heated rivalries from his time in England.

Here's the story, in all its glory.


This Picture of Arsene Wenger on the Touchline

The less I say about this one, the better, probably. But just take a few seconds to reflect on one of the greatest images in Premier League history.

...It's his finger but looks like, well ... !


Getting Sent Off at Old Trafford

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Iconic, endearing, hilarious. 

Arsene has been a treat for English football, and he provided one of the most memorable moments of his tenure at Old Trafford in 2009, as the Gunners went down 2-1 to Manchester United at Old Trafford.

It was the dying moments of the game, and Robin van Persie, ironically, had slotted in what Wenger thought was the equalizer, only to see it ruled out. Wenger's celebrations on the touchline turned sour, and he ended up booting a water bottle high into the air in what he claimed was frustration.

Mike Dean didn't like it, and banished Wenger to the stands. But Wenger took the unconventional route out of the technical area and ended up on top of the dugout, hands out in front of the United supporters, claiming he didn't know where to sit.


Smashing That Other Water Bottle

Arsene Wenger's record against Tottenham has been a massive point of pride. North London has been red for goodness knows how long, but there's now a serious danger that Spurs are taking the power back from their old rivals - Wenger's departure might just be what Arsenal need to reign supreme again.

One of the first big dents in Wenger's NLD armour came as Younes Kaboul headed home to earn victory for Spurs from 2-0 down, to win at Arsenal for the first time in 17 years. His reaction? Take a big gulp of water and proceed to smash the bottle off the floor in frustration. Notice a recurring theme here.

You can't underestimate what Wenger's done for the Gunners, though. Champions League qualification for two decades, a new stadium and general supremacy over the local rivals are among the plethora of achievements Arsenal fans will always remain thankful for.


Signing Sol Campbell From Tottenham for Free

Jamie McDonald/GettyImages

Imagine this. One of the greatest minds in world football joins forces with one of the greatest minds in world football for nothing, despite being captain of one of the greatest minds in world football's biggest rival clubs.

The two ones of the greatest minds in world football would go on to win two Premier League titles and go unbeaten for an entire season - sealing said title in a game against the former club of one of the greatest minds in world football.


Arsene Wenger On a Slide

Yes, I am absolutely going there.

Here's hoping that after Arsenal win the Europa League next month, Wenger can ride off into the sunset with the backing of an adoring fanbase. He'll then take some time to chill out, rest up and zoom down waterslides to his heart's content - all before coming back to drop truth bombs while covering the World Cup and winning the CL with PSG next year.

Here's to you, Arsene Wenger, you bloody genius.

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