By 90Min
May 16, 2018

With Arsene Wenger set to leave Arsenal at the end of the season, the news has earned some mixed reaction from the footballing world.

Many have praised the Frenchman for all he has done not just for Arsenal but also for English football and the rise of the Premier League. 

Since his arrival in 1996, Wenger has led the Gunners to three league titles, seven FA Cups and seven Community Shields in what has been Arsenal's most successful period in their history. However this tells just half the story.

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Whilst many Arsenal fans are sad to see Wenger depart, many other fans are celebrating his departure as if they've won the Premier League. After years of protests urging Wenger to leave the club and after seasons of hostility around the Emirates, many fans have now got exactly what they were asking for.

Without a Premier League title since the 2003/04 season and without any European success, many believed Wenger was taking the club backwards and was being selfish by staying on as manager rather than listening to the fans' demands. 

It was a tenure of two halves for Wenger.

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So that begs the question, how much different really was the first half of Arsenal's time under Wenger to the second half in terms of actual points won.

Wenger averaged 77 points per season in his first 10 Premier League seasons, which of course included his three Premier League titles and went unbeaten in 2003/04. 

It may come to many people's surprise that with that average of an end season total of 77 points from Wenger's glory days, Arsenal would only have improved on their league position in four of their last 11 seasons.

In both the 2006/07 and 2012/13 seasons, Arsenal would've improved one place from fourth to third - and would've been just one point behind second place Manchester City in 2013. 

Last season, Arsenal would've climbed from fifth to fourth and would've qualified for the Champions League, whilst their biggest climb and best chance for winning another Premier League title would've come in 2010/11.

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Had they have won 77 points, they would've climbed from fourth to second and would trailed eventual champions Manchester United by just three points. However in every other season post 2006, Arsenal would've remained in the same place they finished with the 77 points.

While Wenger's reign as manager was split into two by the fans, his points per season remained surprisingly consistent for much of his entire spell as Gunners boss despite the failure to win another Premier League title after 2004.

With the Emirates Stadium debts to pay and the rise of Chelsea and Manchester City in the years immediately after the 'Invincibles', Wenger kept Arsenal on a relatively even keel. Yet it wasn't enough amid outside factors.

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