Arsene Wenger has celebrated his 20-year-reign as Arsenal manager, but there is just one coveted trophy in which he is yet to land at the Emirates – the UEFA Champions League.
Winning the championship with the Gunners now looks like an headache for the former Nagoya Grampus eight coach, and the 66-year-old has continued to wonder if he will be listed in UEFA’s record books.
Recall that the London club had an opportunity to won the much cherished trophy in 2006, only for their hopes to be dashed by Barcelona in that final in Paris.
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Ten years now, Arsenal have not being able to make it to the final of the European prestigious competition, and many pundits have however berated the tactics of their coach who has managed the team for two decades.
Most Arsenal fans are still battling to come to terms on how the Gunners were defeated by Barcelona in 2006 considering the glorious form at which the London based club were at that time after dispatching Valencia in the Semi final.
The Gunners’ journey to the 2006 Champions League final had been based on bravery, artistry and youthful endeavour as Arsenal displayed those qualities again at the Stade de France, but Barcelona took the trophy to Spain.
Many Arsenal faithfuls are still of the opinion that the Jens Lehmann’s red card was disastrous as the Gunners had to play with 10 men for 72 minutes, but still took the lead eight minutes before the break when Sol Campbell nodded home a free kick supplied by Thierry Henry.
Prior to Jens Lehmann’s sending off, the German was in glorious form to the final as he kept ten clean sheets for the Gunners, and after he was sent out, Manuel Almunia came in, but unfortunately, he conceded two goals courtesy Samuel Eto’o and Belleti who won the match for the Catalan giants.
Arsenal squad for the 2006 final
Jens Lehmann, Sol Campbell, Emmanuel Eboue, Kolo Toure, Ashley Cole, Gilberto Silver, Cesc Fabregas, Alexander Hleb, pires, Frederick Ljungberg, Thierry Henry.
Substitutes: Manuel Almunia, Phillipe Senderos, Gael Clichy, Mathieu Flamini, Reyes, Bergkamp, Van Persie.
This team to some is regarded as the best team Arsenal have ever paraded under Arsene Wenger, and today, none of these players are still playing for the club regarded as the ‘pride of London’.
Arsene Wenger has been the manager of Arsenal since the year 1996 and during this time, the French man has won nine major trophies which made him become the most successful boss in the history of the club.
The dream of most the top clubs’ coaches in the World is to lift the UEFA Champions League, but the Frenchman is yet to do so.
After clocking 20 years as the manager of Arsenal, there have been several reports that Arsene Wenger might soon be on his way out of the Emirates with some even tipping him to become the next England coach.
This season, the Gunners have done well in the Champions League with two games played, and there is every tendency that the London side would make it to the knockout stage at least.
The big question is…..will Arsenal finally win the coveted UEFA Champions League?
Source : Naij.comNaij.com