In case you hadn’t noticed, Arsène Wenger manages his 1,000th match for the club. A fair number of tributes have been printed, committed to film or the airwaves. It would be easy to pick the matches which won titles or cups, those you will find elsewhere. It hasn’t been easy to crop it down to five from those nine hundred odd either. I did wonder about pivotal matches and during his time, there have been some crucial games with adverse results driving positive outcomes but frankly today didn’t strike me as one to watch five defeats!
Amid the deluge of tributes of which some of good and some are well-intentioned, Jeremy Wilson has an excellent piece this morning on Peter Hill-Wood.
Blackburn Rovers, April 1998 at Ewood Park
The defeat at Christmas in the reverse fixture was the last Arsenal would suffer that season in the Premier League until after they had been crowned champions. The opening salvo in this match was possibly as good as any Wenger team has ever started a game.
Deportivo La Coruña, March 2000 at Highbury
With a Spanish wife, I tend to enjoy victories over teams from the Iberian peninsular a little more. This was one of the best.
Bayer Leverkusen, February 2002 at Highbury
One of the finest home performances in a European match during Wenger’s first thousand games.
Middlesbrough 5 – 3, August 2004 at Highbury
At 1 – 3 down, many sides would have lacked the “resilience” to salvage a point let alone take all three. The unbeaten run continued thanks to this and it is worth viewing just for the gradual puncturing of the commentators enthusiasm for the day.
Everton, May 2005 at Highbury
The final choice which was an excellent early birthday present