It feels as though the Arsene Wenger era is coming to an end, but in a few years’ time will us Arsenal fans be hankering for a return to the glory days of the Frenchman’s tenure?

Wenger transformed the Gunners’ fortunes when he succeeded Bruce Rioch 17 years ago but, where once he was seen as an innovator, a transfer guru, and finder of previously unknown bargains, he is now perceived as a dinosaur, a ditherer and Scrooge-like when it comes to the transfer market.

When he does finally go, will he have laid the foundations for a club that can go on to enjoy another golden period, becoming favourites in the football betting odds once more, or are the Gunners on the cusp of returning to the dark days of the barren mid-1970s or wilderness years of the early 1980s?

Despite the shortcomings of the last few years, Wenger has consistently guided the Gunners into the Champions League.

In contrast to what had gone before, five fourth-placed finishes and three third places in the last eight seasons has simply not been good enough for most Arsenal fans, but for at least 95 per cent of supporters of other teams, such a record is just a pipe dream.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Arsenal changed managers at frequent intervals in a vain attempt to revive the club, while at the same time Tottenham were enjoying unprecedented success.

In 1969/70 Arsenal only managed to finish 12th in the league yet 12 months later were Division One champions for a ninth time.

An eight-season period between 1971/72 and 1977/78 then followed when no silverware was secured, and another woeful seven-year spell from 1979/80 to 1985/86 was equally bereft of trophies.

The last eight years may have been frustrating, but have they really been as bad as those spells? When Wenger goes, who will follow him, and will they bear comparison with Herbert Chapman or Don Howe?