Arsene Wenger picked out a nine-year period of relatively little success on the pitch when asked for his Arsenal highlight at his final pre-match news conference on Thursday.
Wenger will end his 22-year reign as Arsenal boss following Sunday’s season-ending clash with Huddersfield Town, bringing the curtain down on a stint that yielded three Premier League titles and a record seven FA Cups.
After a first nine years flush with silverware, the club endured a difficult period following their move from Highbury to Emirates Stadium in 2006, and had to wait until 2014 for their next trophy.
But it is keeping Arsenal competitive during this period that Wenger considers his greatest achievement.
“Maybe my first title here because I came completely unknown and I could win in my first full year in charge the championship,” Wenger told a media conference.
“But I would say personally, from 2006 to 2015 was certainly the period where I needed to be the strongest and did the best job.
“Because I accepted to commit for five years when you decide to build the stadium to work with restricted resources and keep the club in a position where we can pay our debts back.
“I personally think I did my best job during that period. Not the most glamorous, maybe, but the most difficult.”
Asked if there was one result he would change, Wenger – whose side were beaten 3-1 by Leicester City on Wednesday – selected his side’s Europa League semi-final defeat at the hands of Atletico Madrid last week.
“It’s always the last one – not Leicester because there was nothing at stake, but Atletico Madrid,” he added.
“Always the last pain is the biggest one.
“The Champions League final [defeat to Barcelona] was 2006, 12 years ago. But my last pain, the last big defeat, is that.”