And changed the way the club was perceived forever.
From "Arsene Who" to "In Wenger we Trust" to "In Wenger we Rust" - things have come full circle for the Frenchman.
Even though his personal fortunes have been a rollercoaster that started from the troughs of anonymity in 1996, crested with the "Invincibles" in 2004 and have been on a downward trajectory since, he has ensured Arsenal will remain amongst England's elite clubs for a long time to come.
In the wake of the Gunners' shambolic 4-3 reversal at Blackburn, ESPNSTAR.com put up a poll asking if Wenger should be replaced. The answer was resounding. Nearly 79 percent, or 16,498 of the 21, 179 who voted, wanted him sacked. Six seasons without a trophy, the departure of talismanic players and repeated defensive howlers have brought frustrations to a boil - understandably so.
Yet, this sense of self-entitlement, this feeling that Arsenal must be challenging for trophies every single year and failure won't be brooked, shows how successful Wenger has been in placing Arsenal amongst the pantheon of great English clubs.
In 50 years before the Strasbourg native took over the reins, Arsenal had won England's First Division three times. Wenger delivered the same success in eight years.
In 50 years before Wenger took over, Arsenal had won the FA Cup three times. Wenger delivered four in nine years.
In 50 years before Wenger took over, Arsenal had never reached the final of Europe's most elite competition. Wenger took his side to the final hurdle (and almost beyond it) in his tenth year.
Success breeds immense expectations, especially in the frenzied world of the Premier League. The 61-year-old now is a victim of his own peerless triumphs.
But no one will be more devastated than the Arsenal manager himself over the failure of his youngster to take the step up from pretenders to contenders and then to rulers; for to read about Wenger is to read about a man utterly obsessed and utterly besotted by football. Often, it seems like his fanaticism for the game can only be compared to a zealot's craze for religion.
In a truly mesmerising interview with the Daily Mail two years ago, when asked if football was all he thought about, Wenger replied: "Yes. When you are 30 years in this job you have to be, somewhere, crazy, because you cannot say it has not had a psychological impact. You live it, you think it, it is impossible to escape.
"When you are manager of Arsenal, if you lose a game you drive home and you feel completely sick. Then you think, as well, of all the families at home whose weekend is dead because of it. So you feel that weight, that responsibility, too. Sometimes it is good to ignore it, and to become a bit selfish, though, because if you think about that too much you can become crazy."
He's certainly not crazy. At least not in a bad way, despite the wild gesticulations on the sidelines and the fracas with referees that have become increasingly frequent in recent times. Amidst the furore over Arsenal's dipping fortunes, it is easy to forget the impact the canny professor has had - both on his club and on the Premiership in general.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, then manager George Graham took the Gunners to two English League titles. But matches from those seasons make for stunning viewing. And not in a good way.
"With George everything was predicated on winning," remarked Nick Hornby - the author of Fever Pitch, a book about the life of an Arsenal fan in the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s. "If they weren't winning anything, there was absolutely nothing to watch. It was so dismal watching that team 20 times a season. They were awful."
There may be a litany of charges leveled against Wenger, but creating a team that is "awful" to watch would be pretty far down the list. And that is another insight into the Wenger philosophy.
In the same interview with the Daily Mail, he revealed: "I believe the target of anything in life should be to do it so well that it becomes an art. What makes daily life interesting is that we try to transform it to something that is close to art. And football is like that. When I watch Barcelona, it is art."
In a world where winning ugly has become part of the football lexicon, especially in England, Wenger has stuck to his guns. Even the most hardened rival fans would agree that Arsenal in full flow, despite their recent travails, are capable of inspiring poets, much like Roger Federer in his pomp. Regardless of when and in what fashion he leaves the Emirates, this will be one of the most important pillars of Wenger's legacy.
A legacy typified by fluent one-touch football, the emphasis on young talent and a solid financial foundation - despite mammoth investment in a new stadium. Many may scoff at the latter, but cash problems have seen storied clubs disappear into history's vortex. Arsenal are not even close to being in danger of suffering the same fate, thanks to Wenger.
But his influence extends far beyond the confines of the Emirates. Former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier, a close friend of Wenger told the Independent: "He opened the door not only for the French but for lots of managers, his success probably gave ideas to others. The same way Cantona opened the door for French players, the same way he opened the door for French coaches."
Houllier's comments show how the Arsenal coach managed to break through the insular mentality of British football in the 1990s - paving the way for many after him. Rafael Benitez, another foreigner who enjoyed success on English shores, reinforced that notion in 2006.
"He is a good manager who has created good teams playing good football and he has won trophies for 10 years here in England, which is not easy. As one of the first foreign managers in the Premiership maybe it was difficult for him at first, but he has given the rest of us more possibilities," said the Spaniard.
In football terms, the Premier League is a far richer place thanks to the path-breaking ways of the intellectual Frenchman.
Today, Wenger is in the most turbulent period of his tenure at Arsenal. The star that shone so brightly on him in his first decade at the helm has dimmed and, for the first time, his future at the club is not 100 percent certain. He has been accused of being stubborn, impractical and miserly. There are even fears that his financial policies might turn Arsenal into a feeder club.
Some accusations are justified, some the hysteric ramblings of a rabid media and frothing fans.
As Arsenal continue to make their way through the season - there will be more days when Wenger will be castigated, derided and mocked. That's just the world we inhabit. For one day though, the knives should be put down and a glass raised to toast the contributions that this truly unique individual has made to football.
He has earned it.
"I watch football" [On what he does in his spare time]
"A football team is like a beautiful woman. When you do not tell her, she forgets she is beautiful"
"When you represent a club, it's about values and qualities, not about passports"
"Everyone thinks they have the prettiest wife at home." [Responding to Sir Alex Ferguson's claim in 2002 that Manchester United have the best team in England despite Arsenal winning the trophy that season]
"Gerard [Houllier] is an open-minded and passionate man. I am the opposite: stubborn and stupid. But sometimes stupid behaviour makes you win"
"We do not buy superstars. We make them."
"Nobody has enough talent to live on talent alone. Even when you have talent, a life without work goes nowhere."
"You weren't world class when Arsenal signed you" [Responding to Patrick Vieira's accusation in 2004 that Arsenal had failed to sign any world class players]
"I did not see the incident."
People on Wenger
"The fella's a genius" Steve Bruce
"He gives youth a chance and plays entertaining football. He's what every manager should aspire to be: calm and thoughtful." Iain Dowie
"I remember meeting up with the Arsenal players at England matches and they all raved about him. No one had a bad word to say about him or his methods. It is a pleasure to have him in England and hopefully he will stay for the next 10 years." Stuart Pearce, in 2006
"He has done a brilliant job at Arsenal. He clearly lives for the game and all credit to him." Roy Keane, in 2006
"Arsene's our man." Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke, in 2011.
"The boss is a great man, he can deal with anything thrown at him," Theo Walcott, in 2011.
Arsenal under Wenger
Premier League Winners: 1997-98, 2001-02, 2003-04
FA Cup Winners: 1997-98, 2001-02, 2002-03, 2004-05
FA Community Shield Winners: 1998, 1999, 2002, 2004
Champions League Runners-Up: 2005-06