The Frenchman inherited the legendary Arsenal back four of Lee Dixon, Steve Bould, Tony Adams and Nigel Winterburn which was assembled by Graham, and the principles that the Scot instilled provided the bedrock of Wenger's early successes at the club.
Arsenal's French manager Arsene Wenger (R) greets West Ham United's French defender Patrice Evra (L) on the touch line during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and West Ham United at the Emirates Stadium in London on April 22, 2018. "I am not resentful with the fans", Wenger said.
Wenger has enjoyed glowing tributes about his contribution to the Premier League since Friday's decision. So I want that to go on and be respected and give the image that I think is right. To combine the three is not always easy and I believe I leave a club that is in a very good position.
But Arsenal's leadership has sidestepped questions about whether the decision was because they didn't want Wenger, a three-time Premier League victor with Arsenal, to complete the final year of his contract. Laurent Koscielny is no longer the player he was and Nacho Monreal is another who is defensively suspect at full-back.
Speaking after Arsenal's 4-1 defeat of West Ham, Wenger added: "I'm happy when the fans are happy and I'm even ready to suffer to make them happy". "I just feel that if my personality is in the way of what I think our club is, for me that is more important than me".
But after numerous poorly attended home games and a damaging run of losses away from the Emirates in 2018, Wenger also said he felt Arsenal's fans in England held the club in lower esteem than their supporters around the world.
But he still has six games remaining - seven, if Arsenal can overcome Atletico Madrid and book a place in next month's Europa League final in Lyon - and Sunday needed to be about clearing the air rather than widening the rift. "He brought me here as a 17-year-old and I owe him a lot".
It proved to be an afternoon to sum up the latter years of Wenger's reign - questionable defending, overplaying in attack and some players in the starting line-up who could not lay a finger on his title-winning teams of old. "I don't need to die any more because I know what it's like..."