While it’s been official for the last few weeks, now, nobody can deny it – Arsene Wenger is no longer the manager of Arsenal Football Club (or at least, he won’t be in a few days time in an official capacity). The Frenchman has spent 22 long years in North London with the Gunners, and he managed to conclude his tenure in a familiar fashion: by picking up three points.
It was a relatively uninspiring game in terms of what was happening on the pitch, but the main objective was always going to be picking up at least one point in order to break Arsenal’s horrendously poor run away from home in 2018. They managed to do so, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang being the man to send Wenger off into the sunset – which is ironic, given that Aubameyang could well be the guiding light for the club as we prepare to enter this new era.
The John Smith’s Stadium didn’t have much to shout about on the pitch, but the crowd was still electric from the first minute to the very last as the party atmosphere consumed the ground. After 22 minutes, pretty much every fan stood up and applauded Wenger to commemorate his many years in the game, and as well as that, two banners flew overhead in what was a nice touch.
As reported by BBC Sport, Wenger had the following to say about his departure.
“Of course it is very emotional after 1,235 games for the same club,” said the 68-year-old. “To enjoy it we had to win it. Winning football games is what makes me happy and the boys did it.
“Do I feel relief? Not really, I’m sad. At some stage it has to end. I wish everyone well, the fans have been great until the end and I wish the club well for the future. It will be hard to adjust but I will have to deal with that. I will remain an Arsenal fan above everything else.”
As emotional as the afternoon was, there needs to be a shift in focus as we look ahead to the summer and beyond. With the FIFA World Cup, the transfer window and a new manager on the horizon, you could argue that the future has never looked brighter at the Emirates.
Of course, time will tell, but for now, all we can say is this: thank you for the memories, Arsene. We wish you all the best.
Are you sad to see Arsene Wenger go?