A Tribute to Arsene Wenger – Epitome of Longevity, Loyalty, Class
The only inevitable thing in life, they say, is change.
Unless you’re living under a rock with no access to the internet, you must have finally heard the breaking news – Arsenal’s longest serving manager, Arsene Wenger, has announced his resignation,
“After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season. I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years.
“I managed the club with full commitment and integrity. I want to thank the staff, the players, the Directors and the fans who make this club so special.”
“I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high. “To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club.
“My love and support for ever.”
1,228 games, 704 wins, 279 draws and 245 losses – these numbers will change as the season progresses with the Gunners having only seven games left in the campaign – or potentially eight games, which is dependent on the two legged result against Atletico Madrid. This also means that the Europa League, Arsenal’s first trophy in Europe for a long while, could potentially be Arsene Wenger’s last piece of silverware with the club, after the three Premier League titles, seven FA Cups and seven Community Shields he won for us.
It has been one hell of a ride with Wenger, from being an unknown manager following his move from Nagoya Grampus Eight in Japan to being one of, if not, the most powerful managers in world football. We know how he revolutionized the English game and came up with innovations that made Arsenal a dominant force in the English Premier League, locking horns with Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United for supremacy. The battles were so intense and the rest of England watched as Arsenal and Manchester United battled every season for the league’s biggest prize.
Then there was the football – oh Lord, the mesmerizing and orgasmic style of play that could only be matched by the likes of Barcelona. Superstars rose to prominence and made themselves counted in the world stage, with the club’s finest ambassador, Thierry Henry, earning himself a place in two FIFA World Player of the Year Silver Awards (03, 04), one Ballon D’Or runner up award (03) and one Ballon D’Or bronze award (06), three EPL Footballer of the Year Awards. Then there were the consistent golden boot awards across several competitions and it all happened under Arsene Wenger’s guidance and tutelage.
The transitioning from Highbury to the Emirates wasn’t easy but it needed the right man to stir the ship and Wenger was there to make it work. Yes, there were challenges associated with that move – debts to pay, players sold without proper replacements and the whole nine yards, but we still tried to compete, even though we fell short on several occasions and none hurts more than the 2006 Champions League final but nine years of a trophy drought changed to sheer elation when the Gunners won the FA Cup in 2014. The trophy was retained in 2015 and the Gunners made history when they won the tournament last season, making Arsene Wenger the most successful manager in the competition.
They say if you love someone, sometimes you have to let them go. Arsene is a man of honor that stayed with the club against all odds and remained loyal to his contracts. You can tell that Arsenal was a big part of his life and he gave the best of his abilities to the team for 22 years. You can’t fault that kind of commitment from an individual to his job.
In the end, all we will have are very fond memories of what Wenger did for us in his time with the club and at this point we can only wish our appreciation for his endless years of service to the very club we call our own. The onus will be on the players to end the season on a high and I pray they rally themselves up to beat Atletico Madrid over two legs as well as the winner of the RB Salzburg vs Marseille match to give the boss the closing ovation he wholeheartedly deserves. Returning us back to Champions League will be a massive way to end what has been a tumultuous campaign for Arsene Wenger and his team.
Here’s to Arsene Wenger – an epitome of longevity, loyalty and class.
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