Sunday was a monumental day for English football. After 22 years of dedicated service at the helm, Arsene Wenger bid farewell as manager of Arsenal.
His lads certainly did him well on his last day in-charge, as the Gunners were able to secure their first away win of 2018 when they beat Huddersfield Town 1-0, courtesy of a goal from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The home fans at John Smith’s stadium also did their share to pay tribute to the Frenchman, hosting an ‘Au revoir, Arsene’ banner across the dugout and clapping in the 22nd minute. But it was the away fans that were jubilant during the game, and Wenger did them good.
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It is no secret that his relationship with club supporters has been immensely tense over the last few seasons. Lack of spending, poor performances, as well as their inability to attain any European football for next season has joined the list of cons that marked the fag end of his tenure.
‘Wenger Out’ was a usual sight in the past two years or so, but in this last game, as well as in the games since he announced his farewell, a special bond has been stuck between the fans and their beloved manager.
And so, Wenger rightly reciprocated the same when he walked to the traveling fan’s end and bowed before them.
A truly classy gesture by the manager, who has always been renowned for his gentlemanly demeanor.
He didn’t stop there either. After the full-time whistle, he headed out for the press-conference and then returned to the stadium to meet the remaining away fans. Bidding farewell to them one last time, he walked down the tunnel with ‘one Arsène Wenger’ ringing out behind him.
His stint saw Arsenal bag three Premier League titles, one of them being that of the immortal Invincibles. Seven FA Cup glories also accompanied the Gunners.
This truly marks the end of an era in the English game, as Wenger was the last of the managers who held strong at the helm of a football club for decades altogether. His class will surely be missed. Merci Wenger.