I am writing this after hearing the bombshell news of Arsene Wenger stepping down as Arsenal manager at the end of the season. I do not know if it was his decision or if the club pushed him into it but either way, what is important is it is the best decision for both Arsene and Arsenal Football Club.
I have nailed my colours to the mast and whilst being respectful of Arsene have been very vocal in saying his time was up for a few years now. There is no doubt he split the fan base. I am relieved he is leaving, as I feared for where we were heading and I did not want him to tarnish his legacy any further. I am also very excited about the thought of a new manager taking over the reins.
However, let us remember what a wonderful manager Arsene Wenger has been for this grand old football club. He served us with distinction for many years before it all went downhill. He gave us some excellent players, some of the best it has been my pleasure to watch in over 50 years of watching The Arsenal. In addition, some of the most fantastic teams and played the game in an unforgettable breath-taking style.
He was at the helm and steered us through some choppy waters when the Stadium build was draining the club of money. It was quite remarkable that he kept us at the top table in Europe getting us into the Champions League for over 20 seasons on the spin.
I think he will be remembered for the Invincibles, the two Doubles and the record breaking seven FA Cups. Many Arsenal players owe him a debt of gratitude. Also, probably every foreign manager that has been given a job in this country has Arsene to thank, for it was his success that opened the floodgates. He changed the face of English football there is no doubt about that. His methods were innovative. He knew the French market intimately and used that knowledge to recruit some sensational players. Unfortunately where he was once ahead of the curve others have caught him up and passed him by.
I think he hung on too long but he was loyal to us when all the biggest clubs in the World came calling for his services. In the fullness of time, I think the club will rightly erect a statue of him he deserves it for all he has done for The Arsenal.
Thank you Arsene for some wonderful and unforgettable memories. My usual column is ‘Highbury Heroes’ ans this piece fits the them perfectly!!
I am sure come Sunday the Emirates will give him a fabulous reception and sing his name to the rafters.