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Arsenal and Adieu

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@LaboGoon previews a day we will all remember for the rest of our lives – superb series of pictures by Stuart McFarlane @Stuart_PhotoAFC of the man last night at the stadium as the sun goes down. 

12 October 1996 – Arsène Wenger’s first game in charge of Arsenal, away to Blackburn Rovers.

19 October 1996 – his first home game at Highbury, hosting Coventry City.

Two very significant dates in Arsenal’s history ……. and then there were three.

Arsène Wenger will walk out at the Emirates Stadium as Arsenal manager for the last time as we host Burnley. The 1233th game of his tenure, 2 more to go as we mark the final countdown to him signing off next Sunday at the John Smith stadium.

With both Arsenal and Burnley having nothing to play for except pride, one could be forgiven for anticipating the atmosphere to have that farewell touching feeling.

With ‘Le Professeur’, as he’s affectionately known as, being in charged for the last time at Arsenal’s spiritual home after 22 years at the helm, it’s bound to be an emotional outing for the Emirates faithful. A good chunk of them, us, have never seen any other man in the dugout, an even greater number of those who did has grown very fond of him since that 1996 autumn day… so it leaves one uncertain yet anxious to see how they will react to seeing him leave his (Emirates) seat for the very last time.

The emphasis of today will of course not be about the match, but about One Arsène Wenger. It’s going to be a celebration of an illustrious career with invited dignitaries, amongst them the Arsenal 100 Club and many, many travelling Gooners in attendance to pay tribute to a legendary manager. He himself will deliver a special message to everybody.

On to the game itself; it almost feel like it ought to be testimonial-esque, however we can be sure that each of the Arsenal players taking the field will feel motivated to give their manager, father and confidant a graceful send-off.

Sean Dyche may have ideas of his own though. During his time at Burnley they have played the Arsenal six times (five PL games, one FA Cup), with Arsène on the winning side in all six. The winner in the last three games came during extra time. Should be impetus for him to spoil the party.

The Clarets come into this game off the back of some good form, having lost just once in their last nine PL games – a reflection of an impressive season overall. Being crowned ‘the best of the rest’ they have earned themselves a European jaunt next season, and for a club with so little means it’s something their manager, players and all stake/pieholders can be very proud of.

For the Arsenal players this fixture will not be about our away record, nor Thursday’s result, but about a group of players who will be very honored to gave the great man a positive result for old times sake at the Emirates Stadium – conseptualized in his visions and now a lasting gift to generations of Gooners.

On team news: bar Cazorla, Elneny and Koscielny everyone else is available. Given the momentous occasion I would think a strong line-up will be selected. Still two games after this for younger and fringe players to impress the new man. Might we see a certain Saint on the bench… who knows!

The Emirates faithful will not be saying “au revoir” today, because the great man will forever remain one of us, their message will simply be:

Merci Arsène!

About anicoll5

Arsenal supporter, 59, Dad, harmless and humourless, political militant moderate, school governor and worker bee

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94 comments on “Arsenal and Adieu

  1. wengerball is a beautiful thing

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Of the three great “panic buys” Per rewarded with the opportunity to soak the acclaim from the faithful who could sense his value on the pitch from the first appearance.

    What a moment for the club and fans and the man who bought him to the club as they both stand upon the pitch at the new arsenal stadium one last time

    Three FA cups in four years. A WC winners medal in his pocket during his time at the club. he’s got the metal to be called a legend.

    Thank you The BFG

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Welbeck pile driver from edge of the area smashed against the bar

    Liked by 2 people

  4. FT: Arsenal 5-0 Burnley

    Aubameyang x 2, Lacazette, Kolasinac and Iwobi with the goals, we really could have scored seven or eight, even more, dominant from start to finish.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Per has me in tears

    Liked by 1 person

  6. we will miss you too Arsene

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I am tearing up. Can’t believe it. The Boss is leaving!

    Liked by 5 people

  8. Greatness and class

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Emotional stuff. Bit lost for words but will say it seems fitting Henry is sharing this moment sandwiched between Souness and Redknapp on a Sky Sports couch.

    Just caught about 5 secs of it with Redknapp the thicker beginning to talk about how we/Wenger slipped away from our best. Enough for me. But Thierry is stuck there for a while yet. Bad choice he made.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. With Wenger leaving I think I have lost my love for the game .
    The good days seems to be over.
    We will not see the Wengerball we adored so much.

    The wobs Will be filled with joy but they will find out soon they we’re completely wrong to kick the great man out of Afc.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m not gone cry

    Well not yet…

    Liked by 6 people

  12. My eyes have seen the glory.

    Liked by 6 people

  13. People like Arsene Wenger don’t come along every day, and we have been lucky to have had him.

    I will miss his intelligence, leadership, vision and class.

    I will miss the quality of his insights and observations, as well as the quality of his wit and humour too.

    I will miss the ways in which he was prepared to stand up and fight for what he believed in, and the countless demonstrations of his resilience in dealing with savage attacks & mind boggling pressure from various quarters, over many years, that would have destroyed a lesser person.

    Finally, I will miss his contributions to the language of football, which always left a smile on my face.

    People like Arsene Wenger don’t come along every day, and we have been lucky to have had him.

    Thanks Arsene, for everything.

    Liked by 8 people

  14. shotta_gooner at 12:43 pm

    Wonderful post Shotts. Contains many of the reasons I love Arséne and the football his teams served up…

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Couldn’t find the words to express my thanks and feelings towards the big man, no need to when we were lucky enough to have Vic Ackers, Bob Wilson & Pat Rice there to say it all better then any of us ever could.

    Bob even taking a dignified yet wholesome swipe at the sycophants and malcontents (I call ’em the S&M Brigade), which I appreciated.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. I listened to the match and post-match coverage on Arsenal Player whilst driving home to Chesterfield. My wife noticed a few tears in my eyes…

    Passenal bought a match day program for me as a memento…thanks to PG and all who sail in the good ship PA without which I would not have befriended Passenal and perhaps not got a little something to cherish from this day…for the rest of my life.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Very emotional day all around. I don’t have words really except to say although I haven’t been on the ride as long as most of you, I’ve sure enjoyed the hell out of it. I will miss Arsène so much. I hope he does some commentary, interviews, writes a book etc. I will miss his insightfulness and his wit and his grace. We’ll not see his like again.

    Liked by 5 people

  18. I see the strap-line for Claude on AFTV reads “bring in Simeoni, if you want entertainment go to the cinema”. This comment is incredible. What is football about if not entertainment? What malaise inflicts the minds of people like Claude?

    Everybody posting on PA have described the beautiful football we beheld as the reason why we either became Arsenal fans or realised how fortunate those that already were had become. The huge increase in the number of Arsenal fans globally was because of the beautiful football. They were entertained. What else do people like Claude get from watching football that is more important than being entertained?

    Liked by 4 people

  19. Incidentally, I haven’t and won’t listen to AFTV. I just scan the strap-lines to get the gist of what it might be about..

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Classico tonight a perfect example of how a referee trying to manage a game can ruin a good game.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Had tears in my eyes watching the end and having to say goodbye to Arsene. The players did a fantastic job with the game.

    Sad that Arsene’s chapter couldn’t end with a trophy and champions league football but excited about starting a new chapter with a new manager who hopefully continues the same ethic, honesty, beauty of football that Arsene brought us.

    We are truly lucky football fans.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. P-g the byline by cluade is as transparent as most things AFTV does, its scripted, clamor for Simeone knowing full well that that negative shit is not even remotely in the running, so that the cunts can start their negative campaign against the next guy, before he has even been announced. I think its called a set up, for future episodes.

    Liked by 5 people

  23. Wenger’s post match comments, from football.london

    “It was a sad day”

    First of all, we had good weather. It was a game that is in continuity of our home form. The team played with great spirit, apart from that it was as well a sad day. I came here to take the first photos before the lorry came in. I’ve worked one every part.

    The next manager

    I think it’s better I don’t speak publicly about the next manager, I’m not involved in the story. I’m nothing to do with that. I just think he inherits a team that is much better than people thinks it is. with the right conditions this will challenge next season.

    A new start for Arsene

    In my job you learn to disconnect from yourself. I have to reconnect with myself now. I will cherish every minute I was here. As well, it’s a new start for me.

    ‘My commitment was genuine’

    It means, even if they er not always happy, they still respect me. That’s how I see it. They know my commitment was genuine, total, with complete integrity.

    On getting the gold trophy?

    It was a surprise for me. I don’t know (where I will keep it).

    On future life as a fan

    I would be happy to sit in the north bank. I can shout at the next manager.

    The highlights?

    There are many highlights. I think i played 840 Premier League games, you now how many sleepless nights that means.

    On Fergie?

    I was with him on the pitch last week, I went to see him after the game. He looked in perfect shape, he looked very happy. We wish him very well and can recovery very quickly. He is a strong man.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I have no words for how sad I feel right now. The level of support today was the least Arsene deserved, just a shame we haven’t seen that on a regular basis. I’m glad the team put on a show today and don’t let anyone tell you Burnley were poor, they were not, we were just that much better. It was really hard to leave the stadium today and I don’t think it will really sink in until I see someone else sitting in that chair next season.

    Liked by 5 people

  25. just seen that in Wenger’s 22 years at AFC he has brought through 83 players from our Academy

    Liked by 6 people

  26. “I would be happy to sit in the north bank. I can shout at the next manager.”

    You can sit next to me Arsene!

    Liked by 7 people

  27. Well that all sounded very wonderful and thanks to you all for sharing your experiences.with me. I found this site due to an argument George.was having as to whether it would be possible to support a club if the manager behaved contrary to the ideals that attracted you in the first place. I guess I’ll find out soon enough!

    Liked by 4 people

  28. AW said today that this is a top quality team/squad and that in the right conditions and with 2 or 3 quality additions it can challenge for the title next season, I have seen this scoffed at, some malcontents have us needing anything from 6 to 12 new signings to have any chance of challenging, but look at our home record this season,

    P19, W15, D2, L2, F54, A20, GD +34, Pts47

    only man city can better it if they don’t lose their final bpl game. man utd can with a win get to the same pts, but no where near the goals scored, and despite only letting 9 goals they need to win by 7 to over take us.

    So despite a horrible away record of P17 W3, D4, L10, F18, A28, GD -10. Pts13, which is currently 15th best in league, and could depending on results go as low as 18th yet, the home record shows that we are capable of matching anyone, the talent in there, the raw material is there. We lost 2 home games, one was against Man Utd which oddly enough was one of our best performances overall, we almost totally dominated the game, DeGea made world save after world save, to stop us winning. It was a bit like some of our away day blues, when goalie was great and we fucked up at the back to give away goals.
    Our only other defeat was Man City 3 days after they had beaten us in the LC final.

    The 2 draws were a 0-0 with CFC, and a 3-3 with Liverpool where we actually led 3-2 after being 2-0 down.

    We beat each and every team that finished below us this season.

    A few quality additions, a bit of thinkering with the set up, defense wise, and we could see a massive improvement away from home.
    Of course the biggest missing ingredient may be the hardest to fix, and that is we seriously need a change in the awful refereeing decisions we have seen against us away this season.

    Liked by 7 people

  29. You see, I had thought beforehand that the most important thing was to beat Athletico Madrid on Thursday. But now I realise that it was far more important to mark this day with the football that we played and the manner in which we played it.

    Liked by 8 people

  30. on the performance today, I was delighted that 3 of the boo boys biggest targets Xhaka, Iwobi and Lacazette were really top level.
    also so delighted to see us for once really put our foot through the ball when shooting, Kolasinac, Iwobi and even a Welbeck shot that took some paint off the woodwork, there was no making it easy for the goalie.

    David Hillier made an interesting point today, he said that Xhaka has to tell Wilshere to get out of the way, to stop crowding his area of the pitch, that when Jack comes that deep they two get in others way and cause us all sorts of problems.

    Must say, that its now 2 games for the first team, and a couple for the Reserves that I’ve now seen from Mavrapanos and he really looks top class. big strong, good on the ball, likes a header and a tackle.
    Would also say Chambers has been top level of late too.

    Liked by 4 people

  31. Wenger said today that Ozil’s back injury is likely to mean he does not play in our final two games of the season.

    Like

  32. Is it too early (and definitely not classy enough) to begin hoping.that Chelsea pip our pesky neighbours to 4th place?

    Liked by 7 people

  33. just realized that with Kolasinac scoring today, it means our two left backs have matched or beaten the transformed oxlade-chamberlain’s goal tally for the season, Kolasinac has got the same as ox, 5 goals, and nacho has one more with 6

    Liked by 6 people

  34. so Henry decided that doing pundit for the Man City game was more important than attending AW last ever Home game for AFC.

    Did not see self styled Mr Arsenal, Tony Adams either.

    Arsenal invited every player who has played 100 games or more for AFC, to the game today.

    Liked by 4 people

  35. The highlights on Sky show a very impressive performance. Some lovely slick football. This must bode well. Is it the case that players respond well to a sense of clarity?

    Liked by 1 person

  36. seemingly David Dein was in the AFC directors box today, the first time in 11 years, he was a guest of Arsene Wenger

    Liked by 1 person

  37. My word, some authentic Wengerball on display today…shows it’s still in the players…it’s a shame it wasn’t more consistently on display

    Liked by 3 people

  38. Still work to do with the man this season, but gutted nonetheless.
    Wenger is a gracious man, but get the impression he is a man who would like to say more than he is able. His frequent referrals to values for starters

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Very pleased it went well today.

    Also pleased absence of Willock, Nelson and Nketiah improves chance of them playing in that u23 cup final on Tuesday. Was a little worried we’d be short for that game, especially with 6 lads away with Eng u17’s. Cracking season overall for youth and would be nice to crown it with a 2nd trophy.

    Not sure they’ll get Mavropanos though. By sounds of it he was impressive again today. Those Burnley strikers love a bit of elbow action and assorted dirt, so if he came through that test well it’s another very good sign.

    That said, I hoped there’d be one game where Wenger went very youth heavy, with as many graduates- inc Jack, Bellerin, Iwobi, Niles- as possible.

    Cheeky debut for Smith-Rowe as last player to give debut to would also be a treat. Midweek game would be better game for that than final game.

    Oh well, can’t have it all but hopefully see some of those things this week.

    Liked by 3 people

  40. Dang! I should have asked Passenal to buy me a match day program. What was I thinking?

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Liked by 3 people

  42. The French Frank White with another line for the ages

    ‘Sometimes to make people happy is to go somewhere else,’

    Man every word he say’s should be a hip hop quotable.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. New post up

    Like

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