Cape Town - Arsene Wenger had his last home game as Arsenal manager on Sunday. The Gunners’ match against Burnley, helped them give their boss a fitting send off with a five goal win.
A day for tears, laughter and glory as Wenger was embraced by thousands of fans who wore t-shirts saying, ‘Merci Arsene’ (Thank you Arsene) as the Frenchman enjoyed a hearty farewell.
When addressing the fans, however, Wenger first wished his old nemeses, Alex Ferguson, a speedy recovery. Ferguson, 76, was rushed to hospital on Saturday for surgery after suffering a brain hemorrhage.
At his final home press conference Wenger expressed that his “ambition was always to win with style. When you’re a big club, I think you have that responsibility, and to give the fans a special experience.”
But most touching of all the tributes came from the players themselves. According to Sport Bible, players left messages for their beloved manager in the Arsenal club store. The messages were printed on home jerseys autographed by players which stood tall on player mannequins.
“A true gentleman and innovator of the game,” Danny Welbeck wrote. Whilst Jack Wilshere said, “[you were like a father through tough times in my career”, Laurent Koscielny noted it was “thanks to you I was able to grow as a footballer and as a man (sic)” and Granit Xhaka wrote a “dream come true to play for you”.
For now, Wenger is happy to be a critic the next time he comes to The Emirates Stadium. “I would be happy to sit in the North Bank again…You know what the positive of that is? I can shout at the next manager in the North Bank!” he joked.