So that was Arsene’s last home game. Fabulous weather, a clean sheet, five fine goals to the good guys, a warm atmosphere and nothing but positives on an afternoon never to forget. Saying goodbye is not easy, both for the person leaving and for those who are left behind. But it gets a bit easier when you know that the departing man is always welcome at the club, and that he will always be a fan of Arsenal. He may be saying goodbye but the Arsenal hall of immortality is saying hello, come in.
Arsene has done so much for the mighty red and white that he will be remembered for decades at least. It will take some manager to settle at Arsenal and win three league titles, seven FA Cups and go a season – and eventually 49 games – unbeaten whilst playing sublime, attacking football – the Arsenal Way!
On top of all that, with Ashburton Grove he left behind a physical legacy; and with the reputation of our football and values, he achieved an immaterial legacy too. Together they make us very strong on all fronts. Arsene will always be remembered for structurally turning our football club into a sexy and financially-secure football club with a pearl of a stadium, to rival the best in the PL as well as in Europe for many years to come.
The next manager will get to work with a set of fabulous players and a decent enough budget to strengthen the team intelligently. Wenger knows he is leaving something special behind for a new manager with fresh vision, tactical excellence and bags of energy to take over the baton from him- as all heroes have to do at some point – and push the club all the way to the top.
Arsene is of course sad to leave, and sadness is what most of us felt on Sunday, but soon that deep feeling of satisfaction of having left behind a legacy will settle in for him and us again. As mere mortals the highest achievement on earth is leaving behind a legacy, and, whatever happens next, nobody will ever take this away from him.
Thank you Arsene.