As the sun sets on Arsene Wenger’s managerial career at The Emirates, The North London side has become the source of headlines and juicy scoops.
Without much further ado, let’s dive right into what’s making the rounds so far around the sitting rooms, sports-bars and wherever football lovers, especially Arsenal faithful gather to discuss.
First on the list today is the post match conference interview extracts. The Professor’s reflection on the game:
“I felt that West Ham blocked us well in the first half. We had problems finding fluency in our game. I liked the game because we needed to be patient.”“I told the players at half-time that if we kept the discipline, we would find space.”
When asked about the mood in the dressing room:
“We are professional and we focus on our job.”“To be a professional means that you’re capable of doing your job even if, emotionally, it’s a little bit special.”
What started off as a normal post match interview on the just concluded game against West Ham United, which ended 4-1 in favor of The Gunners by the way, quickly turned into an exposé on Friday’s bombshell.
From discussing the tactics and strategies deployed to overcome The Hammers, Arsene found himself answering questions about his decision to leave at the end of the season.
OK, putting into perspective the fact that The Boss had said in the past that he had no intention of NOT fulfilling his contract, then just 2 months later, releasing Friday’s bombshell says it all or at the very least narrows down the answer to the following question.
Was Arsene Wenger advised to resign or did he decide that on his on?
Let’s first take on snippets from his pre-match conference where he was asked what kind of week he has had. Here’s what he he replied:
“First of all I am focused on the game,”
“At the end of the day my job is to win the next game and I have to make a separation between the feelings and the emotions that can come with such a decision.”
“What is important is your job and I want to do my job well until the end”
He further added:
“I have gone through very difficult times, so you learn to deal with very difficult situations”
At this point, his desire to continue to manage the team is all but plainly said. Furthermore, the pain and disorientation associated with the decision, especially when forced, is expressed in the choice of his words (difficult).
If it were a decision made by him in totality, his words would reflect an impending sigh of relief. Words such as “hard, challenging, abnormal etc“ that depicts a strong desire to take on what comes next, rather than “difficult, uncomfortable…“ which carry a rather surrendering tone about them.
To make matters worse, not only had results gone the other way, fans had started boycotting games, using various platforms and movements.
At the tail end of last season, during the West Brom game, it will be recalled that planes ✈ were flown by both sides of the Wenger In and Wegner Out factions to express dissatisfaction. Nevertheless, The Boss was given a 2 year extension after winning the FA cup.
This time, boycotting games directly affects the pockets of the board as empty seats dovetail to less sales in the Emirates store on match-day.
Furthermore, even though a lot of the seats have been purchased by season ticket holders from now till 2022, the psychological blow associated with lack of adequate supporters especially at home is more devastating than usually stated.
Arsene’s announcement seems to have done the trick, as the Stadium was packed full 30 minutes before action on Sunday against The Hammers.
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Before we digress too far, his further statements shed a light on his position. Here is a quote from the same interview(Arsene Wenger 22 April 2018):
” I am happy when the fans are happy. Even if it means I have to suffer for them to be happy… ”
Watch the video from youtube and decide for yourselves- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_i5YRsTSw4
Next up is a list of potential replacements for the Boss, courtesy of The Telegraph. Sources claim that of the listed, Luis Enrique is the only one to have been formally named favourite, despite opposition in opinion from pundit Gary Neville. Not like his opinion matters much anyway, but he does have a large audience who listen to him.
Finally, as the clock winds down towards Thursday night Europa Semifinal showdown against Atletico Madrid at The Emirates, preparations are underway for both Arsene Wenger and Diego Simeone, who are in it to win it.
Should The Gunners go all the way and clinch the Europa League Trophy come May, it would be a very befitting send off for Monsieur Arsene Wenger who has never won a European trophy with The Gunners.
On a personal mote, forced to resign or not, I believe it is the proper decision for all parties, involved as I can’t stand another season of ill-preparation and eventual excuses/explanations.
#MerciArsene and Bon voyagé…!!