“The main reason for coming is that I love English football, the roots of the game are here. I like the spirit around the game and at Arsenal, I like the spirit of the club and its potential said Arsene Wenger at his first press conference when Wenger was unveiled as Arsenal manager on 22 September 1996, after the club dismissed Bruce Rioch as a club manager in August 1996.
Arsene Wenger finally bids goodbye to the club he managed for 22 years. As he emerged for his last Premier League act, strode through a guard of honor, made a right turn towards the corner of Arsenal fans and when he arrived in front of them he bent that lean frame in acknowledgment.
The warmth of these past few weeks, as Wenger has gone on his farewell Premier League tour, has been so generous he joked that he should leave Arsenal more often. “I should have announced every week I retire,” he said. “People are so nice since I said that”.
After last week’s immaculate departure from the Emirates Wenger waved goodbye to Arsenal at Huddersfield’s Kirklees Stadium. Their defeat to Leicester City in midweek had Arsenal without an away point in 2018, but that was rectified by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s first-half goal.
Wenger’s curtain fell abruptly after a 1-0 victory over Huddersfield as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored at the 38th minute. A few hours or before kickoff, when the nerves would normally have been at their peak the adrenaline coursing, Wenger sat in his dugout, in the sunshine, watching his players go through their warm-ups and the fans drift into the stadium, the noise gathering and the clock ticking. It has been a roller-coaster ride for Arsene Wenger in his 22 long years as the relationship between Wenger and Arsenal fans has been fractious for years and even toxic for some time.
1,235 matches ago Wenger picked an Arsenal team for the first time. As side included nine Englishmen, one Welshman and a Frenchman starting his third Premier League game by the name of Patrick Vieira. Arsenal registered a 2-0 victory over Blackburn.
D.O.B – 22 October 1949 (age 68)
Place of birth – Strasbourg, France
Playing position – Midfielder
1963–1969: FC Duttlenheim
1975–1978: ASPV Strasbourg
1995–1996: Nagoya Grampus Eight
Let’s walk through the journey of Arsene Wenger with some fantastic clicks by photographer Tom Jenkins.
Out of 1,235 matches played Arsenal has played under Arsene Wenger, Arsenal have won 707 matches, lost 248 and 280 draws.
“I’d like to thank everyone. I had fantastic human experiences at the club above the results. It was a human adventure for 22 years.” Wenger entered the Kirklees to a guard of honor from Arsenal to Huddersfield and players made a beeline for the visiting support.
“I know that we’ve disappointed the away fans this season, many of them use their whole week’s spare money to travel up, said Wenger”.
We will miss you Arsene Wenger!