On the 20th April 2018, Arsene Wenger announced he was stepping down as Arsenal manager and departing the club at the end of the season.
The news sent shockwaves around not just the world of football, but all of sport. Wenger was ending a relationship 21-years in the making with the club he built up, and although it was a decision that many fans and journalists agreed with, it was still a shock to many.
Wenger joined Arsenal in 1996 and revolutionised English football and the sport as a whole on the continent. New training methods, the introduction of diets and new football philosophies turned the north London side into one of the best sides in England, as well as one of the most consistent.
The Frenchman led Arsenal to Champions League qualification in 19 consecutive years and was at the helm during one of the club’s most successful periods in their history, taking the Gunners to three Premier League titles, a record seven FA Cups and making the north London side the first team since Preston North End in 1889 to win the league unbeaten.
Wenger also took Arsenal to their first Champions League final, but despite going a man down in the first 15 minutes, dominating the game and leading the majority of the match, the Gunners fell short in a 2-1 loss to Barcelona.
Here is how Arsenal fans reacted to the news of Wenger’s departure…
Give this man a statue. Prontoo pic.twitter.com/Y5BNOl56Fr
— Paradox (@twistercanine) 20 April 2018
Thanks for leaving the club when we have Auba, Laca, Ozil, Aaron, and Mkhi… And not when we had Chamakh, Squillaci, Djourou, and Denilson.
Thanks for the memories Arsene. Thanks for everything you’ve done for the club.
— Kris (@Santi_Classorla) 20 April 2018
Leader. Legend. Arsene F.C. pic.twitter.com/St1EzlbCXM
— TheUnaiView (@TheUnaiView) 20 April 2018
Dear Arsenal, Arsene Wenger deserves a statue outside Emirates. pic.twitter.com/hSUXqAsR9V
— E (@eSHEIKH_) 20 April 2018
Wish you well pic.twitter.com/dkEeHtd8HW
— Neost (@neost) 21 April 2018
No matter what others say, you are the best boss we can have now and forever. Merci, Arsene.
— BOMI (@genuinespring) 21 April 2018
The blend of science and art changed the sport! Thank You from those that coach the game and those that are fans!
— Frank Kohlenstein (@Kohleyfra1) 20 April 2018
Announce his gold statue
— Raf (@LacaMagic) 21 April 2018
Wenger’s departure of Arsenal came at an ideal time for the club. The Gunners failed to qualify for the Champions League for the second season in a row and fans had grown tired of the Frenchman’s stubbornness to change things at the club, and since then things have got better for the north London side.
New manager Unai Emery has taken the club far from the Wenger years, playing a high-tempo fluid style of football that has produced some incredible moments for fans this season, but some of the tendencies that were exhibited under the legendary French manager remain at the club.
Arsenal have at times been caught playing lazy, sluggish football that has cost them important points, and some of Wenger’s favourite players such as Mesut Ozil have lost a safety barrier and found themselves dropped from the team by Emery for poor performances.
Negatives aside, Wenger remains one of Arsenal’s greatest icons, and although he is yet to return to the game, there is no doubt he will be a success wherever he ends up.
Arsenal fans, what are your favourite memories of Wenger? Let us know!
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