So the search begins to find the next man to lead the Arsenal. As many now know, Arsene Wenger has sadly announced that he will bid the club farewell this summer. Players and fans alike have taken the news with either surprise, sadness or elation. I’m obviously upset that he’s opted to leave, but I don’t begrudge him. Results for the team have been poor throughout the season due to bad defense (Mustafi, Bellerin and an aging Cech), the professional lapses of some of our midfielders (Xhaka, Wilshere, Ramsey at times) and some dubious, dubious referees. I will admit that Wenger hasn’t had his best year in terms of tactics, but I don’t agree with the Wenger Out Brigade or the asshole pundits who call for his head day in, day out. Criticism, anger at his tactics and honest reflection are one thing, but the circle-jerk of vitriol and the normalization of Anti-Wenger bias both in and out of the pitch have been awful things to witness. This may be the only reprieve that I hope Wenger will get once he leaves the Emirates.
Many sports journos have speculated a great deal as to the reasons why Arsene has left before the end of his contract, but I’m of the opinion to not giving a damn until a book comes out. I’m mentioning this because for all the praise that’s coming in from Phil McNulty, the BBC or ESPNFC, these are the same asshats who would bay for his blood after every bad result. It pissed me off to see this last Friday, and I wonder how much more Wenger will be assessed in the near future, especially in relation to Arsenal if results sour in his absence.
Wenger is a manager that I’ve grown to respect beyond the confines of football. His thoughts on life are reminiscent of an old teacher guiding his pupils towards adulthood and I will truly miss the kind of thoughts he would share in interviews like this. I hope that wherever he goes, or whatever he does, he’ll be loved by all Gooners as time passes. Here’s to better results as the season comes to a close, and let’s all give the Boss a great send off when it finally comes time for a goodbye.