The Gunners thrashed Burnley 5-0 on Sunday in Wenger’s final home match at the house that he built. My question; was that Wengerball’s last win? With two away fixtures remaining and the team with nothing to play for, it certainly seems that is a possibility.
No matter, because the farewell to our man Arsène was something special.
Wengerball’s Last Win at the Emirates
Arsène’s Emirates swansong began in style. Both sets of players lined up as honor guards as Wenger walked out, along with opposition manager Sean Dyche. As he made his way to the center circle, a chorus of applause serenaded the Frenchman, thanking him for over two decades in charge.
A plethora of greats from the club’s history attended the match. Perhaps one of the most surprising was Davey Dein, who left the club just as Kroenke’s regime was taking hold. Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, Martin Keown and Dennis Bergkamp, though only the former defender was in attendance, were honored with songs from the crowd.
That’s not to mention the 60,000 ‘Merci Arsène’ shirts given out by the club to all in attendance.
Wengerball to the Max
Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang set the tone in the first half. Both found fine finishes to put their side ahead 2-0 entering the break.
Sead Kolasinac got the third, holding the pattern of newer players getting the goals on the day. Then it was Alex Iwobi who fired home a drive to the top corner for number four. Aubameyang again netted for his eighth Premier League goal.
However, the day was all about goodbyes, not the fast it could be Wengerball’s last win.
The Last Hurrah
Also receiving a huge thank you was club captain Per Mertesacker. Although the hulking German has made just a handful of appearances over the past two seasons, the Arsenal faithful applauded him when he came on late.
Every time Mertesacker even touched the ball, the crowd at the Emirates went wild. This showed that, despite all the banners and planes last season, Gooners still know how to thank a faithful servant.
Post-Match Cheers and Jeers
Wengerball’s last win, at least at home, got a spectacular sendoff. However, it started with a jeer. The recipient? None other than Sir Chips Keswick.
The chairman emerged to make a dedication to Vic Akers, the retiring backroom staffer, ladies’ captain Alex Scott as well as first-team captain Per Mertesacker. Arsenal fans duly gave him the business, letting Keswick know just how unfit for service they find him.
Long-time assistant Pat Rice gave out the golden trophy for Wenger to take home in honor of the Invincibles. Former ‘keeper Bob Wilson also gave a heartfelt tribute to Wenger, Arsenal’s greatest-ever manager.
A Simple Goodbye
The day ended with a lap of honor, thanking the fans for another year of support. However, just before this, it was finally time for the boss to speak.
He wished Sir Alex Ferguson a speedy recovery, explained just how much managers love their job and, of course, told us that he loves the club, same as us. That was all before a final farewell message, “I will miss you.”
A simple and elegant goodbye from the man who brought us so much. Two doubles, the Invincibles season, seven FA Cups and, of course, Wengerball’s last win.
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