Happy Friday y’all. A Friday in which we’ve now had time to digest the nuggets from Arsène’s press conference and see him pull out yet more of those gems of quotes that he’s done over the years.
Of course the journos lapped it up. Talk of saying goodbye to trees, having early press conferences just to wind the journos up, plus many more quotes that had them all chuckling into their microphones and iPhones. And as I sit here thinking about those journos who have made more than enough references to how he should go, yet telling us as fans we were the ones that hounded him out, I can’t help but smirk at the hypocrisy of them all.
They have poked and prodded at him for years. They have made comment after comment about him and now, at the end of it all, it is these same journos that fawn at his every word.
Perhaps they just realised that they’re not going to get such an erudite man as Arsène as the next in charge. Perhaps they realised that with him going that’s the last of the old breed of manager disappearing, being replaced by the sullen likes of Mourinho. And perhaps they’ve realised how much fun that won’t be.
Everything that is Arsène’s ‘last’ feels weird right now. Every occasion marked hits home that he will no longer be the centre of all Arsenal attention this time next week. When the news was announced that he would be leaving I was obviously pleased because it was the right thing for him and the club to do, but I don’t think it has even sunk in yet that he’ll be off from next week.
Even the little things he said yesterday, like having to do some work in France on Monday and Tuesday and then coming back to London Conley to clear out his desk; all of that kind of stuff chips away and reminds me that “oh yeah, he isn’t going to be around next season” and, well, it’s just strange.
It’s not as foreign to me as some though. A lad I go to football with – Tom – is in his early 20s and all he’s ever known his whole life is Wenger as Arsenal coach. I at least have a George Graham and Bruce Rioch frame of reference. For Tom what lies ahead is strange and alien. For me it is evolution and the next chapter in an illustrious club’s history. But that doesn’t make the feeling any less weird to me.
There wasn’t really much talk of the team for Sunday’s game at Huddersfield but let’s be honest, I don’t think it really matters and despite saying his mind is on preparing for Sunday’s game, the press nor Arsène offered up any real team updates. I wonder if Arsène will just make it up on the day.
“Lads, I’ve hidden your kits throughout the Huddersfield stadium. The first ones to find them can start. To find the kits, you’ll need to decipher a series of clues, each more fiendish than the last…”
I suspect the team will be up for it though. They should want to put on a final showing for the manager and although it was another sh*tshow result on Wednesday, there did look like there’d be signs of the players wanting to go out with a bit of effort. More on that probably tomorrow and a match preview on Sunday I think.
For now everything is just about soaking up the good times of Arsène’s reign. Of appreciating what he has brought to the club and also looking at some of the cool things the club are doing every day to remember his legacy and the good times. Check it out across the different social mediums. It’s quite nice I have to say.
Right, not really a lot else going on, so I’ll take my leave and bid you a good day.