So here we are folks. A historic day. The Arsenal and Arsène Wenger united and together for the very last time.
It still hasn’t properly sunk in that he won’t be around after today but I suspect once we see all the tributes pour in, the media fawning and the Match of the Day crew talking him up so much despite bemoaning him for the best part of five years, then it’ll feel a lot more real.
It’s a sad day to see the era end not with a bang, a trophy, the final triumph and glory, but with the whimper that is a meaningless game against Huddersfield who are already safe. The home fans will give a good reception to the Arsenal manager for that reason I’m sure, although they’ll all be wanting to inflict more damage on the woeful away record that has seen us lose every single week on our travels for the last five and a bit months.
And for that reason this season can get in the f*cking bin. Personally, I’ll be absolutely delighted to see the back of what has been an incredibly disappointing campaign and having seen an Arsenal team fall even further from the big boys at the top, even the fact that we’re losing such an historic manager isn’t enough for me to feel sad about the fact we don’t have to endure much more after today.
We all need a rest and some time apart when it comes to The Arsenal. Some of those players need to go away and have a think about what they’re doing with their careers. Others need to work out if they’re going to stick around. But everyone at the club needs to have a look in the mirror and say to themselves “how do we stop a repeat of what happened this season?”
Today needs to be about giving Arsène a good send off, but it also needs to be about having some pride and one eye on 2018-19. So I’m hoping Arsène plays Chambers, Holding, Maitland-Nile’s, Nelson, Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan, Xhaka and Ramsey above all else, because they are players who we should be looking a as guaranteed for next season. You should probably throw in the likes of Monreal and Bellerin but at 32 the Spanish left back is sure to be on the wane whilst Bellerin still has questions over his head given the fact we might need to raise some funds and he’s of the age profile to ensure that we’d get a princely sum for him.
I think we should look at a team which goes a little something like this:
That would give us a blend of pith and experience and with Auba banging in goal after goal you’d fancy him to have one or two againt a Huddersfield team who should be ok the beach today.
I hope they are. I don’t want to go into the season with commentator after commentator mentioning this stupid calendar year stat. Les just put it to bed today and hope that the team can fully eradicate any chance of it being reused again and again when we hit August onward. If we think it’s boring now, it’ll be intolerable in a few months time, let me tell you.
The hope is that the Arsenal players are up for one last hurrah today. That there’s some anger at the abysmal record in the league and that professional pride takes over and they put on a show.
I think they will though. I don’t know why, I just have a feeling, but I think we might at least get a point today. Let’s hope so.
Then we can close the season, stick two fingers up to 2017-18, and plan for what might be with a new man at the helm next season.