So it all ends.
Arsène’s time as Arsenal manager has now finished and thankfully it did so with an away win. A monkey that had firmly attached itself to this team’s back has been prized from its metaphorical shoulders with Arsène’s final win and the man who we have all known as our manager sails off into the sunset without us after 22 years as captain of our ship.
The game itself pales into significance, but briefly before this talks about an Arsène Wenger discussion, it had parts of it in which we can at least take some rays of sunshine for next season.
Firstly, we kept an illusive clean sheet away from home, which has been few and far between for us this season. There were some scary moments like when Huddersfield hit the bar and Ospina made one or two good saves, but we held on for the clean sheet and for a defence that has looked so beleaguered all season, at least we can take some solace in the fact that these players can actually defend properly. Whatever about the fact Huddersfield are safe, and there might not have been the intensity had that not have been the case if they were desperate yesterday, I’m taking whatever small crumbs I can from yesterday’s win.
And it was a win that once again delivered a goal for Aubameyang who has now notched ten this season again. Now imagine what he could do in a full season for us if he stayed injury free? We could easily be talking about a 25 goal+ forward in our team for next season and as Liverpool have shown this season that will always give you a chance of success. I’m excited to see what a full pre season and availability in all competitions can do.
As Arsène alluded to in his post-match presser there are some good players in this Arsenal team and although we don’t know who will be charged with setting them up next season, there are one or two that we can be excited for seeing next season.
But yesterday was about bidding farewell to Arsène and it happened with a pre-game walk and clap for appreciation from the manager towards the away fans, as well as a 22 minutes celebratory round of applause for the manager in the game, aeroplane banners thanking him, the works.
Arsène got his farewell at home to Burnley last weekend. He’s been given the appreciation of the Huddersfield fans and the away support yesterday. He leaves with us thanking him and not shutting him out the door with a press release on the Arsenal website like we probably would have seen had he have gone next season or at the end of this season had the club pulled the trigger when all of the football had finished.
This was an exit that his service deserved. The last few week’s have been good to give the man a proper send off and I’m glad everyone has got to give him that.
But now we must turn our attentions to the new man coming in and just as the dust was settling on yesterday’s result we got news from Italy that Allegri has pretty much said he’s staying at Juve next season. Of course things change quickly in Football and of course it could just be for the press that he’s saying things like that, but it sounds on face value like we might not have a shot at getting this serial winner and if that is the case, the list of names that are intensely linked with us looks decidedly short on experience. Everything seems to be pointing in the direction of a certain assistant manager at Man City and whilst we all love the guy, I’ll not pretend that I’d be over the moon at getting a novice in charge at a club as big as Arsenal.
People can chirrup at me all they like and say that nobody knew Arsène when he arrived, but this is totally different, because for one thing Arsène was an experienced manager who had won the French league and been managing a couple of clubs before he took the job. Arteta has no such experience on his CV.
Anyway, that talk is for when it looks increasingly likely that we’re on the verge of making an appointment, which I am hoping will be soon but I have suspicions that it probably won’t be for another week to ten days minimum. The club need to let the dust settle on Arsène’s reign, there needs to be clear daylight between the old and the new and as soon as the new manager arrives we will all have press conferences, commentary, etc, in abundance.
So it’s a case of sitting back and waiting for this all to unfold.
For now it’s ‘Merci Arsène’ one more time, and goodbye.
Catch you all tomorrow.