curtain falls in classy send-off May 08, 2018 9:17 PM

By : xiaolan

If God exists and one day I go up there and he will ask: ‘Do you want to come in? What have you done in your life?’ The only answer I will have is: ‘I tried to win football games.’ He will say: ‘Is that all you have done?’ And the only answer I will have is: ‘It’s not as easy as it looks.’” Youth Taurean Prince Swingman White Nike Jersey: NBA Atlanta Hawks #12 Association EditionAnd so said Arsène Wenger. For 22 years, from his red and white corner of north London, he has tried to win football matches in the name of Arsenal. On Sunday, for the last time, he walked into the stadium he helped to create, through a guard of Paulo Orlando Jersey honour with an amiable wave, and was able to soak up an atmosphere of gratitude and happiness. Unusually, perhaps, on this day of all days, maybe it was as easy as it looks but few would begrudge him that. “There’s only one Arsène Wenger” chimed around in the blazing sunshine and, with the pressure off, Arsenal kicked back to relish a rare afternoon of sweetness and light. The game itself was a sideshow, as the fan base – unified at last – came together to honour the only manager they have known since the faraway past of 1996. The post‑match ceremony will have meant a great deal to him personally. Two of the men he began to work with on day one, Pat Rice as his assistant and Bob Wilson as the goalkeeping coach, gave him Womens Jamaal Williams Jersey the tribute and the greatest prize of all. “The visionary Arsène Wenger, an inspiration,” Wilson announced. “There is only one gift that is truly appropriate of what Arsène has given to Arsenal. Yes, it is the special gold trophy presented to our club following the historic 2003‑2004 season. This is the one and only Invincibles trophy which Arsène Wenger will have to keep.” Rice handed it over and the embraces dripped with shared history. In all honesty all the attention is not Wenger’s cup of tea. He just about tolerates it. He composed himself to address the crowd and speak from the heart. “I would like to wish my fellow manager Ferguson well,” he began, to great applause. “Thank you for having me for such a long time. I know that’s not easy. But above all I am like you. I am an Arsenal fan. That means more than just watching football. It is a way of life. It is caring about the beautiful game, the values we cherish and something that goes through every cell of our body.” One could hear a pin drop. After the prolonged, neurotic, conflicted noise around the subject of the future of Arsenal under Wenger, the sound of peace breaking out was a balm. A mood of contented nostalgia washed around the Emirates Stadium. It was packed, some fans flew in from far and wide, the queues for the commemorative programmes wound through the concourses, the Merci Arsène T‑shirts on every seat turned the stadium a deeper shade of red. The fans rummaged through the silver-lining playbook – singing for Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry, Robert Pires, Freddie Ljungberg and Dennis Bergkamp – the players that symbolise the greatest Wenger teams, the most polished successes – then boomed out their special chant for the retiring Per Mertesacker as the German ambled on for a last hurrah. This is the second weighty goodbye of the Wenger years. The scenario 12 years ago also came with mixed emotions. Departing Highbury was a huge turning point for the club and one that was linked with the big ideas for modernising that seemed to go hand in hand with the success of early-era Wenger. That farewell was marked by Thierry Henry kneeling down to kiss the turf he called his garden on scoring a hat-trick that sealed Champions League football for the umpteenth consecutive season. Arsenal said their goodbyes and headed to their one and only Champions League final. There was a worry this goodbye might be flattened slightly by the dashed dream of a Europa League final. But Arsenal put on the kind of show that epitomised Wenger’s unwavering belief in what he always called “the game we love to play”. The front players, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, dazzled.

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