Arsene Wenger Steps Down: Tributes And Testimonials Pour In From Football’s Great And Good (And Neil Warnock)

Chris Wright

20th, April 2018


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The football world was rendered momentarily aghast on Friday morning when word came down from the top that Arsene Wenger is to give up the Arsenal reigns come the end of the season after 22 years in charge.

It wasn’t long before social media was awash with tributes and testimonials to the French doyen, which made a nice change from the usual steady stream of opprobrium that has been funnelled his way for the past few years.

Arsenal themselves were the first to kick things off, and did so by reminding Wenger just how terribly he has aged in the job…

Several of his former players lined up to offer their sincere gratitude…

Even the old adversaries were effusive in their praise…

Graeme Le Saux speaketh thus…

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn lead the way as several politicians poked their heads above the parapet…

Henry Winter went off on one recalling the first time he ever laid eyes on his lanky Gallic paramour…

There are eight more mini-vignettes where that came from so click through to read the whole thread.

Elsewhere, the Friday morning press conferences brought quotes from Wenger’s contemporaries, beginning with Jurgen Klopp:

I admired his work always, it was always brilliant. Since I’ve been in England it’s a little bit different because now we have to challenge them, of course, but from Germany he was always a big, big role model in that job.

Pep Guardiola came next:

The Premier League is the Premier League because of his personality and what he has done. It was a pleasure to compete against him”

Swiftly followed by his English equivalent, one Neil Warnock:

He’s the man who changed the whole face of the game. We owe him so much, yet have given him so much stick.

In a way I’m glad he’s going, I wouldn’t want to see him get any more vitriol than he’s had.

Paul Merson implored Arsenal to do the right thing and give their departing manager the kind of permanent tribute he so richly deserves:

They (Arsenal) shop drop the ‘Emirates’ bit – they don’t need the money – and name it the Arsene Wenger Stadium.

That’s his stadium. He built it. He made that stadium. Even if they call it the ‘Emirates Arsene Wenger Stadium’, he deserves to be on that.

If Wenger’s endowment to the game can be boiled down to just the one overarching achievement, it must be that he got Merse to speak sense for the first time in his media career.

What a man, what a legacy.