'Wenger deserving of stylish Arsenal send-off'

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Throughout the years I’ve spent watching football, I really can’t remember the last time I felt this emotional witnessing the clash between Arsenal and Burnley as well as the events that took place before and after the match.

6th May 2018

Before the game kicked off, both sets of teams lined up on the Emirates turf to give Arsene Wenger a guard of honour.

While it was expected from the home side, it was a touch of class to see the match officials alongside the Burnley staff, players, and fans join in with the celebrations for the phenomenal manager.

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In regards to the match itself, you really couldn’t have asked for a better performance from the Gunners, everyone selected to start the game and those who were brought on from the bench played their part and helped give Wenger a fitting farewell.

In addition, it was really touching to see Per Mertesacker make his suspected last appearance for the club with Petr Cech rushing over to him to give him the captain’s armband when he came on the pitch.

Bright future

The defensive duo of Calum Chambers and Konstantinos Mavropanos built on their promising performance versus Manchester United last week and fared very well against the Clarets.

I know it’s early to say, but both of the young defenders could play a crucial role for the club in the near future, especially if the new manager that comes in has a great record of working alongside youngsters. 

Regarding those who got onto the scoresheet, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Sead Kolasinac, and Alex Iwobi all contributed towards the eventual 5-0 victory.

If there’s one thing for certain, I’m really excited to see how some of these players perform under a new manager - it could just be what we need to get back to where we belong.

Following the match, fans in attendance and all around the world were treated to a touching tribute towards all of those who were departing the club in the next few months.

Vic Akers, Alex Scott, and Mertesacker all received a commemorative trophy for their dedication and careers at the club. I’m not sure why, but only Mertesacker received a guard of honour from the players during the tribute.

It would have been nice to see the current squad out there applauding Arsenal legends like Scott and Akers and all of the work that they’ve done for the club.

To conclude the tributes, the legend himself, Wenger, received another guard of honour from the current squad along with the addition of former players like Sol Campbell and Nwankwo Kanu.

Rather than hand over a commemorative cannon, the Frenchman was presented with the golden Premier League title - the honour Arsenal received for going an entire season unbeaten back in the 2003/04 league season.

Wenger may have unsuccessfully won another major honour as manager, but it was delightful to see him lift the trophy at his last-ever home game as manager.

The end of an era

Despite wanting Wenger to leave the club for over a year, I never really knew how I’d react to his eventual departure.

Regardless of my opinion towards his role as manager, the Frenchman has always been a legend of the club and a massive inspiration for me.

I hardly ever feel emotional when watching sport, but the 68-year-old’s farewell speech was both inspirational and upsetting. 

Even if you’re not a fan of Arsenal Football Club, I encourage you to watch Arsenal’s last two games of the season.

Should this be Le Professeur’s last ever job in management, you’ll be witnessing a crucial part of history that will never be beaten again.

A legend of the game, a legend of Arsenal Football Club.

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