Arsene Wenger was saluted at the Emirates Stadium after his final home match as Arsenal boss, flanked by giant cut out words, “Merci Arsene.”
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As supporters sang his name and his players gave him a guard of honor, Wenger took to the microphone.
A classy custodian of the game, Wenger began by offering hopeful words to longtime rival Sir Alex Ferguson, who is in intensive care following a brain hemmorhage.
“I would like to wish my fellow manager Ferguson well and very quickly.
“Thank you all very well for having me for such a long time. I know that’s not easy but above all I am like you. I’m an Arsenal fan. That means this is not just coaching. It’s a way of life. It is caring about the beautiful, about the values that we cherish, and as well that something that goes through all our bodies, in every cell of our bodies, we care, we worry, we are desperate but when you come here, our dreams we realize.
“And I would like as well to thank everybody at the club who makes this club so special. And I would invite you to push these players and staff. For me this group of players has special quality, not only on the pitch but off the pitch. Please follow this team and support them next season because they deserve it.
“I would like to finish by one simple word. I will miss you. Thank you all for being such an important of my life and hope to see you soon. Well done. Bye bye.”