On a weekend that shook football to the core, especially if you’re a thirty something fan of the game, the sight sight of Arsenal running out five nil winners in the baking heat at home should bring some familiarity. Instead it just brings the saddest, bleakest nostalgia, a nostalgia so sad even Don Draper would weep.
A Saturday dominated by the news that Ferguson might be mortal lead to a Sunday where Wenger said farewell. A lot has been said of Wenger over the last few weeks, pretty football, Henry, Invincibles, past it, blah blah blah, but his greatest achievement was the six year spell when he not so much as got under Ferguson’s skin as he was too much caffeine in his blood stream.
Wenger’s last home game the same weekend as Alex Ferguson falling ill is tragic but should only serve as a reminder that as McEnroe needed Borg, Gervais needs Merchant and Lennon needed McCartney.
You will be waiting for a match report now but what’s to say? Arsenal cruised like they did ten years ago, Aubameyang and Lacazette played in a fashion that suggests next season might be an easier start for the new boss than many suggest. Mesut Ozil was missing. Shock! Illness or was it a back injury? Who knows? Who cares? Like the employee who can’t start work without a brew, Ozil’s absence was hardly missed, his continued indulgence a bizarre post script to the Wenger era.
But it’s not a weekend to criticise Wenger, one day they will build statues of him and on a weekend where Sir Alex Ferguson doesn’t feel invincible anymore, Wenger deserves the utmost of praise today of all days. A five nil win in the sun at a stadium he helped build, today isn’t the day to delve in to the flaws just remember the good times.
You don’t remember your granddad at his frailest, you don’t remember Morrissey without Marr nor would you watch Who Wants to Be A Millonaire with the idiotic, rent an opinion presenter so don’t remember this version of Wenger, remember the version with the reappearing David Dein fighting Ferguson until the bitter end because the Premier League has never been bettered.
Cech; Bellerin, Chambers (Mertesacker 77) Mavropanos, Kosalinac; Xhaka, Wilshere (Ramsey 72); Iwobi, Mkhitaryan, Lacazette (Welbeck 72); Aubameyang
Pope; Lowton, Long, Tarkowski, Ward; Lennon (Nkoudou 71), Cork, Westwood, Gudmundsson (Wells 89) Hendrick; Barnes (Vokes 22)
Man of the Match
Lacazette. The Frenchman has flickered on and off all season and the suspicion remains Wenger has misused him and that a new manager won’t go far wrong if he he gets Lacazette and Aubameyang working well in tandem.
Written by Gary Robinson.