Departing Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger showed his true class on Sunday as his 1,235 game reign as manager came to an end with a 1-0 victory away to Huddersfield.
Amid a fractious relationship with the fans, Wenger announced his resignation in late April, bringing an end to his 22 years in charge of the club. Nevertheless, the Frenchman showed how he remains grateful to the club and its supporters before and after Sunday’s game.
Prior to kickoff, he went over to applaud the Arsenal travelling contingent and even took a bow. The Arsenal and Huddersfield supporters then showed their class by giving Wenger a rousing reception in the 22nd minute of the game – to celebrate his 22 years in charge of the north London club.
Following his post-match press conference, Wenger returned to the pitch for one last goodbye to the fans. Chris Wheatley, an Arsenal correspondent for Goal, noticed a particular classy interaction between a fan and Wenger. The supporter initially asked for the 68-year-old’s tie, but he had already given it to someone else, and instead the two hugged it out.
Speaking after the final whistle, Wenger hailed the ‘special day’ and praised both sets of supporters.
“It’s a real special day. I think I should have announced every week that I leave because people are so nice to me since I said that! I would like to thank the people here – our fans,” he told Arsenal’s official website.
“The Huddersfield people have shown a lot of class. It was a great day, a happy day, because they celebrated staying in the Premier League. It was my last game after 1,235 times, it’s maybe time, but it was a special day and the players wanted to win the game.
“Overall I would like to thank everybody. I had fantastic human experiences at the club, above the results. I believe that it was a human adventure for 22 years and I wish everybody well and a lot of success to my club in the future.”