Arsene Wenger’s final game in charge of Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium ended — fittingly — with a 5-0 victory for the Gunners on Sunday as a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang brace and goals from Alexandre Lacazette, Sead Kolasinac and Alex Iwobi handed the home side victory over Burnley.
The day was dominated by tributes to Wenger with the two teams forming a guard of honour for the manager before the game. Even the fans, who have had a fractious relationship with the Frenchman, sported red T-shirts emblazoned with “Merci Arsene” (Thank you, Arsene) while singing “There’s only one Arsene Wenger”. Arsenal legends Bob Wilson and Pat Rice, who worked on Wenger’s coaching staff for many years, also handed him a gold trophy.
Wenger made a short speech for the home fans. Here’s the full transcript of the speech:
“Before I start, I just want to say that at Arsenal we care and I would like to wish my fellow manager (Sir Alex) Ferguson well, very quickly.
“Thank you for having me for such a long time. I know it was not easy. But above all, I’m like you — I’m an Arsenal fan.
“This is more than just watching football, it’s a way of life. It’s caring about the beautiful game, about the values we cherish, and as well, that something that goes for all our bodies in every cell of our bodies. We care, we worry, we are desperate, but when you come here, at the theatre of dreams, we realise what it means.
“I would like as well to thank everyone at the club who make it so special. I would invite you, to really push and support these players and the staff who remain behind me. This group of players has a special quality. Not only on the pitch, but off the pitch. Please, as you follow this team, support them next season because they deserve it.
“I would like to finish in one simple sentence: I will miss you. Thank you all for having such an important part of my life, thank you all, well done, bye bye.”