There will be these odd moments when I imagine the future of Arsenal and I happen to think of Arsene Wenger as someone who isn’t the manager of Arsenal. In these moments, I have to pause and tell myself to calm down, that it hasn’t actually happened yet. I’m not deluded and I know that he won’t be manager forever and lord knows the man needs some rest and a break from all of the stress - but I still can’t actually imagine it, you know?
Who will we be without him? What kind of a club will we be? He’s changed the club so thoroughly, not to mention the entire fabric of the Premier League and the sport as a whole. He’s led the club through ups and downs, though the Invincibles, through the 8-2 (which still fucking stings, by the way), through all sorts of media criticism, through bizarre UEFA bans, through the loss of key players and the astute purchases of other key players. He’s the Boss. He’s the Professor. His quiet, haltingly intelligent way of speech and wry sense of humor is oddly charming. He so, so obviously cares so much - too much - about the players, the club, and the fans. Players have come and go throughout the past few years, but Wenger has been a constant. What happens when he’s not?
All I know is that when he does decide to step down - and I know that it will be his decision and not the club’s, because they would never fire him and we, as fans, aside from the idiotic “Wenger Out” brigade, would never dream of asking for it - I will be a mess. Even if it’s after the greatest season in club history, I will be an emotional mess and probably end up crying for days going “I LOVE HIM SO MU-HU-HU-UCH”.
You know what, though? Considering how many players have thanked him for molding them into the player that they are today, for giving them a chance, for teaching them and being a mentor, for influencing them in some way or another - I know I won’t be alone.