Arsene Wenger addressed the media for one final time following Arsenal’s 1-0 win at Huddersfield on Sunday, as his 22-year reign came to an end.
Thankfully, it was Wenger’s final signing, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, that made the difference for the Frenchman’s side with the only goal of the game at the John Smith’s Stadium on the day.
Here’s a recap of Wenger’s post-match press conference;
It was a special day – did you enjoy it?
“It’s a real special day and to keep my sense of humour I have announced it every week that I will retire, because people have been so nice since I said that!
“I’d like thank people here and our fans. Huddersfield people showed lot of class. It was a great day, a happy day. They celebrated to stay in the Premier League and my last game after 1,235 games and it’s maybe time, it was a special day and the players wanted to win the game. I want to thank everybody.
“I had fantastic human experiences at the club, above the results, it was a human adventure for 22 years and I wish everybody well and a lot of success to my club for the future.”
The bow to the away fans before the game – was it spontaneous?
“It was spontaneous, because I know that we’ve disappointed the away fans this season, that many of them they live the whole week and use their spare money to travel up to games.
“It’s part of the respect. We had disagreements which I accept, but we had one thing in common: we loved Arsenal Football Club and I wanted to share that with them today.”
Planes flying overhead?
“They had the wrong banner out today!
They didn’t lose their love? You get that?
“I get that. I feel that I got a lot of respect not only from our fans but from England. I would reiterate I loved English football but I also learned to love England. You do not stay 22 years if you don’t like it.
“That’s a good return from people who love football here. it’s a special country, especially even for football and that’s why I stayed a long time.”
It’s said you changed English football, but has it changed you?
“Look at my face – it’s changed me a lot!
“But it’s difficult to understand when you don’t know how deep the love is for the game. It was a fantastic experience for me. Where do I go from there?
“That’s the difficulty. When you’ve experienced this intensity for such a long time, I don’t know where I go from here. I’ll remain a fan wherever I go from here.”
You were out an hour before kick off?
“I wanted to get a bit of oxygen, my last day, nice weather, people were nice, Huddersfield were happy, they gave me a nice present.
“Herbert Chapman came from here, for me to come here on the last day was a special meaning when you know the history of our club. Chapman smiled at me as he was on the photo just outside the dressing room.”
Could you manage against Arsenal in the future?
“I’m not ready for that at the moment. That would be very difficult, I’d stay at home that day. Maybe I don’t envisage that at the moment.
Had offers from the Premier League?
Yes, I had offers, yes, of course. I had many offers. But at the moment, I have not said anything to anybody. I came out of a long process and you cannot just the next morning go somewhere else. It’s impossible.
Work in England?
“I don’t know. Maybe it’s better I go somewhere else.
What did Huddersfield give you as present?
“A big remembrance of 1,235 games – half of shirt of Huddersfield and half of Arsenal together. I came here in pre-season many, many years ago and they had financial problems.
“I knew this place and at the time i was happy to come. Since then they’ve come up to the Premier League.”
Do you feel part of the history of the club?
“I’m very proud, I’ve contributed a little bit. I’ve given some good moments to people who love the club. I don’t know what will stay or remain through the victories or defeats.
“I think what will remain is the formidable human aspect of the last 22 years – that is special and I will cherish that.
What did the Arsenal players give you as a present?
“I will keep it secret – we have to keep something back.
“I’ve loved working with this group and there is something that is waiting to come out. We were very close this season, despite all that, went to a League cup semi final, Europa League semi when we should have qualified, at home it was fantastic but away from home we need to improve and they will.”
African players crying when talking about your departure?
“Look I’ve had them my whole life, I opened the school in Africa with one of my friends, the Toures, Eboue, they came from there. Weah at a very young age. Lauren, always African players and they made a huge contribution.”
Arsene Wenger won three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups during his time in North London.