Judging by the amount of tributes given to Arsene Wenger by players, former players and former adversaries since he announced he was leaving Arsenal just goes to show how much Le Prof is admired and respected everywhere in the footballing world.
Now today, the last signing of the Wenger era, Henrik Mhkitaryan, has stated that every single person at the club was very upset at his departure and they would all have been happy if he remained in charge indefinitely. “Not only the players, but the staff overall were sad. It’s not that easy to handle the exit of a man who was managing the team for 22 years,” he said.
“You can’t imagine how everyone was amazed with the atmosphere he had created. If he decided to stay for 10 more years, no one would have been against (it).”
But Mhki accepts that the targets were not met last season and the players must now concentrate on redressing that balance next season under Emery. “Our priority (last season) was qualification for Champions League, but unfortunately we didn’t manage that,” he said.
“We wanted to do it and we fought for it, but everything can happen in football, so we should focus on next season and return to the Champions League in two years.”
Although Mhki says everyone would be happy if Wenger remained, could that be because they knew that their own jobs were safe under Le Prof? Perhaps they all simply became complacent?
It would certainly be a telling indictment if Emery got Arsenal back into the Top Four with the same players that Arsenal had, but simply couldn’t motivate them any more?