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September 2018
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Thank you Mr. Wenger

By Walter Broeckx

As if it was meant to be. This Sunday I will be going to London to see The Arsenal play in the stadium called Emirates Stadium. My wife will be there with me.  As she has done in the past seasons since I gave her the Arsenal experience for the first time some 3 years ago.

It will be a memorable day for us. For various reasons.   First on a personal note if you will allow me to give you some personal details (otherwise just skip to the next paragraphs). My wife Carine has had a terrible 15 years or so. Regular readers will know that she developed chronic Lyme disease and that forced her in to a wheelchair and made it impossible to keep on doing her job that she really loved doing. So in the past she has been coming with me and we have been in the the disabled section. I have mentioned the people who work there before, and will take the opportunity once again to thank these people for the kindness, the way they helped the people in that section.

But for a year or so Carine has started a new treatment. And to our great amazement she started to recover. First she took little step indoors where after a while she could throw one crutch away and soon another crutch followed and she walked inside with no support again. And after that she started to walk outside.

Eventually we realised she wasn’t always needing her wheelchair anymore. Only her crutches. And a while after that only one was needed. And then without realizing it she suddenly could walk again without crutches. No long distances but the sight of seeing her walk again was unbelievable both for myself and for our children.

So four weeks ago we decided it was time to move on. Her wheelchair that has been in the car permanently for seven years or so was stored in our garage. We put one crutch in the car, just in case…. but then we said: out. Not Wenger out, but crutch out.

And so Carine and I will walk towards the Emirates this Sunday for the first time in our lives. Even writing it makes me emotional. Not in my wildest dreams I could have dreamed this to be happening. We will walk up the stairs. She still might use the lift to the upper floor as there are so many steps inside it might be too much still for her. But I will be sitting next to her in a regular seat to see our club play. I’m sure it will bring a lot of emotion to me. And to her.

And then on top of it the news came out today. This will be the last game we will see with Wenger in charge of the team.  There’s no need to say that I have been a firm defender of Mr. Wenger all these years of me writing for Untold Arsenal. We are losing a man whom I admired. Of course I cannot say I loved him as…well to love him I think you need to know him in person. But if there is a feeling next to love for a man, I feel it. I can only say good things about him.

So next Sunday will be a first (Carine walking without support) and a last: my last live match with Wenger in the dugout as our manager. Of course I knew this day would come. I hope that the players will run their hearts out to give this great man the farewell he deserves.

If all goes well 8 matches. Any idiot that still wants to find any reason to not support Arsenal from now on till the end of the season can never be called a supporter. I have always only wanted the best for Arsenal. And will continue to do so. Others didn’t want the best for Arsenal as they have written and said many times.

Eight matches if all goes well where I want 100% support for both club and manager. I want the Emirates to rock each time. Not when we put up a show. No, from before kick off till the last player has left the field at the end of the match. I want full support from all and everyone. And if you are not really willing to give that support inside the stadium: please give up your season ticket (so I can get one next season), stay at home and give your ticket to someone who is willing to give that support.

I hope the players will realise what they have to do in the next weeks. That is to play as if it is their last match in their lives. It will be down to them to give this great Arsenal man the farewell he deserves.

I will do my best next Sunday to for the last time shout my support to the greatest manager in the long history of The Arsenal!

Thank you, Lord Wenger.  Merci, Monsieur Wenger. Bedankt voor alles, Mijnheer Wenger. Vielen Dank Herr Wenger.

I will never forget you. We will never forget you. And thank you to all you loyal Untolders for making this period with Untold Arsenal such a great period.

 

New from the Arsenal History Society

 

34 comments to Thank you Mr. Wenger

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Nice work Walter! And Carine ” walk on, walk with hope in your heart…”

    Remember these?

    EPL 1997/98 1st
    EPL 1998/99 runner up
    EPL 1999/2000 runner up
    EPL 2000/2001 runner up
    EPL 2001/2002 1st
    EPL 2002/2003 runner up
    EPL 2003/2004 1st
    EPL 2004/2005 runner up
    EPL 2015/16 runner up

    Lge Cup

    2006/7 runner up
    2010/11 runner up
    2017/18 runner up

    FACup

    1997/98 winner
    2000/1 runner up
    2001/2002 winner
    2002/3 winner
    2004/5 winner
    2013/14 winner
    2014/15 winner
    2016/17 winner

    Charity shield

    1998 winners
    1999 winners
    2002 winners
    2003 runner up
    2004 winners
    2005 runner up
    2014 winners
    2015 winners
    2017 winners

    European cup (Champions legue)

    2005/6 runner up

    Europa league(UEFA cup)

    1999/2000 runner up

    Fa cup semi finals (losses)

    1999
    2004
    2009

    Lge Cup semi finals (losses)

    1995/6
    1996/7
    2003/4
    2005/6
    2007/8

    European Cup /champions league Semi final losses

    2008/9

    plus, one brand new shiny stadium, not as beautiful as Highbury, but that relative….all those years qualifying for Europe, all those St.Totteringham days…as for the Chickens..?

    How would it have been without the money bag teams? If only Den could have bagged that pen! If only…
    COYG!

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    And Invincible…

  • Jack

    Le Prof we salute you for all the great times and for staying back with the club during the tough times. You will always be remembered by us Gooners. Some day we will tell our grandchildren the wonderful “Invincible” story and your name will be mentioned. A big thank you.

  • Gord

    Wonderful news about Carine, Walter! I hope she continues to progress well into the future.

    Enjoy the game!

    And to hope the players produce a string of wins to put a polish on the end of Wenger’s reign at Arsenal.

  • Jack

    Today we want to thank Arsene so let us not invoke a debate. Let us just stick to wishing him well and thanking him for all the good times

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    See you on Sundat

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    @Kenneth Widmerpool.
    If those 6 PL runner ups from 1997/98 – 2015/16 were winners, and the 3 winners under the periods were runner ups in the 21 years Le Boss has had at Arsenal as manager, wouldn’t he have still stayed on at Arsenal as it’s manager at least for another year to honour his contact there that still has a year and some weeks on it to run out? But us don’t know yet if his leaving Arsenal at the end of this season is on professional grounds or on personal grounds which us can’t say.

  • knobby

    Just like I cannot say if there was an agreement in the contract to say it could be terminated if both sides agree or it would be assessed after a year.

    Anyway that is some great news about Carine her quality of life must be a million times better.

  • ARSENAL 13

    such a sad sad day. Tears in my eyes all day.

    Now, can we get enough support to rename the stadium.

  • Ernest Reed

    Feel good story, Walter. Best wishes to you and your wife and continued good health and fortune.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Off topic but our U23s are 34 minutes into their last game of the season against West Ham. So far they are two nil up and well on the way to winning their league. Goals from Nelspn and Nketiah who has been superb so far and could have a Hattrick but for Trott in the West Ham goal.

    COYG

  • Ando

    Thanks and respect to M.Wenger
    A gentleman with integrity, imagination and independent views
    He will be greatly missed, whatever the results in the future
    Salût!

  • nicky

    @Walter,
    What an excellent report on the fragrant Carine .
    It reduces the news of Arsene’s departure to its proper perspective.
    I wish them both well for the future.
    😉

  • omgarsenal

    Fantastic news Walter and Carine….perhaps the UA faithful would like to see your family on UA?

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Our U23s are Champions! Well done!

    A comfortable 3-1 win at West Ham tonight with two goals from Nketiah and one from Nelson.

  • Gord

    Reading some of the interview clips on Arsenal.com today, how many times did Gazidis have to say that he would not report on any private conversations?

    medja idjuts

    ===

    Congratulations to the U23!

  • Nitram

    Kenneth Widmerpool

    Nice post.

    Quite amazing when you list it down like that.

    You ask ‘what would of it been like without the money bags teams’ ?

    Exactlty.

    But you saying that got me to thinking.

    When people do look back at this glorious period in Arsenal history it will be remembered as the ‘WENGER years’.

    Similar at ot they will be remembered as the ‘FERGIE years’

    What will they be remembered as at Chelsea?

    The Mourinho years ? I dont think so.

    It will be the ‘ABRAMOVICH’ years wont it.

    And at Man City ?

    It will be the MANSOUR years.

    And thats the difference.

    At Arsenal the success was all about the manager.

    At Chelsea and Man City the success is all about the money.

    I think when people look back in many years time they will wonder in awe at how Wenger even achieved what he did given the enormous task he was presented with.

    The man was simply amazing.

    And to you Walter, thank you for your heartwarming story on this sad day, and whatever happens enjoy ‘walking’ to the match, and many more to come.

  • Menace

    Kenneth Widmerpool – you missed out the training ground with an infrastructure second to none. Wenger is and will always be the best manager to ever grace the game.

    Walter I am in tears reading about Carine & thank God for listening to our prayers. I wish you & all the Arsenal supporters a great time in London at the Ems.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Have a great day Walter and Carine.
    Have a feeling there is going to be a lot of unity in these remaining games
    But also a day to be glad at what the club have been given.
    My only negative point is that I wonder if Wenger thought he had to go rather than willingly chose to go, but we may never know such details, Ivan conspicuously steered clear of any such things.
    Wenger will go somewhere , hopefully do very well, and when he stops managing , will wager he returns in some capacity, even if it’s an ambassadorial role. That will piss em off.

  • Gord

    There will be people who will say that Arsenal was sliding down. The way the EPL works, is that it is a league of 2 parts:
    _1. The Top
    _2. Rest of the pack

    Long ago, the top comprised 4 teams, now it seems to be 6 teams. But Wenger has been in the top group all the time.

    Some years, there seems to be a team noticably better in either the top group (or the rest of the pack group), sometimes you see two such teams. But by and large, the difference between the the top top team, and the bottom top team is just an accident of statistics. There is no real difference in quality between the teams. So an accident of statistics is what people crown for winning the league.

    And at the bottom of the table, 3 teams are relegated again by an accident of statistics. they typically are no worse than the others in the rest of the pack. I gather next season, Wolves are likely to be back in the Premier.

  • AL

    Sad day indeed. But relieved Arsene can get back to doing what he truly loves without the humiliation he was getting from the media. Thank you for the memories Arsene.

  • Walter and Carine, best wishes. You deserve every moment of celebration from now going forward. With what happened to Carine, many will believe miracles still happen.

    As for you Mr. Arsene Wenger, you deserve nothing but the highest respect and a special place in my heart. Today is a very sad day for me because of the announcement that you are stepping down.

    It will take a some time to come to terms with you no longer being there. Very sad indeed. I wish you the very best and I hope you live long and healthy.

    For those who lived for “Wenger out”. I hope you are happy now.

    For Arsenal Football Club, I hope we begin to enjoy a new lease of life, and don’t take too long to adjust to this change. Up the Arsenal! Gooners forever!

  • Pat

    Very good news about Carine, Walter. Hope you both enjoy the match.

  • Paul Glackin

    Ive never seen another manager or player endure the downright abuse and mocking as Mr. Wenger ,yet he still remains a true gentleman ,seen and heard lots of nice and heartfelt tributes hope the team give it there all in remaining games and win Europa league in France what a way to say au revoir to le boss.

  • Far East Gooner

    i am happy to hear Wenger-san retirement . He does not need to take anymore humiliation and disrespectful nonsense.

    Wenger-san has shown the world about football best practices especially in managing a football team with very limited resource ; The art of blending youthful and experienced players in a team and most important of alll – play beautiful football.

    I think he is not appreciated in England and Arsenal. I will also stop following Arsenal in the next season . Thanks for the 22 years of good football. Sayonara.. All the best to Arsenal and her fans .

  • Florian

    The flood of news has been a bit overwhelming these days.

    Walter,

    Your wife’s recovery is another demonstration of tenacity and determination in the face of adversity. As a long-time struggler with health issues in a country where this is an Achilles heel of the system, I deeply sympathize, and wish her a long happy life ahead.

    Oh well.

    I, and so many others, knew that this day would come, and even though that should have prepared us for this moment, I don’t think anyone was really ready to receive it, much less acknowledge. In a way, it’s maybe a good thing to let the news break out, instead of slowly spreading rumors.

    Without Arsène, the football will be uglier and poorer. I’ve been a follower of the phenomenon for over 30 years, and I can’t remember anyone so keen to the aesthetics of the game. What use is to spend billions if hacking down the opponents is the norm? He was the best ambassador the football had in the recent and no-so-recent memory, and we’d be hard pressed to find anyone that comes close. But, above all, his leadership made him become a role model for a whole generation of people, players and fans alike. It’s no wonder he attracted so much hatred from the small and envious. What better demonstration of the man’s value than the number and size of his enemies.

    Far East Gooner,
    You may feel just one voice lost in the ocean, but the ocean grew big because so many people like you. If you choose to stop following Arsenal, the ocean will become smaller. Think about that.

    An era is ending. What the future hold is anyone’s guess, but let’s be optimistic that Arsène did all he could to leave the club in a healthy state and a good position to compete and challenge for honors, whoever may the next manager be. For that and for so much more,

    Merçi, Arsène

  • Gooner Murphy

    Very best wishes to you Walter and your wife hope you have a great day at the Match, God bless Arsene Wenger.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    While it is sad news of Arsene Wenger ‘s wish to bow out at this season’s end, I’m glad that he will be free to take a deserved breather , reflect and come out with a no holds bared tell all book or books( an sure that there is plenty of shit that was thrown !). Finally we’ll get to know what truly went on , and what he had to endure for the sake of his love for the Arsenal.

    I will write my own personal goodbye to AW on these pages , when the season ends. Hopefully with an Europa win . Hopefully like last season there will be the repeat of an open bus parade of a trophy on the rightful side of North London !

    Thank you Walter , for this fine article , as well as for the good news of your Mrs’ recovery . Best wishes to your family for the future . And have a great and enjoyable day out at the Ems .

    And thanks too , Walter & co , in advance for the usual and obligatory three points ! Please don’t break this wonderful streak !

    Arsene Wenger forever !
    Up the Gunners !

  • ARSENAL 13

    I sat down yesterday to write a small tribute,

    after an hr I realized, I couldnt write a single word.

  • hilbert

    I still havent collected myself after I heard the sad sad news…had no idea of the profound effect it’d have on me. Anyway, I just find all this so out of step with what Arsene has been saying in the period leading up to his announcement. I hope he wasnt unceremoniously kicked out, directly or otherwise.

    All this talk of ‘oh lets now band together as one big united family and give him the send off he deserves’ is a bit disconcerting to me…I wish the years and years of enduring a crooked PGMOL would have inspired such unity from both fans and the board, so sad to see that it had to come to the sad reality/relief(God forbid) of seeing him go that people are now talkin of banding together. Just so everyone knows, I aint chaining myself to no leech.

    What’s even more galling and despicable is the torture of having to endure the empty and shameless platitudes of those who made it their life’s mission to belittle all the achievements of this man…pathetic souls they are.

    I dont think it’ll ever be the same again, over the past years, supporting arsenal for me became as much an act of wishing the team success on the pitch as it was rooting for Arsene. All that drivel and disrespect he had to endure, and from people who should have known better, and all the while still treating them with every measure of (undeserved)respect, never allowing himself to sink to their level. Such grace…I wish I could possess such strength of character.

    Lately football seems to be growing into this unrecognisable, souless, winner-take-all behemoth…Arsene constantly reminded me that there could still be another side which, while still not sacrificing the competitiveness inherent in the game, embraced the even more important qualities of sportsmanship, benevolence, respect, grace…as someone once told me, winning isnt everything and losing is nothing.

    I dont think I need to go on any longer about the profound effect he’s had on the countless who have even never met him in person…those who knew and understood him know.

  • Pat

    hilbert

    Well said. So true.

  • king

    Lol, calm down SAF was an even bigger colossus, he retired, the world didn’t end. Iconic managers have come and gone, many more successful than Wenger, their clubs didn’t fold. The same will happen with arsenal, so weep no more dear child

  • inconvenient fact

    happy for carine.
    thanks to untold for standimg up for truth.
    goodbye the great arseme of arsenal.

  • Rantetta

    Thanks for this article, inc. sharing the great news of Carine and your family, Walter.