Wenger stands down – former players react


As you might expect, there’s been an outpouring of emotional tributes to Arsene Wenger as the football world reacts to the news that he will step down as Arsenal manager at the end of the season.

Those who have worked with him first hand have had some particularly warm words for the boss…


Robert Pires

Merci Coach

Merci Coach

A post shared by Robert pires (@robert_pires07) on

Nwankwo Kanu

Big shoes for anyone to fill, playing for Arsenal under Arsene was one of the best period of my career, 2 premiership, 2 FA cups, The invincibles, playing with some of the best assembled players, influencing millions of fans in Africa to support this great club are some of the memories that come to fore today but above all the privilege to have played for a gentleman like Wenger is most cherished.

Lee Dixon

6 years of the most enjoyable successful football of my career. Thank you Arsene. A club legend

David Seaman

Sad day for @Arsenal with Arsene leaving, can we now give him the send off/respect he deserves?!! #rememberthetrophies

Tony Adams

Thanks for everything Arsene. Move over Herbert, Arsene Wenger the greatest Arsenal Manager. #arsenaltillhedies

Thierry Henry

“His legacy is untouchable. Managers, fans from other teams – (they talk about) how Arsene changed Arsenal.

“I am happy that now we can all talk about his legacy.

“Let’s not forget we still have to win the Europa league. It would be an amazing achievement.” (Quotes via Sky Sports)

Alan Smith

A time to be thankful, a time to pay homage, a time to reminisce

Gilberto Silva

Obrigado por tudo. Thanks for everything. #MerciArsène

Bob Wilson

#Arsene, it’s been a privilege. Thank you for an unforgettable 22 years, both on the field and off it.

Lukas Podolski

22 years at the same club is an amazing achievement. It was a pleasure learning from you, a great coach, true character and gentleman both on and off the pitch.
An Arsenal legend and icon, all of us Gunners will miss you…

Sol Campbell


Thomas Vermaelen

It has been a great honour to play for you and I am grateful for the opportunity you gave me to play for Arsenal FC. You deserve all the respect for what you have done for this club. I wish you all the best Boss!

Robin van Persie

Thanks Arsene for all your confidence in me over the years. You are a very special man & a top coach! Definitely one of the very best ever!

I will always see you as my footballing father where under your guidance I had the chance to grow as a man and a player, i’m forever thankful for that and wish you all the very best for the next chapter in your life!

Cesc Fabregas

Wow. I never expected that but it shows the great dignity and class of the man. I will never forget his guidance and support, his tutelage and mentorship. He had faith in me from day one and I owe him a lot, he was like a father figure to me who always pushed me to be the best. Arsene, you deserve all the respect and happiness in the world. #classact

Ray Parlour

Sad news for @Arsenal let’s get behind the manager and team til end of the season. He certainly made me a better player! Let’s Resect him for what he achieved #Legend

Abou Diaby

Truly saddened to hear the Boss is leaving. A great man who made an everlasting positive impact.The moral support& confidence you gave me, alongside your guidance& support helped me become the man I am today. A shining light on my darkest days. From the bottom of my heart, MERCI.

Mathieu Flamini

The Red Army is losing its number one Commander.I am honoured to have served under you for so many years.I would like to express my gratitude and unconditional support to you for playing such a massive role in my career and for having an immense impact on the man I am.Thank you!

Nicklas Bendtner

Dedication and strength. Always put the club first and believing in development of the player and the man. You revolutionised the game of football in the premier league. The upmost respect to the greatest coach I have ever worked with. It was and honour to wear the colours and a honour to work with you.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Forever grateful for the faith shown, the opportunity given, the knowledge shared and unconditional support offered. Thanks for everything boss.

Dennis Bergkamp

Boss… Arsène, Thanks!

Boss… Arsène, Thanks!

A post shared by Dennis Bergkamp (@officialdennisbergkamp) on

Patrick Vieira

Thank you for everything

Ashley Cole

To the man who believed in me and trusted me to play in a great team,thank you for having my back. I will never forget the conversations we had and the belief you had in me thank you for some great memories and good luck in whatever is next for You.


newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Sol must think you pay by the letter

Lord Bendnter

Sometimes, a picture is louder than a thousand words. He’s probably still in awe


Wow! Some reaction from Campbell.


Arsene is like family, you can get cross with him, or frustrated by him, but underneath is always love. It makes me very emotional reading this, and we have been very privileged to have Arsene as our manager, he is a good human being. Yes, the time is right for him to leave, but it can be done with class, just like the man.


Couldn’t have said it better.


Top response Vonnie, so true.
I think the time is right for him to go but I shall miss his Inspector Clouseau ways, his classy press conferences etc.
FIFA should install him as their President as soon as they can.
Thank you Prof – LEGEND

David C

well said Vonnie! I also love how Thierry said “we” still have to win the Europa league 🙂

I hope we go for Luis Enrique as his replacement next season. It would also be lovely to see Wenger (who we know is a great cup coach) go and run France or another international team as a little retirement gig.


Just can’t stop crying :'( What a sad day for this club.
On the one hand I don’t want to see him manage another team ever but on the other hand I wish that he goes to a club like Barca or PSG and finally wins this fucking Champions League. He has deserved it more than anyone else.
All the best, Arsene. I’ll always look up to your achievements at this club and to the man you are and have been over decades. One Love!


I wasn’t expecting tears in my eyes reading these sendoffs. Truly believe he transcended from being just a good manager. He is a good man, and a very trusting one at that. So many careers are owed to him….

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Tony Adams should have shut the f off, he said Wenger wasn’t a good coach but just a manager.


tony adams has said that arsene was not the best of coaches no doubt, but as did many others as well in the recent years. he did however also talk about how wenger was a good man manager and a gentleman, and he still does have a lot of respect for him. and regardless of how we might view all of those other players too, which may not have left in the best of terms, or criticized wenger through the years, i dont think there’s much doubt that many of them are truly grateful to wenger, and are offering their… Read more »


The old guard are first to point out the positive impact Wenger made when inheriting the George Graham rear guard.

Remember the late Graham period plus Rioch tenure wasn’t exactly producing wonders for us either.

Its one thing to inherit a potentially useful weapon and another to get the best out of it.

That defense was seen as aging asset by the time Wenger came in but he got the best out of them for several seasons more and married it with a successful recipe attaching flair and guile from the continent to a rediscovered strength at the back.


There will be no bad words about the greatest centre half and capt we’ve ever had thank you very much


Van Persie… LOL


Actually Persie said he’s a special human being the time he signed for manure


RVP saw it coming.

He knew Wenger was going to continue to struggle to find balance.

That said, he should have stayed on to finish a club legend rather than compromise and take the bigger pay packet but with little lasting legacy.

There is something greater than filling your cabinet with a winner’s medal and lining the bank with money.

These are illusions of success sadly many are all too happy to measure Wenger with alone.

Andy Mack

Despite being very talented, RvP hadn’t had the fitness to boss the club around, so when he got stroppy and someone came in for him offering decent money it seemed like a good idea.
Just a shame he then had a relatively injury free season or else we’d have been referring to selling him in the same way that we do for Vermaelen.


people often miss one of greatest achievements Arsene did for British football was that he stopped Man U completely dominating the Premiership. Had it not been for Arsenal, Man U would have won eight years running. And we did, not puttting the boot in, but by playing some of the most beautiful football that the British Isles has ever seen. look I have had my doubts since the 8-2, but its time to remember the gems, the 1-4 against Inter for me, for example. As Arsenal fans, we always want to be in the hunt, but in this massive corporate… Read more »


The footballing environment changed first with Chelsea then City. Also the lower teams got more competitive and the International market started to get mined by them with better TV redistribution money and the shedding of foreign inhibitions. This was a double squeeze for Wenger coupled with the need to hold frugal for a period. We were playing catch up by the time he started to loosen the purse strings post 2013. Could he have loosen earlier (RVP 2012 period) and moved a little more aggressive? Probably. But to simply view Wenger as diminishing capability without the ocntext of the overall… Read more »

Andy Mack

You missed out the real bad luck of having players like Diaby, Eduardo and Rosicky injured long term. Diaby had the potential to be our new PV4 (Slightly more attacking and less defensive than PV but potentially a world class payer), Eduardo is the most natural goal scorer we’ve had since Wrighty and we know how good a fit TR7 was…


It was 1-5 vs inter btw

Faisal Narrage

Something about Cesc and Van P’s comments that sting a little. Don’t know why.

Says something about Podolski that he would leave a goodbye message, considering he wasn’t a long serving player or anything

David Hillier's luggage

Reckon it says more about Wenger’s impact as a person – Podolski is a social media machine and often posts Arsenal related stuff, no real surprise he’d leave a message, but if players like Andre Santos (just as short a time) and Denilson are leaving tributes it clearly shows the guy meant a lot to the players.

Dial Square Charity XI

I know it’s a bit cliché to say this, but it really hits home when so many former players credit him for their personal development. I grew up with only my mum and even though I have joked with my wife about how I look up to him as a father figure – today it really hit home. My mother died 10 years ago and I haven’t cried like this since then. I know it’s ridiculous… just wanted to share. much love


As someone who also grew up with just a mother, I could’t agree more. This man has been way more than just a manager.


Beautiful comment for a beautiful man, inside and out, the diaby and flamini comments hit me hard, Dixon, ahh man welling up all day, peace n love arsene, gonna be an emotional end to the season that’s for sure, all u empty seaters best sort your shit out and pay respects till the good man is done and finished.


Kanu too! He’s stood by so many guys with huge obstacles on their careers, too many to count.


This time it’s not something in my eye, I am crying. Lovely personal comment. Hang in there, dude


Should not have read this on a flight. No onions around


Is there another Arsecast coming up tonight?


Extra Arsene Extra Arsecast Extra

Bernardo Binda

Sol Campbell must’ve seen the picture of Cesc’s haircut from back then


Wenger has so many adopted children. Say anything about the guy but as a man their are idealistic aspects he holds true too that society could do well remembering these days.

Dial Square Charity XI

I think the children adopted him


Podolski, Kanu. Did not spend too many seasons with us. Played mainly from the bench yet even they acknowledge the huge impact Arsene had on them.

Seems a bit disingenuous from some people who think they know better to put down the man when they haven’t ever played for the club under him.


“Victory Through Harmony”


Despite all of the struggles the squad has had of late, Wenger has been a true class act for the club and drew so many fans to the club including myself so many years ago. I am glad he was able to announce now so he can get all the tributes from the football world that he so well deserves. He is certainly going to make the last few Arsenal matches this season ones that you will not want to miss.


Yes its not to disguise the man’s flaws but we must also more than acknowledge the obvious which are all the positive attributes he has brought not juct to club and players but football as a whole. If he tried and failed, well the important part is the trying. He tried to live up to his ideals which is more than I can say for plenty of people all too willing to compromise and get ahead with life. …not that he is a failure either because 10 major trophies in 21 + seasons translates to an astonishingly decent return of… Read more »

Harry Flowers

It’s telling that so many players acknowledge the role role Arsene had in making them not only better players, but better men.


He built players.

Some of these detractors like to wax lyrical about Santi or any of their favorite players when things are going well then conveniently blame Wenger for being ‘clueless’ when things don’t go their way to make up for their empty lives.

Frankly, it was Arsene that saw the potential in Santi re-roled to midfield.

As he did with Kolo Toure into defense.

As he did with Henry as a CF.

Or indeed RVP.

Credit where its due.

I smell like bouef

Resect Arsene? Christ Ray a wave goodbye would suffice!


You smell like an ingrate.


Something special.

He nurtured and developed players.

Got the best out of Bergkamp even if he wasn’t the one who signed him.

Made Henry.

Developed Fabregas despite his defective Barca DNA.

Stole and rebuilt Sol from a lousy team.

Found and polished Pires into world class.

Created the Flamini and recreated him.

Gave opportunity to the Ox and TGSTEL.

Even the likes of Van Persie pays homage, you have to wonder what some of Wenger’s detractors are made of.


Billy Bob

Comments by Flaminia and podolski are more meaningful than a lot of the first teamers!!! Perhaps some players took his greatness for granted!!!


I love how everyone calls him Boss.

Arsène's protege.

Dennis’ tribute @ 19, sheer Class just like the man himself and the Man it’s meant for.


I can’t wait to see Wenger(like Sir Alex) on the stand next season watching how we will still carry his legacy….


So great


What an incredible set of tributes – impossible to read without crying. First time the emotion has hit me today. Like many, I lost faith in Wenger the manager over the last few seasons, but never lost respect for Wenger the man. If I managed to earn even 5% of the respect in my lifetime that this guy jas in his, I would have done well. A shining example to us all.


Or probably even 1%. And sorry – *has. Hard to proof read with tears in your eyes.

David Hillier's luggage

So many more on top of these, from Walcott to Sagna to Szczesny, Djourou, Denilson, Eboue, Senderos, Gabirel, even Andre Santos, the list is growing by the second.

Also, I defy anyone who manages to keep a dry eye listening to Bob Wilson’s words on Arsene on the BBC website. ?

Tony Hall

I didn’t


Just heard that clip, and I’m crying like a baby. I’m a grown man, and all I want right now is to hug Arsene, and just cry a bit. Gawddamnit I thought I hardly cared about our club anymore…


I did, no problem

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

You are the mystery downvoter and I claim my five pounds.


Ashley Cole? Nasri? Ljunberg? Toure? Lauren? Jens? where’s the rest? Pat rice? D Dein?

Andy Mack

Are they all on social media?


Sad times indeed. Thanks for the great teams scintillating football the trophies the stadium and training ground. Most of all thank you Arsene.for 22 loyal years to our great club. Don’t care what anyone says he will be missed greatly. One Arsenal Wenger.


I love that Bloggs missed out Ashley Cole ?

Quite right to! Cashley saying thanks after he stabbed Arsene & the club in the back, what a vile toe rag.


I’ve had a stray eyelash in my eyes the last 2 days reading all the ex players comments. This is really it isn’t it?


Am feling emotional reading all these tribute from players n fans. I started supporting Arsenal in d Wenger era cos of d style of play… I have love for u boss n wish u d best!
Let’s keep his legacy plsssssssss

Andy Mack

I understand Merson has said some positive stuff about AW. He must be really hurting over that…

Jack but

Arsene..tears for a man


Tributes from Alexis, Giroud and Arteta are conspicuously missing…


Giroud and Artetea aren’t big on social media, we know the respect is there. Alexis doesn’t count.