Arsene Wenger is under sustained fire in what can only be described as the worst period of his career to date.
Unable to get a performance from his team, the media coverage has been a relentless campaign of negativity.
But in amongst all the anger and confusion, Arsene Wenger continues to be the same man he always was off the pitch – full of class and a true gent.
A side of Arsene Wenger, you don’t always see.
Former Premier League referee @RefereeHalsey was diagnosed with cancer in 2009, and revealed on the Ray Stubbs show just how supportive the #AFC manager was during the process. pic.twitter.com/rkLW5VIVno
— talkSPORT 2 (@talkSPORT2) March 6, 2018
Although this tale is from a few years ago, there is no reason to think that Wenger wouldn’t act the same today, even with everything that is going on around him.
Halsey’s wife was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2008 before the referee was diagnosed with throat cancer himself. He received the news just before his first game of the season – Arsenal’s 6-1 win over Everton.
Just eight months after that initial diagnosis he was back refereeing.
“My lowest point was when I took my first fitness test,” he said in 2010. “I didn’t get anywhere near it. I just couldn’t do it. I collapsed. I remember sitting with my head in my hands. I couldn’t even phone my wife to tell her I had failed.
“I just sat on the steps and thought, ‘I can’t see me ever doing this.’ Michelle had a bit of a setback with her leukaemia so we went out to Lanzarote. I got a training programme to do while I was out there and I stuck to it rigorously. I took the test a second time. Mark Clattenburg, who was training on the pitch next to the track, came over and cheered me on.
“When I finished I fell to the floor and was just so emotional. Steve Bennett came over and picked me up. I think I hugged him for about five minutes and I cried non-stop.”
Halsey retired at the end of the 12/13 season.