All the tears Arsenal make you shed, sometimes it gets too much.
I remember that Champions League semi final, when we lost the match in the first 20 minutes against United. Cristiano scored a fabulous free kick.
It signalled another year of mediocrity, another trophyless season.
I remember when we were 0-0 until the 40th minute, playing excellent football when Chelsea scored two in the last five minutes of the half and killed us.
Year after year of not reaching the top.
Watching your rivals sign top talents.
Enviously looking on as your team gets outplayed.
It’s soul-crushing when you are heavily invested in your club.
Once, when we were 2-1 up against Barcelona after the first leg, I couldn’t sleep without having dreams of scraping through in the second leg. Somehow. But they were just dreams and we crashed out as Bendtner missed a chance and RVP got sent off for shooting.
If it hurt me so much, imagine how much it must have hurt the man who lives and breathes Arsenal.
Every waking moment of his life was and still is consumed by how he can better the club, how he can take us further.
He could have left so many times, won a Champions League with another club.
Real Madrid called, Juventus called, Bayern Munich called, Inter Milan called, PSG used to call every season.
But this man, this stubborn fool dedicated his career and best years at a club that had no resources, no prospects, and saw all those whom he had trusted, leave. Players who were like his sons, whose careers he made.
He aged beyond his years.
And yet he stayed on.
It was like some obsession, fighting a losing battle but still not giving up. A hopeless romantic believing in fairytales with a point to prove.
I have criticised Wenger a lot. All those tears, all those heartbreaks, always so-near-yet-so-far.
It becomes too much too often.
Because, the truth is, everyone likes to win. Everyone wants bragging rights.
So it hurts.
But the feeling that Wengerball gives you, it’s something else. Indescribable.
When I watch that football, I truly love it. Like when I watch Messi. Wengerball makes you forget everything.
It’s football at it’s attractive best.
It’s what makes us love the game, forget the trophies, the drama, everything.
Arsene Wenger has made football a better game. From George Weah to Thierry Henry to Laurent Koscielny, he found talents and made careers.
He made Arsenal punch way above their weight, and let us dare to dream.
Arsene Wenger would never have felt at home at Real Madrid, because at heart, Wenger is a football romantic who believes in the underdogs.
He believes in giving the spectators their money’s worth.
He believes in the beautiful game.
Thank you, Arsene.
I may have been mad at you sometimes, but I love you.
There will never be another like you.