Mumbai football fans react to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger's exit
What does Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger's exit mean for football fans in the city?
Wenger the #bossman
I have been a follower of Arsenal ever since I remember watching football. Arsenal was a Class A team. Wenger played a huge part in making me fall in love with this sport as an art and passion. He is and will remain #bossman for all Gooners. Some goodbyes are expected but hard to fathom. It was an emotional farewell. He's had the best of players and made them all better. Hopefully, the team should perform better. Sixth isn't a position for a team that is so good. One of my most memorable moments as a fan was at the stadium; I had taken a Manchester United fan with me in October 2015. We won 3-0. Let's just say we aren't such good friends anymore (kidding on that).
Esha Gupta, Actor
Atul Kasbekar with Robert Pires
It's the end of an era. For me, Wenger was the greatest manager in the Premiership after Sir Alex. He changed the face of the English league. I've wanted him replaced ever since he sold Robin van Persie and haven't wavered on that view since then. The same man who introduced the best innovations in the game was consistently getting beaten at his own game by others. I hope Arsenal appoints a seasoned, proven manager at this point. My choice is Massimiliano Allegri or Diego Simeone. On an average, I've seen a game a year at Highbury and the Emirates. Arsenal has never lost when I've been at the stadium. They've drawn games but never lost. Perhaps, the club should consider flying me out there for important games!
Atul Kasbekar, photographer
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger waves at fans at the end of a match at Emirates Stadium on May 6. pics/getty images
In his typical gentlemanly style, Arsene Wenger wished a speedy recovery to former rival Sir Alex Ferguson as he began his farewell speech at the Emirates Stadium last Sunday. Known to be a charmer and a revolutionary name in football, Wenger has served as the manager for professional football club Arsenal FC for 22 long years.
"After the retirement of Steven Gerard, Frank Lampard, Rio Ferdinand, David Beckham and Sir Alex, Wenger stepping down was the last nail in the coffin that says we are all old now! He is a father figure for Arsenal fans, not seeing him there will be a big change even for supporters of other teams who respected him despite the on-field rivalries," says sports presenter Manas Singh, who is a Liverpool fan. "He built the stadium for the team by managing the club's finances. Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool, and Manchester City fans have seen a change in managers and it is tough, but not Arsenal. It's going to be interesting now," he adds.
We spoke to fans to know what they make of the development.
(Bottom row, centre) Kartik Menda at the Emirates Stadium, London
Most Arsenal fans in India must have seen the team only under Arsene. It's a part of the heart that nobody can replace. He has left the club in a decent position and not in ruins. The next manager has a slightly easier task to make things better. What Wenger did for Arsenal is what Santiago Bernabéu did for Real Madrid. He took a very bold move when he gave the fans the new stadium.
Kartik Menda, admin, Arsenal Mumbai supporters club
Arsenal Mumbai supporters with Thierry Henry
The Arsenal Mumbai Supporters Club banner at the Emirates Stadium, London
Mihir Chheda with Thierry Henry
There are certain qualities and values that the club stands for. And the biggest reason for me to continue being an Arsenal fan was Arsene Wenger, as he stood by those qualities. To see him leave is very sad as he was there through all the ups and downs. This was inevitable, but the turn of events and how it ended was a bit sad for us, as this wasn't decided when the season started. We will get a new manager, but Wenger is not replaceable. The CEO has done a good job with a new director, scouting head and chief negotiator. I think we are strong enough to get a new manager and take off from where Wenger left.
Mihir Chheda, admin, arsenal Mumbai supporters club
Weekend Getaways - Explore the scenic Bhandardhara