The football world in a dimension parallel to ours was shaken today after news that Arsène Wenger has been released by the club. The Gunners coach had been the stalwart face of the club for 21 years. He has been credited for single-handedly building the identity of Arsenal F.C. as a club that possesses all the financial resources and potential as a top team, but without any of the distraction of seriously competing for trophies.
The shareholders of the club stated that it was a difficult decision, but one that needed to be made after a few years of underwhelming performances and erratic behaviors that hinted at the neurological degeneration of the aging Frenchman. They cited examples such as Wenger's refusal to play or buy strikers, instead opting to double up on extra wingers who are adept at dribbling to the edge of the box and making a pass that will ultimately go nowhere. This is even more perplexing as Arsenal have England captain and leading goalscorer Theo Walcott in the team although Wenger has adamantly refused to give him game time.
"Yeah honestly I always found it a bit weird. But you know, this bench is actually quite comfortable now and I've gotten used to it. The best part is you always have a good view of the game," Walcott told us in an exclusive interview.
The entire situation is made more unusual by the fact that the board had told Wenger that he had been sacked multiple weeks earlier. Despite the appointment of caretaker manager Eddie Howe who has already taken the reins at the club, Wenger still strolls around the Emirates and even continues to give post-game press conferences in which he makes vague remarks around whether he will sign a new contract. The board had allowed Wenger to remain on the grounds out of respect for his history with the club, until this morning after his personnel card was revoked and he was barred entry.
With the sacking of a man who had been a mainstay in the club for decades, the impact must have been severe on the Gunners. To gain perspective, we asked some key Arsenal players for their opinions.
"It is hard to see him go, because you know, he brought me into the Premier League and gave me a chance," a somber Olivier Giroud told us. "He always said that when he sees me, he sees a younger version of himself. Sometimes even in the locker room after a game when I am waiting to shower."
"Wait, he was manager? I always wonder who grumpy old man yelliing at me is," Gabriel Paulista reflected in broken English.
"Right, so all you have to do is buy a Cutco knife set one-time for £200. You use that set as your demonstration model. Now blood, we sell each set for £700, so that's like £100 for commission just for one sale, blood. Great way to supplement the income. By the way, how sharp are the knives you have at home?" Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain continued, in spite of attempts to redirect the conversation.
While the Frenchman's departure has hailed an ambivalent response from the fans, many are still sad to see him go.
"For me, it was very upsetting hearing that he had been sacked. You give your life and soul to a club but they still yell at you in games and tear you apart on the television programs," our dimension's Arsène Wenger told us behind a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon.
When asked if he was worried whether this would affect his own standing with the club, he refused to comment.