Football fans, current players and former players haven’t hesitated in paying their respects to Arsene Wenger after he announced he will leave Arsenal at the end of the season.
It just goes to show how loved and respected Wenger was by everyone - even those that didn’t always see eye-to-eye with him.
One of those players that you’d think maybe didn’t have a great relationship with Wenger was Robin van Persie.
The Dutchman upset the Arsenal boss by running down his contract at the Emirates before moving to rivals Manchester United.
It was something that angered Wenger and he recently explained why Van Persie’s departure so was “painful.”
"We took Van Persie when he played in the reserve team at Feyenoord and we [put in] long work with him," Wenger explained.
"And when you get them there to the level and after they leave, of course that is the most painful.
VAN PERSIE STILL RESPECTED WENGER
"After, that they do well for the other club -- you know that they will do well. But most of the time it's after long, patient work that you have done with the players.
"You forget that Man United had already a very strong team [when Van Persie left], and they have as well a very strong team now. So was it him on his own that made a difference? I don't know, but he was a great player, Van Persie."
But that doesn’t mean Van Persie doesn’t respect Wenger. In fact, after he announced he was leaving Arsenal at the end of the season, the striker posted two tweets in tribute.
“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!” Read the first one.
And then, he added: “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! #ThanksArsene #TheBoss.”
Arsenal fans obviously bombarded Van Persie with abuse following his two tweets but Van Persie’s tribute was classy.
Attention will now turn to who Arsenal will replace Wenger with.
According to the bookmakers, both Patrick Viera and Brendan Rodgers are the frontrunners.
But the likes of Thomas Tuchel, Joachim Loew and Luis Enrique are also considered to have an outside chance of landing the job.
It’s going to be a crucial summer for everyone at the Emirates to ensure to get their appointment is as successful as the one they made 21 years ago.
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