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Wenger’s Last Act at the Theatre of Dreams

After it was revealed that Wenger was to leave the club he joined in 1996 at the end of the season and a year before his contract is set to expire, the bookmakers have been quick to run markets on possible replacements for the 68-year-old. Unai Emery was the left-field candidate which caught punters and pundits on the hop.

However, there was the small matter of Manchester United for Wenger to negotiate before he left Arsenal. Back in April, he headed north to Old Trafford for the final time as Arsenal manager.

It was a poignant experience for Arsene after becoming embroiled in a bitter rivalry with former Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson in the late 1990’s and early noughties as the two sides battled for English supremacy.

This also made for some unforgettable moments, such as the Gunners claiming the Premier League title at Old Trafford in 2002 with a 1-0 win on the Manchester turf, as well as the iconic ‘Battle of the Buffet’ in 2004 when pizza thrown by Cesc Fabregas hit Sir Alex Ferguson after an ill-tempered affair which United won 2-0 to end the Gunners 49-game unbeaten run.

The pair were at loggerheads for years and it was not until 2009 that the damage was finally repaired with the two apparently now friends after Wenger stated he is happy to see his former nemesis whilst sharing a glass of wine.

However, just as tempers were cooling between Wenger and Ferguson, in stepped Jose Mourinho to upset the applecart and make a beeline for the Gunners boss during his two spells at Chelsea.

The Portuguese man famously labelled Wenger a ‘voyeur’ and a ‘specialist in failure’, whilst Arsene has openly questioned Mourinho tactics.

How ironic it is then that Wenger’s last act at the Theatre of Dreams was to face his biggest rival in the home dugout. As he would say after defeat in the Europa League semi-final, dreams don’t come true in football and Wenger left Old Trafford not with a bang but more of a whimper.

Will Emery fare any better next season? When the fixtures are announced on 14th June, next season’s match will see plenty of betting action meaning heading to football betting sites to get the best prices can make a big difference between getting good or great value, especially as there is plenty of head to head statistics to get your teeth into.

In twenty-seven trips to face United at Old Trafford in all competitions, Wenger won just four times, although it may not sound a lot, it is still a reasonable return considering there have also been six draws in those twenty-seven and taking into the consideration other top-flight sides records against United on their home patch.

However, there is one interesting stat that may be worth a punt. In those four wins, three of them have been by a simple 0-1 score line and that would suit Emery down to the ground.

That said, you can rest assured that Wenger will not be lacking in motivation to give Jose Mourinho one final bloody nose before saying farewell to the Theatre of Dreams.


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