Ivan Gazidis statement on Arsene Wenger’s departure

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Ivan Gazidis held a press conference yesterday, during which he didn’t really answer any questions about the intricacies of the announcement of Arsene Wenger’s departure.

He did, however, make a statement before that about the manager. Here’s what he said to say.

Gazidis statement

“Obviously this has been an emotional day for everyone connected with the football club and I now have the impossible job of trying to express the feelings of those of us who love the club and love football.

“Typically, Arsene is not here today because his focus is on the game on Sunday. I left him on the fields of the training ground at Colney this morning, that is who he is.

“People are talking a lot, and wonderfully, about what Arsene has done for Arsenal Football Club and what he has done for the wider world of football.

“I will leave it to others to talk about the facts and figures of his 22-year tenure, his achievements are extraordinary and may of them will not be repeated.

“But there is something more coming out today – there is widespread affection from Arsenal fans but also from right across the sphere of football.

“I have had the pleasure of working closely alongside Arsene for the last 10 years, so what I would like to do is talk about Arsene as a football man but also as a person.

“Arsene changed the game, he set a totally new standard, a new ambition. An ambition not just to win but to win while achieving perfection, to make art of out football.

“He was always brave enough to be true to that extraordinary ambition and incredibly he achieved it with Arsenal’s Invincible season.

“People these days use the words ‘football philosophy’ lightly but Arsene truly has a football philosophy and has been brave enough to live by it.

“In doing that he has reinvented the game and played some of the best football we have ever seen. He has transformed the beautiful game and has made Arsenal famous throughout the world for the style of football we play. Arsenal fans take enormous pride in that and for that we say ‘thank you, Arsene.’

“Beyond football he has inspired the people around him. He does this through his human qualities, his understanding and his empathy for people.

“He is able to make people believe that they can achieve great things, on and beyond the football pitch. He inspired George Weah to believe not only that he could become the world’s best footballer but to have the conviction that he could become the president of a country.

“He has done all of this while remaining true to his values and the values of this great football club.

“He has taken every challenge he has faced with humour, grace and class. I take enormous pride in that and, for that also, on behalf of all Arsenal fans, I say ‘thank you Arsene.’

“Arsene often said his aim was to leave the club in a better position than when he found it.

“Well, we are in a better place today than we could have ever imagined 22 years ago. The foundations of this club have never been stronger and this gives me great confidence as we begin to chart the path ahead.

“I spent an hour with Arsene this morning in the quiet after the announcement.

“No words can describe this man. He loves the game and he loves this club, I’m not here today to talk about any private discussions, today is about paying tribute to a great manager and a great man.

“Our first priority is to come together as a club and we’re seeing that today. Look at the outpouring of affection from the Arsenal family and from the football family. Our players, staff and fans are behind this great man, and we will give him the send-off he deserves.

“Then, we have to start on the challenge of building on the platform we have created. I don’t underestimate that challenge. I’ve often said it’s the biggest challenge we will have to face, but I’m confident in the people we have in place to take forward Arsène’s legacy and build on it, and I’m excited for the future.

“In the coming weeks and months, the world will see the unity and power of this great football club, and the people within it.

“I have the greatest respect for Arsène, and I value his incredible contribution to this club. It’s my ambition, my goal, to ensure that we honour and build on that contribution as we take our club forward. Now it’s for the club, now it’s for Arsène, now it’s for Arsenal.

“Thank you.”

For more discussion on the big news, check out a brand new Arsecast recorded last night

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Wenga4eva
Wenga4eva

Snake

MrSweaty
MrSweaty

Looked so weird seeing Gazidis in the gaffers seat. But like he said, Arsene concentrating more on the game on Sunday than on his announcement. The man just oozes class even on a day like yesterday!!

Percy

Thank you, Arsene. I cried. I swear.

yen
yen

I feel like yesterday has been handled quite well by the club. I listened to bits of the afternoon podcast and agree with James that it was good that someone from the club came out and said something. It surely got a bit weird as the press conference went on, but it was always going to be weird as someone who´s been here for last 22 years steps down.

I also partly agree with Andrew about what he said about Gazidis being in hiding for last 2 years and Arsene having to face all the problems alone. On the other hand though, let´s credit the fact that finally someone in the management grew a pair and started working towards what was inevitable anyway. The aquisitions of Mislintat and Sanllehi seem like a good start and it´s obvious Gazidis is behind that. It´s now up to them to decide the most important of aqusitions and I really, really hope they go for someone who´s a really, really good manager rather than someone they can easily manipulate. If I were them, I would go with someone experienced for next 2 years to steady the ship rather than risk it from day one.

Last but not least, what a career Arsene had. It could happen a bit earlier, but it is happening now and I´m really happy it´s this way, when we can unite for the rest of the season, appreciate the good and hopefully bring the last trophy home.

It must be a wonderful feeling to step down after such career and get such messages and words of thanks from all around the world.

And I´m one lucky bastard I´ll be there for the Burnley game.

Pedant
Pedant

That’s the 6th place trophy match!

The Far Post
The Far Post

Typical of a “pendant” to focus on matter not quite relevant.

Pedant
Pedant

Shame not more people that get a joke.

Sandman
Sandman

Perhaps a smiley like “;)” at the very end might have made your statement seem – more – like a joke?

Pedant
Pedant

There was an !

It takes a lot to believe that anyone is excited about 6th place.

The Old Git's Whistle Test
The Old Git's Whistle Test

“People are talking a lot, and wonderfully, about what Arsene has done for Arsenal Football Club and what he has done for the wider world of football.

“I will leave it to others to talk about…..”

Surelyvas the CEO it’s his job to talk about Arsène ‘S achievements and what he did for the club!

Nasty man who’s true colours are coming out. I hope we can get shot of him without him fucking up the club.

He hid while the crap was flying and suddenly pops up when the good news arrives.

Jean Ralphio
Jean Ralphio

Proud of the club and the overwhelming majority of fans who have shown the respect Wenger deserves. All this time he was called a dictator and painted in a bad light and that annoyed me a lot.

Cyprus The Immortal Gooner
Cyprus The Immortal Gooner

Because the majority of the fans that wanted a change were respectful to Wenger and loved the man. Even at times i was furious with the same mistakes when we scored at the same match and i saw him happy, i always smiled…

Vease
Vease

Blogs is right. The time was right.
To the fans – fill the seats and chant his name; show him the respect he deserves.
To the players – give him the European trophy; your careers owe him that.
To Arsene – thank you. Forever a Gooner.

John bull
John bull

Pundits and bloggers and popular opinion are not always right …. instant reactions and lack of proper perspective and impatience lead to consequences which may turn out be worse than what was hoped for ….one person to emerge with credit in all this is Arsene Wenger … he refused to pander to the pundits and popular instant opinions , did things his own way and his unique contribution to Arsenal’s success will always remain …. One of the greatest football managers , who stands out with very few others as one made from a different mould … Arsenal will now be run by ordinary managers and Football people for a long while … We all hope Arsenal will win more trophies under new management and the expectations will be high to justify current pundit opinion … Managers like Arsene Wenger come very very rarely … somebody who has turned Arsenal into a massive worldwide name , shaped the club DNA and philosophy and given it a distinctive set of football and life values …..Life will go on for Arsene Wenger for Arsenal and the fans … Arsene Wenger will go on to even greater achievements and reputation , he does not owe anything to the fans and the pundits . When the instant punditry and popular reactions will have abated with the next pundit and media narrative , history will show the true value of what Wenger has meant to Arsenal .

Let us hope the fans and the pundits and the media have the intelligence and honesty to recognise what AW’s announcement means

Atom
Atom

This is a time for everyone to come together and celebrate the achievements of Wenger and all that he has meant for the club. But will change is often scary, John this is not some sort of knee jerk reaction to pundits. The past few years have been odd in that Wenger has won silverware for the first time in a decade – and 3 FA cups are amazing – most clubs would love to have them. But those 3 FA cups have increasingly come in a backdrop of a team that no longer is competitive in the League and quite frankly is embarrassing in the CL. Even if Wenger made the decision all the reports are it was made with the knowledge that if he did not then the club would have made it for him. By all means lets celebrate all that he has done for the club- and it’s a lot – but let’s not pretend either that this is some sort of rash judgement based on the press either.

John bull
John bull

If it is the management of the club , then it reflects badly on them for pandering to that opinion …. the fact remains that Wenger will be fine and move on to other roles… the onus is now on the club to deliver Greater success and trophies than Wenger — that means 2 trophies – 1 a PL or CL – in 3 years …..We will find out soon enough…. the fact remains it will take a very long time for someone to reproduce and deliver even half of what Wenger has done for the club … at best the next manager will be of the caliber of a Pocchetino , Ancelotti, Conte —- good managers but not of the mound breaking sort with all respect ….never mind ., life goes on … Wenger will go on , Arsenal will go on and the fans will go on …

Atom
Atom

Listen I know it’s a time when everyone is sentimental about Wenger but in the cold light of day virtually everyone will agree that the club is regressing under Wenger the past few years except in the fa cup. This was the right decision even if it’s a hard one to make

Franco phobe
Franco phobe

Maybe progress will be performing like Spurs – the darlings of the press – …. another year without a trophy …..

John Bull
John Bull

Progress would mean 2 or 3 trophies with either a CL or Pl in the next 3 years … how many years has the current CEO been in his job ?

Ashburton Grove
Ashburton Grove

Ok we haven’t been challenging for the league last couple of years but come on, 3 FA Cups in 4 years is not to be belittled. To even win those against the money might of City, Utd and Chelsea is an amazing achievement. Look at the Spuds who still can’t win a trophy despite having their best team in decades.

Atom
Atom

While the FA cups are terrific and I never said otherwise, the fact of the matter is we have become a cup team the past few years under Wenger, much as we were under the final years of Graham. The Leceister season was when I finally realized that no matter how much I wanted Wenger to win another PL title he just didn’t have it in him. While he helped to raise the bar, the fact of the matter the standard at Arsenal is not fighting with Burnley for 6th place.

Ashburton Grove
Ashburton Grove

I don’t think we’re fighting Burnley for 6th place regardless of what the table says but I digress. My point is that the cup wins the last few years have been downplayed by a lot of fans and the media even though I agree we’ve been poor in the league. For years it was ‘We haven’t won a trophy’ then when we did it was not getting top 4 or at least challenging for the title. I just don’t think it can be underestimated how much of a challenge it is to compete with the money at City, Chelsea and Utd. Spuds and Liverpool are playing great dynamic football but what have they actually won for all the plaudits.

Atom
Atom

The table clearly tells you that we are in a different class from the rest of the top 5. We don’t have the $ of City or United, but we aren’t poor either as we consistently have had one of the highest wage bills in the PL since Wenger has been here. The only one of the bunch who spends above their means in that group currently is City – United just has a lot bigger revenue stream thanks to how consistently they won under Ferguson. The issue IMO was that the first FA cup and the opening of the purse strings meant that the expectation was the club would finally challenge for the PL again and possibly the CL. In a lot of ways Wenger was really unfortunate in that his prime was spent trying to keep us in the top 4 and now that we are reaping the benefits of the Emirates he has passed his prime. He was a great manager & still can occasionally conjure up the magic of yesteryears – but those moments are becoming increasingly fewer and further between.

Atom
Atom

As an aside I genuinely like Wenger and truly wish he would have been able to turn back the clock and win another PL and until the Leceister season thought that was a genuine possibility. While the personal insults towards him (or players or other commentators on this blog) are totally out of line IMO, we also need to be realistic about his current abilities and the state of the club.

Ashburton Grove
Ashburton Grove

I agree the Leicester season was one that got away in a sense but the second place finish gave the impression that we just missed out when in fact we hadn’t really improved, or got worse. I think we were very similar to the previous years points wise just that other teams were so poor. But my initial point is more to do with the assertion we are regressing and the seemingly casual way our cup wins have been overlooked by a lot of supporters and in the league, yes, some of those teams are a class above but we are still competing for trophies. Those George Graham cup wins in ’93 you mentioned are some of my favourite memories so I suppose it depends on your outlook but for all he’s done I think Arsene deserved to stay for the final year of his contract, give it a last shot and then depart with our love and support instead of the vitriol and the banners that he’s been subjected to which really shame our club. Not to mention the backstabbing that Gazidis and some of the board have performed.

John Bull
John Bull

After the move to the Emirates, with David Dein gone , the board did not act to set up the kind of structure to support the Manager – which they now have done in the last year .For those 10 years ,Arsene Wenger was the shield and frontman – he took all the flak to protect the players and the board…. and also got them back to winning trophies . In that time , there were 1 or 2 seasons when the club could have done better in the PL but still managed to win the FA cup beating the top 4 teams -Wenger’s legacy will stay and ideally the board should give him a suitably fitting honorary position …If not , Wenger will be free to take up attractive positions with other teams in Europe . I have no doubt that within the next few years , the true perspective on Wenger’s unique achievements with Arsenal will become clear .

Ashburton Grove
Ashburton Grove

Brilliantly put, well said.

Fletcher
Fletcher

I think any future footballing achievement will surely be credited first of to Arsene for putting such a platform and steadied the ship through good and bad when others failed even to stay in the league e.g. leeds or blackburn, not to mention the mid table ones who stayed put and couldn’t dream being among to big clubs.
We can’t thank him enough, we can’t thank him enough,we can’t thank him enough.

gooner1981
gooner1981

Well the new ‘man in power’ gets to REALLY earn his salary and obscene bonus, starting today. For the good of the club, let’s hope he goes and earns it…

Thierry Bergkamp
Thierry Bergkamp

I’m glad that he’s leaving as I think it’s 3 years too late. Now it’s happening, I actually feel a little sad, that he won’t be around anymore. It was never personal as he’s a great human being but, everything has it’s time and his has come.

Arsene, I salute.

C.B.
C.B.

Arsenal fans have been spoilt (we’ve only won three FA Cups in the past 4 seasons…). Compare that to some rivals who haven’t won that many trophies in 30 odd years and then only League Cups.

After I started supporting they won the double in 1971 then were 18th in 1975/76, one place worse than the season before.

Hope we can go onwards and upwards rather than in that direction.

Twatsloch
Twatsloch

This is it. Many times I’ve heard my spud boss, who hates arsenal, express his envy at our success. Like when he said recently that while Arsenal isn’t the dominant force it once was the three FA Cup wins in four years is still great and as a spud fan he’d be over the moon with just one.

Hearing someone like him say that puts it into perspective.

Pedant
Pedant
Pedant
Pedant

Your boss might like this site….

Twatsloch
Twatsloch

He also recently mentioned how watching Aubameyang had filled him with envy at the fact that Arsenal can still attract players like that purely for being Arsenal while Tottenham I’m spite of their recent form can’t.

N10
N10

Anyone been watching the Watford-Palace match just now? Fucking rubbish. Makes you appreciate.

bunch
bunch

As a fellow 71 er whilst I like the dig at the N17 swamp dwellers, the FA Cup is nowhere near the prestige it had back when you and I fell in love with a team in yellow winning on a sunny day in May. Much as I enjoyed the 3 recent cups, lets be clear that it is massively devalued compared to then. Back in the 70s the glory associated with the FA Cup was boosted by the fact it was the only live domestic game on TV, It was almost on a par with winning the league. Maybe even more glorious. Blanket football coverage and the money associated with the PL and CL have meant its not taken as seriously by clubs, both big and small. It vaguely entered my conscious that Manyoo won the cup in between our recent three but I honestly cannot recall who they beat off the top of my head. Certainly didn’t bother watching the game. Whereas I know that after we won it in 71, we lost in the final to Leeds 1-0 (Allan Clarke scored) in 72 then Leeds lost to Sunderland in 73: Liverpool beat Newcastle in 74, the spammers beat Fulham in 75 and Southampton shocked Manyoo in 76, but they bested Liverpool in the 77 final.

For a lot of time during the 18 year period from our league title in 71 to the fantastic win in 89 I thought we may never win it again. It took a change of manager to break that cycle. Its been 14 years and counting since our last title and we haven’t really sustained a serious challenge beyond the beginning of April in any of those years.

Much as the Spurs continued lack of silverware is hilarious, the rivals we should be comparing ourselves to are only a short distance southwest of Highbury. Since we last won the league, Chelsea have won it 5 times as well as the FA Cup 4 times (same as us), the league cup 2 times, the Europa League once and of course the Champions League once. When Arsene Wenger became manager we were undoubtedly the biggest team in London, that is challengeable now given Chelsea’s success.

Evang. Simon
Evang. Simon

I still can’t believe it’s true….

Arsene = class

#mercieArsene

Cliff Bastin
Cliff Bastin

Damn ninjas and their onion slicing

Fatgooner
Fatgooner

Aaaaaaaah!

So much cant and bs from Ivan. Here’s the truth:

Arsene Wenger was SACKED yesterday – OK? He’s leaving Arsenal not because he wanted to but because Stan had finally had enough of him. He’s leaving Arsenal because we are currently fighting it out with Burnley for 6th place. He’s leaving Arsenal because we’ve failed to win a single point away from home THIS CALENDAR YEAR. He’s leaving Arsenal because the boardroom know that even if we win the EL, Wenger will do nothing in the Champions’ League next season – he can’t get past the last 16.

Arsene Wenger would have NEVER, EVER voluntarily walked away from the club. Remember his proud boast about never breaking a contract? Wenger was hooked on the job, and he has nothing else in his life. The scenario where he and Ivan sat down and then both mutually agreed that he should step down is fantasy. This utterly selfish man would never have done the decent thing. HE WAS SACKED! The club have shown class in the way they have dismissed Wenger, BUT HE WAS SACKED!

There’s a powerful argument for Wenger being shown the door immediately. Arsenal’s form right now, especially away from home, is so awful that any boss could do better. I would have liked to have seen what Steve Bould could have done with the team – especially with the Athletico Madrid games. It’s a huge risk leaving the specialist in failure in charge for those two vital matches.

Like Arseblog says today: it’s gonna be very interesting to see how the players react to these amazing current events. I hope they can motivate themselves and do what’s best for the club.

Goonerrific
Goonerrific

No chance you’ll be stepping down anytime soon then?

Twatsloch
Twatsloch

Gotta hand it to the man. His moaning stamina has outlived Wenger himself.

DB10s Air Miles
DB10s Air Miles

Do you ever enjoy yourself Or are you always sucha bitter little man?

Awesomesauce25
Awesomesauce25

It embarrasses me to have to admit that Arsenal have fans like this. My pride in being an Arsenal fan has always been far more than just the trophies they’ve won. More important has always been the class which Arsene and the club have operated with. I guess we have to accept that even Arsenal are not immune to having such classless fans. Fortunately the club’s values have attracted more fans that share those values than this type.

Fatgooner
Fatgooner

I’ll tell you what’s classless: classless is clinging onto a job that you can’t do while picking up 10 million quid a year. Classless is the lies, spin and bs which the club has directed at gullible fans like you for years. Classless is charging the highest club ticket prices in the world then not trying to be the best team you can be. Classless is an owner who can’t even be bothered to communicate with fans, even when the club is going through a crisis. Classless is putting profit before performance.

I’m sorry if I actually want my club to be winners, but I’m an Arsenal fan.

Twatsloch
Twatsloch

Have a look in the mirror.

Franco phobe
Franco phobe

Wenger will be OK – do not worry …. and he will also have enough cash and enough to do and achieve … 10 trophies , 6 community shields , CL final , the only unbeaten PL record , one of the best stadiums , a financially solid self reliant club , a unique footballing philosophy ….. this is what Success means —

Goontang
Goontang

Let’s see what they do next. To be fair I’m gutted because Arsene I love the guy, but this decision clearly came from the heirechy and it was the right one. I had a beer with a Liverpool fan today and they only just realised how far off the top four we are once I told them.

The signings from our new head scout can’t be faulted. Things are changing behind the scenes for the better. Let’s see how they handle the appointment.

I hope who ever comes in re evaluates jacks situation and sees he’s worth more than whats on the table. Exciting and nervous times for us Gooners.

Mootilated
Mootilated

I get the feeling Arsene was sacked. I don’t know why, but Ivan’s words seem to indicate that was the case

N10
N10

Another vote for “jump before pushed.” FatGooner makes some points about that (the rest of the trash about AW isn’t called for right now, give respect when it’s due). Let me add: apparently he started the news to the locker room with “I’ve got some bad news.” Just supports the idea he was basically given two months’ notice and he didn’t want a public sacking.

Rob67
Rob67

It was obvious that Wenger jumped before he was pushed. That’s self evident.

Gazedis handled it well. And before anyone whines, I have no brief for him other than the fact that he is Arsenal’s CE and I want him to succeed in that roll for the sake of the Club. And in fairness to Gazedis he has come to life in the last twelve months.

He was clearly instrumental in getting Mislintat and Sanhelli in place – against Wenger’s wishes, obviously. But he did it anyway. And we are now in a decent position to nominate either Ancelloti or Enrique to what will be a big rebuilding job.

It will take at least three or four transfer windows to get right. That assumes it all goes well.

But Gazedis deserves some credit for pushing all this through. Of course he won’t get it. But then life is seldom fair – is it ?

One of them is lying!
One of them is lying!

Luis Enrique? Heh! The guy couldn’t handle the pressure at Barca and had Messi and Suarez and Neymar to depend on to win him the treble… It will b an insult to Wenger if they replaced him with Enrique!

Rob67
Rob67

He handled it well enough to win two titles and the CL. Just refresh our memories – Wenger won the CL – How many times ? …Mmmmm….

santori
santori

A monkey would win two titles and CL at Barca

John bull
John bull

Back to ordinary managers now … they need to deliver 2-3 trophies in 3 years – one of them either a CL or PL title … that is the measure of what is needed to prove this was a right move

One of them is lying!
One of them is lying!

2 3 trophies

Rob67
Rob67

No. They – whoever ‘they’ turns out to be – need to rebuild the squad, cull the deadwood and firstly get us back into the top four; and then have us consistently challenging for the title up until May. They and no one, can guarantee that we win it.

That isn’t possible. But it is possible to ensure we are not dead in the water each November.

John Bull
John Bull

They need to deliver trophies – full stop … as we have pready won a record number of FA cups , progress would mean PL or CL trophy

kas
kas

Agree, there was no point in employing all these new backroom staff, if things were going to drift on and on aimlessly. They obviously don’t want the new boss, head coach to be a dictator, a one man team. Even Fergie employed good coaches who he took notice of.

afan
afan

so he jumped before he was pushed

Rob67
Rob67

Indeed.

Gooner Sam
Gooner Sam

Don’t know if anyone here has seen the article by Neil Ashton in the Sun. Why does there always have to be one tool in the media who has to push his own agenda. Most are rightly giving Wenger the plaudits for what he has achieved, we all kniw its the right time for him to go and don’t need some moron from the Sun clouding his legacy.

santori
santori

It makes sense to walk now.

He should have walked last summer but he stayed on for whatever reason (presumably to rectify our position) and it didn’t get any better.

If he stayed on and we were dumped out by Athletico, he would have been sacked likely or asked to leave more politely. It would still have been him walking off into the sunset but with more urgency. more importantly we wouold be out of CL.

This timing more likely is Wenger leveraging on good will to try and push his team through Athletico and into the finals.

Whatever you think of him, his first priority would be for the team to qualify for CL so the incoming manager would have an easier time.

Therefore he elected to announce his retirement now since he was going to do it likely anyway end of season given his inability to push us higher league-wise.

I think some people need to examine their heads before they make convenient “jump before push’ arguments.

We allow a lot to the gaffer whatever his faults.

And he has always had the best intentions for the club.

Dennis
Dennis

Blah blah blah you sacked him! I agree btw that it was tge right decision

Ooh ahhh Ray Parlour
Ooh ahhh Ray Parlour

I feel very melancholy about Arsène leaving. It reminds me of leaving Highbury in that we’re giving up some serious Arsenal DNA in order to try and move forward. Saying that I believe it’s necessary and just hope Arsene gets the amazing send off he deserves.

On Gazidis, I don’t think we can fully judge him for another year or two once we have seen how his plan is working, but I don’t get all of the hate against him. He has done exactly what the club needed over this last year and my gut feeling is that he’s doing a good job. He was between a rock (Arsene) and a hard place (the sack) and had to sit tight for a bit. Don’t get me wrong I know there’s a list of shit that he has said that could make blood boil, but let’s just see what happens next before slaughtering him. Surely now is time for some long awaited unity.

John Bull
John Bull

Gazidis has been in the job as CEO for 10 years …. so he has to take his share of responsibility as well — cannot hide behind AW

Bunch
Bunch

Just re-read this after reading AWs post West Ham comments. Makes me think that he was asked to leave against his will. No comment from Gasidis on how the decision was reached. Just gushing praise for Arsene.

There is no, “wish he wasn’t leaving, blow to the club” type of comment you usually get when a manger walks.
In a way its disappointing that the club isn’t open about this.
We will have to wait for the book.