Arsene Wenger and Bob Marley, One Love

Simmer Down – 1996

Simmer down, you lickin’ too hot, so
Simmer down, soon you’ll get dropped, so
Simmer down, can you hear what I say
Simmer down, that why won’t you, why won’t you, why won’t you simmer down
Simmer down

Arsene Wenger arrives at Arsenal. Tony Adams quits drinking. Arsene has the boys do Yoga, quit eating candy, stop drinking so much, and gets them to simmer down.

One Love – 1997/98

Let them all pass all their dirty remarks (One Love!)
There is one question I’d really love to ask (One Heart!)
Is there a place for the hopeless sinner
Who has hurt all mankind just to save his own beliefs?
Believe me

One Love! What about the one heart? One Heart!
What about – ? Let’s get together and feel all right
As it was in the beginning (One Love!)
So shall it be in the end (One Heart!)

Arsenal’s 100th season of competitive football and Arsene Wenger’s first title with the club. Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal come together after a string of defeats in November/December leave them in 6th place and all but out of the title race. However, the team pulled together and from Boxing Day to May 3rd, Arsenal go undefeated, culminating in the iconic goal of Wenger’s early career: Steve Bould chipping through for Tony Adams to score against Everton from open play.

Jamming – 1998-2001

We jammin’ on the for the daughters and sons
The struggle is not over until the battle is won
Hip-Hop is life but it ain’t all to me
Now where would we be if they take our mics from we.
Or better yet strip on might itself
We done it before so I sit by the door
Those that claim but don’t really know the game
Bob Marley, learn the man behind the name

After their spectacular first League title, Arsenal and Arsene spent three seasons coming in runners up. During this time Arsenal experienced player turmoil as Anelka, Overmars and others left the club but it only made Arsenal stronger as Wenger signed two players who would go on to form the core of Arsenal’s Invincibles: Thierry Henry and Sol Campbell.

Stir it up – 2001/2002

I push the wood (stir it, stir it, stir it, yeah)
I blaze your fire (stir it, stir it, stir it, yeah)
Then I satisfy your, your heart’s desire (stir it, stir it, stir it, yeah)
Said I stir it, yeah (stir it, stir it, stir it, yeah)
Every minute, yeah (stir it, stir it, stir it, yeah)
All you got to do, honey (stir it, stir it, stir it, yeah)
Is keep it in and stir it up (stir it, stir it, stir it, yeah)
Little darlin’, stir it up
Come on and stir it up
Ooh, little darlin’, stir it up
Oh would you quench me while I’m thirsty?
Oh, would you cool me down, when I’m hot?
Your recipe darlin’, is so tasty,
And you sure can stir your pot, so
Stir it up

Arsenal sign Tottenham captain Sol Campbell on a Bosman and with their back line reworked, their forward Thierry Henry finally coming into his own, and the midfield bossed by the inimitable figure of Patrick Vieira, Arsenal win the League at Old Trafford. Such was the dominance of Arsenal, both physically and mentally, that they went 19 matches undefeated at the end of the season and won their final 13 matches, including one of the most physical matches of the season at Old Trafford, where Arsenal claimed their second title.

Soul Rebel – 2002/2003

I’m a rebel, soul rebel
I’m a capturer, soul adventurer
I’m a rebel, soul rebel
I’m a capturer, soul adventurer
See the morning sun (ah-ah-ah-ah-ah)
On the hillside (ooh)
Not living good, yeah, travel wide
Said, I’m a living man, said, I’m a living man
I’ve got work to do (oh)
If you’re not happy, children
Then you must be blue
(Must be blue, must be blue) people say

After Arsenal won the League at Old Trafford, Tony Adams retires and Wenger says that his team could go an entire season undefeated. Instead, a series of late season losses to Blackburn and Leeds resigns Wenger to wistfully looking out at the sun on the hillside of what could have been.

Three little birds – 2003/2004

Rise up this mornin’
Smiled with the risin’ sun
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin’ sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true
Saying’, (this is my message to you)
Singing’ don’t worry ’bout a thing
‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright
Singing’ don’t worry (don’t worry) ’bout a thing
‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright

Wenger’s third and final League title with Arsenal was Arsenal’s Invincibles, a melody pure and true. It was a season that would sustain him, the club, and the supporters through many trials and tribulations to come as the club built a new stadium and suffered as first Chelsea, then Man City came into the league with dumptrucks full of money and changed everything.

Waiting in Vain – 2007/08

It’s been three years since I’m knockin’ on your door,
And I still can knock some more:
Ooh girl, ooh girl, is it feasible?
I wanna know now, for I to knock some more.
Ya see, in life I know there’s lots of grief,
But your love is my relief:
Tears in my eyes burn – tears in my eyes burn
While I’m waiting – while I’m waiting for my turn,

I don’t wanna wait in vain for your love;
I don’t wanna wait in vain for your love;

After the Invincibles Wenger embarked on a crazy plan to buy nothing but young players, try to mould them into a unit, and use their talent and teamwork to get Arsenal back to the promised land. He sold Vieira, sold Henry, sold Campbell, and fashioned the team around prodigy Cesc Fabregas. It nearly worked. In the minds of many, Arsenal would have won the League that year, but for Taylor breaking Eduardo’s leg. Arsenal wouldn’t come close to the title again until 2015/16.

Exodus – 2009-2013

Men and people will fight ya down (Tell me why!)
When ya see Jah light (Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!)
Let me tell you if you’re not wrong; (Then, why?)
Everything is all right
So we gonna walk – all right! – through de roads of creation:
We the generation (Tell me why!)
(Trod through great tribulation) trod through great tribulation

Wenger’s youth project collapses. Fabregas demands a trade back to Barcelona, van Persie demands a trade to Man U, Arsenal rebuild. Players like Mikel Arteta and Per Mertesacker come into the club, stabilize the rocking ship, and we trod through tribulations.

Could you be loved? – 2014-

Don’t let them change ya, oh
Or even rearrange ya
Oh, no
We’ve got a life to live
They say: only, only
Only the fittest of the fittest shall survive
Stay alive
Could you be loved and be loved?
Could you be loved, wo now! and be loved?
(You ain’t gonna miss your water until your well runs dry
No matter how you treat him, the man will never be satisfied)
Say something! (Could you be, could you be, could you be loved?
Could you be, could you be loved?)
Say something
Say something
(Could you be, could you be, could you be loved?)

Arsene Wenger “spends the money”, brings in Ozil among other top quality players. Arsenal win three FA Cups in four years and nearly win the Premier League in 2015/16 – but for a second half of the season injury to key player Santi Cazorla, one which we find out later was a flesh eating bacteria that nearly cost him his leg.

The team starts to decay. Wenger suffers insults from the stands. People all over the world want a change. He gets one last season in charge. Arsenal finishes outside of the top four. Arsene Wenger announces his retirement and on the final day, he says something… “I will miss you.”

You never miss the water until the well runs dry.


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