Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has got a fancy new job and yesterday it took him to Belfast for a meeting of the International Football Association Board (IFAB).
The Frenchman recently took up the post of head of global football development at FIFA and one of his first assignments took him Laganside to discuss issues such as video assistant referees, concussion management and potential rule changes for the 2020/2021 season.
In what appeared to be a flying visit, Wenger found time to speak about his respect for the fans of Northern Ireland, highlighting his view that their "passion is never aggressive and always very lively"...
— Official Irish FA (@OfficialIrishFA) December 3, 2019
Wenger also reserved high praise for legendary Northern Ireland player, the late George Best...
— Northern Ireland (@NorthernIreland) December 3, 2019
The 70-year-old appeared to be in good spirits but there are plenty of people around Belfast who are raging that they missed him while he was in town...
Arsene wenger was in Belfast today and I didn't even know :( would have been class to meet him.
— Michael Powell (@KAPOWELLED) December 3, 2019
@ianjamesparsley I see the great Arsene Wenger was in Belfast today. Alas I'm out of the country otherwise I would have stalked him for a selfie.
— Gareth Murray (@garethcmurray) December 3, 2019
Wenger was in Belfast 😭😭 can’t believe I missed him https://t.co/RXOpLO3MRP
— Steven O'Neill (@StevenONeill4) December 3, 2019
— Ruairi Woods Comedy (@RuairiWoods) December 3, 2019
Arsène Wenger in Belfast is the best football manager story since big Phil Scolari took the 212 to Derry.
— Rick Faragher (@R_Faragher) December 3, 2019
Why the fuck did I not know Arsene Wenger was in Belfast today
— Josh Stewart (@JoshStewart1996) December 3, 2019
Love how Arsene Wenger looks like he's hatched an evil plan to either destroy or takeover Belfast with his trusted henchman pic.twitter.com/djDrD0Pu5w
— Steven Cassidy (@iamscassidy) December 3, 2019
Just seen this on the feed, what the fuck is Arsene Wenger doing in Belfast hahahahahahaha he’s too big for Belfast pic.twitter.com/unO282CQxZ
— Jay (@afcjaybrady) December 3, 2019
Apparently Arsene Wenger is in Belfast. I want to find him and tell him I love him.
— Aaron Cunningham (@aaron_vc) December 3, 2019
The love for Arsene Wenger is clearly still strong among football fans after his 22-year stint as Arsenal manager ended in May 2018. While in the Gunners hot seat, Wenger won three Premier League titles a record seven FA Cups, a haul which included domestic doubles in 1998 and 2002. He also oversaw an unbeaten league season in 2003/2004 with a squad that included the likes of Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Patrick Vieira.
With Michael O'Neill set to leave the Nothern Ireland dugout in 2020, could Belfast have charmed Wenger enough to take up the Windsor Park job? Only time, and presumably a very large pay packet, will tell.
(header pic: @OfficialIrishFA)