Only one significant story line was still alive on the final day and even this concluded as everyone had expected.
For Wenger it was “A sad day, the first time in 20 years we have not qualified for the Champions League.”
He could not bring himself to say the words “Europa League” and instead praised his players.
In the last 2 months his players had “responded in a strong way”, “they have learned” and “it is important to keep them together.”
Pressed on his own commitment to the club, Wenger said “I will love my club my whole life, even if I wanted I will not be capable to change that.”
His use of a tricolon adds rhetorical weight to his passion.
“My commitment. my loyalty and my love for the club cannot be questioned.”
The speculation about his future “was a big handicap for the team”. The team “played in a very hostile environment and more than ever we needed to stick together and be very strong together – that is why I tell you this group of people are remarkable and they deserve to be supported in a different way”.
Arsenal fans have only the cup final left to show they can support these remarkable people in a different way .
Leadership communication lesson
Pathos is the appeal to emotion and is the most powerful of the persuasive arts. To work its magic however it must be a shared emotion with the audience. Laughter, for example, is so powerful as it is the audience sharing an emotion together. Wenger, though, is too far down the road with many Arsenal fans for pathos to have much impact and this is likely to become clear after the cup final.