Oh no, sorry, he didn’t. He said, in The Times, he thought the footage of Arsenal fans shouting at Wenger was a joke, then he thought they took it too far.
“I thought it was a joke,”
“You can be upset, I totally understand that. But when I saw what happened at Stoke I was like’
‘That’s totally unnecessary’. Fans do have a voice, I totally understand that, but what I saw after the Stoke City game was out of order.’
Quotes, ripped right from that £8 subscription I pay for in the hope I won’t have to read salacious / misleading headlines on. Thierry wasn’t taking aim at critics, he was taking aim at a bunch of pissed up away fans who took things too far. Bunching up the term ‘critics’ with ‘thugs’ is misrepresentation.
Anyway. Point is, Thierry isn’t slamming the fans for critiquing Wenger. He’s an absolute student of the game and he’ll know as well as we do what a mess Arsenal have been this season. It’ll be interesting to see whether he packs the punches when he hits Sky. He’ll only earn punditry respect if he’s honest with the consumer. If he’s honest about Arsene, he might find it difficult finding a way back into the club.
… and that’s why Arsene recieves a lot of favourable press coverage from ex-pundits. He’s a way back into the club. He’s Arsenal TV fee. He’s little snippets of insight that help support your career. Same thing used to happen with Fergie. Bend over to him on match day, but don’t worry… if you’re out 0f a job, a call from ol’ rednose would have you back in a job in no time.
Football, like life, is about keeping people sweet.
… Wenger on Szczesny.
“How can you take that decision? You know how [a player] would take that decision. Szczesny is the No 1, and then David [Ospina] and [Emiliano] Martínez are in competition with him. I do not want to talk too much about it, because the more I talk, the less I will inform you.”
I hope Ospina lands a run. I speak only for myself and George Graham when I say that I give zero f*cks whether the Pole was furious about being dropped. Put simply, if you put his signature out to the rest of Europe, who’d buy him? No one better than Arsenal. Out of the top 8 teams in the league right now, where would you rank our keeper? It’d be pretty low for me. Not saying the boy ain’t capable, merely pointing out that his focus and priorities don’t seem to be where they should be for a player paid mega cash money.
A lot of love for Sanchez flying around. I thought he could be our version of Suarez minus the bites, and he’s proving to be exactly that. Such a work horse, such a sublime talent… staggering that Barca would let a player of that talent fly the nest. Spanish club eh?
Some interesting stats flying around about our wage bill. The Times got it wrong on Chelsea having a lower wage bill than us. It’s £27m higher. Many people have rejoiced in this. I never took too much interest in it either way. For me, the ‘money solves everything’ premise is weak and built on unambitious foundations. Sure, spend more money, do better… it works if you average out over the course of time. It doesn’t give any context though. It’s an excuse to accept your lot in life.
People from poor upbringings grow up poor.
You wouldn’t tolerate statements like that even though the reality is close to the truth. Some accept it. Some look at it and push to find a way to beat the odds.
Arsenal have a wage bill of £163m. Southampton have one that’s £48m. They’re a match for everyone in the league. It’s not a fluke either. They decimated their squad in the summer and they’re now even stronger. They had a long term plan to build a brilliant infrastructure that blended youth, great coaching and smart buying. It’s paying dividends. Will it last forever? Who knows. But that’s not the point. You can’t look at Southampton and say you can only accept that model if it sustains 20 years of Champions League football. Look where they started from. Look where they are now.
Arsenal are spending £110m more a season. We should have a infrastructure that’s better than there’s. We should have a production line that surpasses theirs. We have a manager that’s the 4th highest paid on the planet. If there’s anyone who should be outperforming a par-the-course statistic, it’s him. Where’s the innovation? Where’s the Atletico Madrid in our offering?
To cite a wage bill as the reason we fail is to willfully ignore all the things you see with your eyes (An Alex line there). Wage bills don’t impact your scouting network, they don’t impact planning for big games, they don’t impact in game management, they don’t impact fatigued players, they don’t impact a weak youth team production line… they don’t impact your ability to spend the stack load of cash you have accruing dust in the bank 14 days into a window you desperately needed to bolster in.
Citing wages is lazy. Look at the club with your eyes. Tell me there’s not a better way.