Afternoon all, Alex here with a short post as I’m tied up in the office (not literally of course that would be weird).
So I don’t know Pete’s mate who wrote the post yesterday comparing football managers to tech start ups but I thought it was absolutely brilliant. However for someone like me, with about as much understanding of technology as a manatee, I was surprised that Wenger was compared to Twitter. I always thought Twitter was still one of the most successful tech companies. Goes to show what I know.
An easier analogy for a simple mammalian like myself, and one that has been espoused often by friend of the show @jananganesh, is that Arsene and Arsenal are a lot like the British Labour Party (of which I declare I am a member).
Remember back in 2004 when everyone genuinely thought Gordon Brown had ended boom and bust? We thought he was smarter than Adam Smith, John Maynard Keynes and Milton Friedman combined. The Tories genuinely wondered if they’d ever be a party of Government again. At about this time Arsene Wenger had just steered his team through a run of 49 games unbeaten, a feat that will likely never be surpassed. He had arguably four of the best players in the world in his team – Henry, Bergkamp, Viera and Pires. He was held in such reverence that he could have sold his toenail clippings as unicorn tears and most football fans would’ve gladly paid over the odds for them.
Fast forward eleven years and Labour has just elected a hemp-chewing librarian as Leader. The downward trajectory has been staggering (and is somewhat inevitable in politics). What is weird is the scary parallel between Labour’s demise and Arsenal’s. It can best be illustrated by comparing the last couple of Labour leaders with Arsenal strikers:
- Blair = Henry (you may hate him but he was a winner)
- Brown = Adebayor (not as good as everyone had hoped)
- Miliband = Bendtner (how did he get the job?)
- Corbyn = Sanogo (mate)
So there you go. If Arsenal were a political party, they’d be Labour.
In other news, Arsene gave a tetchy press conference ahead of the United game. Apparently he didn’t like being asked if Mourinho was right to say he’s the only manager not under pressure. On most occasions when truth is spoken to power, power doesn’t react well. As much as I hate Mourinho he is bang on the money with that comment. We heard a lot after the shambles that was the Olympiakos game about how the players were hauled in front of Wenger for a right rollicking. These stories were, of course, briefed to journalists by Arsenal’s comms team. My questions is if Arsenal’s press team are quite happy to brief against our own players, where were the briefings about the rollicking Wenger received from his boss for his awful performance?
“Sources say Gazidis demanded to know why Wenger dropped Cech for such a crucial tie. The manager is now under pressure after another embarrassing home defeat in the Champions League to a club that Arsenal were expected to beat. A specialist team has been brought in to review Wenger’s defensive coaching after the team conceded three goals at home again. Scrutiny of his tactics and decision making has been steadily increasing as he has failed to make it passed the last 16 IN THE LAST FIVE YEARS despite big name signings such as Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez.”
I tell you what. That’s an article I’d pay to read.
We face United tomorrow and their King Fraud manager Louis Van Gaal. I have genuinely no idea how they are top of the table but I guarantee it has nothing to do with Van Gaal whose only skills are his ability to hold a clipboard and spunk £200 million as quickly as possible. I really, really hope we can beat them. It would make a big statement and would mean we are somehow joint top of the table. I’m not feeling confident but, if I’m honest, I have no idea which Arsenal team is going to show up these days.
Right that’s your lot from me. You can follow me on twitter @aldo_doel
Tah tah x