Currently watching 6th place Hertha Berlin beating Bayern Munich (last second goal to Bayern in the end). Quite amazing. They aren’t so good when a team plays with aggression, structure along with a bit of strategy.
Anyway, Arsene Wenger dropped an absolute horror show of a press conference. It was like watching the Whitehouse prezzer the day before. Clearly hoping to distract from the 42 vehicle car crash in Munich, he came out swinging like yer da after 13 pints of WKD Blue.
‘No matter what happens, I will manage next season, whether here or elsewhere,’
That line was the absolute headline stealer. That said two things to me, either he’s thinking the club are going to retract the contract. Or, he’s just done with the bollocks at Arsenal and he wants to pitch up elsewhere.
As I’ve said on many occasions, Arsene Wenger has pretty much nothing outside of football. He has a grown-up daughter, no wife and no hobbies (Alex Ferguson had horses). He’s just a super rich old man with only football, and that means leaving it is super scary. He’ll also be fully feeling the heat of mortality. Quite often, powerhouse people don’t last very long after hanging up the boots of leadership. You don’t get the same adrenaline from going to the paper shop, your brain isn’t pushed like it is when you’re working and you don’t have the same status.
He’ll die in the dugout, that much is clear. It’s the way he’d probably want it as well. It’d be fitting for a man who gave his soul to the great game.
However, people, please. He’s not picking up the Real Madrid job. They’re 4 clear at the top of La Liga with 1 game in hand. Their coach is a club legend who is working wonders with an incredible squad. They’re also 3-1 up in their CL tie. Not just that, Madrid sign winners. Wenger is not a winner. He’s not been relevant to their shortlist since 2004.
That’s the same for most top clubs people think he’d land a gig at. Bayern, PSG, United, Chelsea, City, Milan, Juventus… they ALL demand Champions League progress. That’s why they exist. Arsene Wenger said this.
“As much as it hurts to lose games, if you look at the history of Arsenal, the club had less Champions League games when I arrived than I had in my career already,”
Dropping straw man records that when put in the context of NEVER winning the competition look embarrassingly redundant. Who, outside Stan K, cares that you’ve played a lot of games in a competition you’ve had 1 final, and two semis? Not many. Well, that’s unfair, Spurs might like that, same for Everton. Wenger moved the club into the elite, and that was amazing. But the stadium move reset the bar, so we were no longer grateful for just existing in the elite, we wanted to be the elite.
“And I hope in the future that we can win this trophy — or that Arsenal can win this trophy — but it’s not like before I arrived that Arsenal had won the European Cup five times. They had never won it. And they had played maybe 10 games in the history of the club. So you have to have some perspective.”
Again, another argument that doesn’t stand up to the rigour of analysis. A totally political statement. The Champions League back in the day was the European Cup and you could only access it if you won your league. Arsene Wenger would have played 10 games if that were the case, maybe even less because it was a straight up knockout. Not only that, we were banned from the cup one year because of the thug issue in our game. We’d have qualified by today’s standards 6 out of ten times in the decad preceding Wenger. Not as good as Wenger, but not bad. Also worth mentioning that Wenger won just one more league trophy than GG. We were and have always been a top club.
“Even if I go, Arsenal will not win every single game in the future,”
“But I care about this club. I care about it’s future and it’s very important that this club is kept in safe hands, whether that is with me or somebody else.”
So another straw man argument that reads kind of pointless. Who has asked for the new manager to drop an unbeaten season? No one. That’s not the issue Arsenal are challenged with at the moment. We need a manager who can upgrade the club. Better training methods, a footballing philosophy for the modern ages, a pressing vision, tactical fluidity, a man who can keep talent like Alexis at the club, a leader who can teach, discipline and motivate.
Wenger isn’t any of those things anymore. Don’t let people shift the blame onto the board, Wenger is the issue, thboard’sds problem is they’re gutless. If you’re slating the board, it’s a more pleasant way of saying ‘they should have sacked him in 2010.’ Which I agree with, but look, Wenger has a direct relationship with Stan K. Ivan G is not a consideration in this, because if he had the choice, I’m pretty damn sure he’d be moving him on.
Some further reading that might excite you, this is a piece on the DoF over at Sevilla. This is how you see Arsene Wenger’s petulant passive aggressive behaviour when you’re part of the circle of access (or the regime). Here is a piece on a manager who knows how to defend. Plus, some good chat from the ESPN boys here.