Bloody hell, you know Arsene is hurt when he starts with his amateur assessments of the ills of society, not so subtly disguised as giant flying kippers to the faces of anyone who has dared have an opinion on his expertise. This December, he’s trying to draw parallels to Michael Gove’s embarrassing attack on ‘experts’ and his own rapid decline in popularity amongst fans.
“What has changed, is the society.”
“We live in a society that is more demanding, that is more opinionated. The overall problem in Europe is that the respect for basic things has been lost, or is less strong that it was 20 years ago. As well you have positive things: people are better informed, people are better educated. People have more knowledge of the game. You have to think of balance.”
Now, on the face of it, you’d find it very tough to argue with those points. As a society, we’re better informed, drawing from more pools of information than ever before. Even the way we watch has changed, fan obsession back in the day was one game a week on the television, nowadays, I can sit in bed from 0630 till 1400 and I can watch every major game in Europe.
You could literally take the lads from BTL (a Twitter handle and site) and put them in a room with the old batch of Arsenal scouts and I reckon they’d know most of the players the scouts know. I’m not saying they have the experience to work that information into something tangible that could hit a Premier League managers desk, but I’m saying that these young guys are able to scout Europe, pull together comp videos and engage millions of fans with great insights from their bedrooms.
Wenger is upset that not only is he being challenged every day by fans like us, he’s upset that the fans are right. What does he do when he’s under pressure? Falls back on values… which is a dog whistle for:
‘I STAYED WHEN IT WAS SHIT HOW DARE YOU QUESTION ME’
Here is the full ramble.
“I am questioned more, of course,”
“That means society is less stable. At the end of the day, it is still about values. And the carrier of the values is the manager, and if you have no stability, these values are questioned.”
“I believe I stayed here because I am at a club where I can identify with the values that I am in this game for. The values are more important than all the rest.”
“The ultimate goal is to make people happy. The proudest thing you can have is to make people happy. Unfortunately you don’t always manage to do it, but you try to do it.”
See, the values of the fans and the manager don’t allign anymore.
The fans don’t care for stability, because it’s been proven over and over again that stability isn’t productive in a game that moves as fast as ours.
The fans aren’t really sure what the values at Arsenal are these days, because most of the ones we celebrate aren’t sporting values, they’re the niceties around Arsenal in the Community and some of the delights the club involve themselves in, like, say, helping Kenny Samson or Emmanuel Eboue out. Or taking the players to see the sick kids at Christmas.
At the core of it, what the fans have wanted for years has been crystal clear. A roadmap for success and improvement. Someone who can address our problems. A sporting entity that truly believes in winning and would eek out every last drop of energy and resource to attain greatness.
We just don’t have that under Arsene Wenger. Sporting values to our club centre around self-preservation. A doctrine of absolute control and allegiance to the regime. The faux prioritisation of fiscal to cushion for a cheaper failure. The public defiance of the future, becuase of a hotline to the owner. A dedication to the reframing of success. A complete lack of accountability to real progression.
Those are not sporting values, they are Arsene values.
However, it must be said, this last paragraph was a sweet way to end a prezzer.
“The second thing I believe, what is the most important thing that people never talk about, is to believe in human beings. Despite all this, when you’re such a long time in the job, you’re not naïve. You know all the strengths and weaknesses, and how sometimes people can be selfish or mean. But you still have to believe that there is a light in every human being that you can get out.”
So damn Disney.
Onto the football today, we take on Crystal Palace, who are rejuvenated under Roy Hodgson. We’ll be dealing with their wingers today, with Wilfried Zaha in MASSIVE FORM, it’ll be a busy day for our defence. Will Kolasinac play?
“He [Kolasinac] is highly suited for a wing-back role, for a more offensive role,”
“I think he will play again and I gave him a breather as well.
“He is working hard and I think he will play in a back four, as well.”
So, not too sure. Sounds like Wenger is rotating him, I’m not so sure if he’d be doing that against Liverpool unless there was a deeper reason. But we’ll see. Could be another chance for AMN to shine. Playing against bully boy tactics will be a baptism of fire.
Our injury news is no Nacho, Giroud or Ramsey.
I really would be interested to see AMN through the middle with Jack Wilshere. Liverpool absolutely trounced us for pace, our centre mids were roasted for all three of the goals. We need some energy in the middle of the park in the absence of our flying Welshman, and I really doubt AMN could make more than the 2 customary mega mistakes a game we get from Xhaka.
Up top, we have to be starting Danny Welbeck over Iwobi. I hate to see Sanchez in there, but there’s no chance Wenger will drop him. The rest of the team picks itself from there. It’ll be very interesting to see what sort of performance we turn in. Crystal Palace away is loud, it’s crap and our players don’t need much of an excuse to switch off.
Finally, Liverpool dropped £75m on a mega signing bringing VVD into the club. It’s a huge name, it’s an outrageous fee, and when you factor in that they already signed Keita for next season, you have to applaud the work Klopp is doing on that squad. High octane, immensely powerful and technically sound. He has a roadmap. An actual plan. They’ll be tough next season.
For me, I’m kind of hoping that Arsenal can find those sort of names before they cost £75m. What’s the point in bringing in a fancy new scout if you’re spending that sort of cash? I mean, don’t get me wrong, when the need occurs, do it, but you’d hope we can build a production line that spots that sort of player early so we can do more with our cash, or keep the powder dry for the elite cherry on top. Maybe Abdou Diallo is that guy, or the impressive Salif Sané? Maybe our Naby Keita is Denis Zakaria?
I just cannot wait for our next manager to start so we can start losing our minds to a new project. I’m very much over ours.
Anyway, minds on Palace. HAVE A BLINDER. Matt from the podcast flew in especially. Good luck!