Tuesday, 11 October 2011


Is it me, or do some people seem to be enjoying Mr Wenger's current predicament a little too much?

The irony is none of this bile is coming from his fellow managers in the game. It's coming from ex-players, the media and a growing section of Arsenal fans.

Admittedly, not all ex-players, journalists or fans are part of the Wenger-out brigade. I'm not gonna start generalising.

But I find it slightly ironic that someone like Sam Allardyce can come out in support of the Frenchman but former players cannot.

No-one is infallible and maybe it is the fact that he has always been a media darling for so long, that makes recent events all the more interesting.

Not a day goes by when there isn't another article referencing his faults, coaching errors and failings in the tranfer market.

And I agree, the man has made mistakes. But which one of us hasn't?

But should these mistakes allow people to belittle one of the best managers, the Premier League has ever seen?

15 years ago, he came to North London and when he won the double he was the first non-British manager to do so. Since then he has won seven trophies and taken his club to numerous finals. He averages one trophy, every two seasons. Not too bad in a country where we regularly laud managers just foor keeping their club in the top flight.

Let's not forgot his two trophies each at Monaco and Grampas Eight, in France and Japan, respectively.

Without him players like; Robert Pires, Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and Freddie Ljundberg, may never have graced these shores. Not to mention how he extended the careers of Tony Adams, Steve Bould and David Seaman. As well as the numerous clubs that have benefitted from players who came through the Arsenal youth system.

With his passion and idealistic view of football, we started to see the game played in a majestic way, something not common in England.

His attention to detail helped the club build the magnificent, Emirates Stadium, as well as turn Colney into one of the best training facilities in the world.

Yet some feel it is acceptable to ridicule him and make a mockery of all he has and WILL achieve in the future.

I believe that respect is something that is earned.

And Mr Wenger has earned his, by working a hell of a lot harder than most.

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  1. The way I see it, Wenger revolutionized English football while trying to bring his own set of morals, dedication, and elegance to the foray. Being a man of high educational background and speaking 6 different languages, he's about as foreign to a stereotypical Englishman as you can get.

    Over the past years, he's complained quite a bit about the standard ways of doing things in the premier league (tackling, training, referees, etc.). Being a staunch Wenger supporter, I see this as a man of principle rightly standing up for himself, while deliberately trying to publicly deflect criticism from his team that he's trying to build confidence in.

    I think the media interpret everything Arsene does as the behavior of an upper class French man who thinks he's too good and righteous for everyone else. Once they've come to that conclusion it's very easy for them to treat everything he does with disdain.

    This xenophobic attitude by journalists should in all honesty vindicate him in not being a media tw*t like Harry Redknapp.

  2. Couldn't have put it better myself!

  3. I think that proper football fans appreciate AW's qualities, irrespective of which team they personally follow and where on the planet they were born. It probably should also be said that it's a shame that others couldn't treat "media tw*t" Harry Redknapp with the same respect. I'm not saying he has had the same impact on the English game as AW, but does that mean he doesn't warrant respect? I guess it's simply a case of one rule AW and another for others. Where have we seen that before I wonder?

    While I am certainly not a fan of Arsenal, (far from it in fact), I can't help but be impressed by some of the football that AW's teams have produced over the years. Where Chelsea almost seemed to batter teams into submisson, and Utd would seemingly get played off the pitch before somehow scoring late goals and winning at the death, Arsenal would play a style of football, (irrespective of who it was against, in what competition, or who was in that particular team), that was simply so so pleasing on the eye that you couldn't help but enjoy it and even look forward to it. While at times I have not looked forward at all to watching Spurs, (the team I grew up supporting), on TV, I have often looked forward to watching Arsenal, (and no, not to see them lose at all). Some of their players appeal to anyone who enjoys watching good football. They just make us all forget for a moment that we want them to lose, (or at least not win so well in Europe). Bergkamp, Fabregas and of course Henry offer something just that little bit extra, that make us all wish that they were a part of our team. AW was an enormous part in the development and continued high performance of each of these players.

    Henry for example, is just about the best player I have ever had the pleasure of watching. It is completely irrelevant that he is French, or played for Arsenal, (or even to tie in with other recent blogs, is black). Some of the things that he did on a football pitch were simply beyond belief, (often in a team that must have been as awe-struck playing with him as I was watching). Yes there were an an abundance of French players, (and God some of them were shocking too, Grimandi & Cygan anyone?), but boy he brought in some absolute belters too.

    A lot of the negativity associated with him, (and the likes of Sir Alex too), is simple jelousy by fans of opposing teams, or frustration by players who never quite made the grade at Highbury or who were put to sword by his teams. The people that really count, (the players), generally see the light however, and when this does not seem to be the case, it is often down to a simple case of self-publication.

    I've met AW a few times. We live in the same area and he used to watch my Sunday Pub Team play football occasionally, (now that was funny). Ignoring the fact that he obviously missed out on the best rugby playing left-back in North London, (oh come on, I can dream), my only criticism of him is his failure to ever see an Arsenal player do anything wrong, ever. If every so often he had just held his hands up and said, "yes, you are right, it was a shocking tackle or yes/no it was/wasn't offside", I think then a lot of the negativity related to him would evaporate. It is certainly the only criticism of him that I have, (although it is a big one).

    What he has done at Arsenal over the years, demands not just respect, but admiration. I struggle to understand why so many so called supporters of the team that he manages, have questioned his ability recently. I guess it's no surprise then, that so many of them should treat other football managers, with a similar lack of respect that they take offence to when aimed at Mr AW.