An Ode to Arsene Wenger
Right, well I’m not much in an ode-writing frame of mind these days with such busy days ahead of me at work. That said, what better way to spend my morning than to write about everyone’s favourite French personality, Arsene Wenger?
Okay, maybe he’s not everybody’s favourite. Hell, not even all Arsenal fans are convinced he is still the man. For much of this last season there were a chorus belly aches, whines and calls for Arsene’s head from my fellow Gooners. Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand their sentiments (minus the “head on a plate”). For a club as internationally successful as Arsenal (when last I peaked, they were still in the top five or six most valuable sports teams in the world), it is extremely heart-wrenching to have gone trophy-less for as long as we have. Consider, too, that our last trophy was not far removed from the greatest single EPL season in history – The Invincibles.
I better stop myself there, as my purpose in this article is to judge Arsene Wenger and his relevancy at the Emirates.
As Arsenal played much of the 2011-2012 season with not even a glimmer of hope of finishing in the all-important “Top Four”, many bandwagon jumpers were highly critical of the Frenchman. I happen to have a very highly entertaining list of Twitter accounts to keep me busy while I watch from the safety of my recliner. There were so many fans who were willing to forget all le Professeur has done for the club, posting their critiques on Twitter. See, give idiots a handheld device and they can, and often do, write anything. The abuse he took was sad, actually, as clearly the culprits couldn’t tell a 4-4-2 from a lotto ticket. To put it mildly, they had their heads so far up their arses they could see White Hart Lane – sorry, my apologies for the cheap shot.
Wenger is the ultimate frugal penny-pinching extraordinaire. One thing you can’t take from him though, is his ability to find “value”. An excellent judge of talent, and a gifted tactician, have given Arsenal supporters the second longest-lasting EPL manager today, behind only Sir Al. So, what has Arsene done to deliver the team’s first trophy in 100 years (give or take)? He went out and signed Podolski.
Lukas Podolski, wearing the #10 for the Germans, had been on Wenger’s radar for some time, and for great reason. I am not going into some long-winded speech as if the guy walks on water – you just need to know he is good. He plays forward. He had great success at Koln, and is playing well for Germany alongside that other striker, Super Mario. Podolski is a top-notch signing, and I, along with many fans from around the league, were a little surprised Arsene spent this early. Along with being notoriously cheap, he is equally as notorious for how slow it takes him to do anything.
But Podolski might not be the lone big signing for Arsenal. There are rumours that the deal to bring the eight foot tall (give or take) Montpellier striker, Olivier Giroud, to the Emirates is almost completed. Whether it is indeed that close or not, only Arsene and Olivier know. I think it becomes apparent that Wenger is either a) trying to bolster the Gunners attack as they clearly had difficulty finishing this year, or b) he is building a contingency plan in the even a certain Dutchman leaves North London. Clearly I hope for the former, as Giroud, Podolski and Van Persie up front is very formidable.
Wenger has one more ace up his sleeve in the form of Yann M’Vila from Rennes. The midfielder is highly regarded, and the rumours of him joining the Arsenal are not new. Just yesterday, he confirmed interest in the North London club.
“I don’t know what is happening with the clubs, but yes, I would be interested in the Premier League and Arsenal.” Yann M’Vila, on joining Arsenal
So, as you can clearly see, there is the desire to spend at Arsenal this transfer period. The only thing left to determine is the reason for the change in philosophy. Might it be to convince Van Persie to stay for something special? Or is it a contingency plan on the assumption he is leaving?
Ugh, back to work.
…until tomorrow, lads.