Before I get on to the slightly negatives aspects of today’s post, I’d like to say that I love Dublin. That weekend will take some recovering from.
There’s far too much antagonism going on at the moment, all the way the board level down to the players and beyond. And it is the sort of antagonism that draws criticism from within, something every party has been keen to avoid until now.
Let’s begin at the top, with the suggestion from David Dein that had it not been for him, we would not have seen Wenger sign the contract he has just put his name to:
“We had a chat and I thought it was important that he should stay on for the future of the club.”
Well David, aren’t you clever? You think it might be a good plan for arguably the best manager ever to take charge of our club to remain? Thanks for clearing that up.
You don’t need me to tell you how disgusted I am that Dein is promoting his own image by shielding himself behind the man who has always behaved in a far more dignified way than he has (Alan Pardew may disagree). I feel that Wenger is more than capable of making his own decisions, somehow.
Moving down to player level, we have the extraordinary attack on Almunia by Jens Lehmann, who clearly is not losing an ounce of confidence despite his appalling start to the season and his place being in serious jeopardy:
“I know that I have an advantage at Arsenal and that I can keep it. I don’t see any young supermen keeping me out.”
“I have read that Almunia said he deserves to be the No 1 but until now he has not won a single important game.”
Exceptionally poor, Jens. You may be extremely popular amongst us Gooners, but this pleases no-one, probably least of all the manager who you are trying convince you should be first choice. Incidentally, every game is important, and while this might be the dig to suggest that he should be recalled for the ‘big’ North London derby at the weekend, I am left hoping that the Spaniard, who has done nothing wrong, is given his chance to continue. He deserves it.
Slightly more comically, another man getting too big for his boots is Niklas Bendtner, who is apparently seeking talks with Wenger after being left out of the Portsmouth squad:
“I don’t know why he did that and I’ll demand to know why and have a talk with Arsene Wenger when I get back.”
I can save you time, Niklas. It’s called being down the pecking order. No-one has a divine right to be part of the squad, least of all someone who is yet to prove themselves. Have patience.
Finally, on a more personal level, I’ve had quite the reaction to my last article, receiving a few mails, mainly abusive. I have been accused of Arsenal bias, of timing the article to make us look best, of being part of an anti-Chelsea propaganda machine (I particularly liked that one), all amongst being labelled with descriptions that I will not repeat.
So I need to make a few things clear. I am an Arsenal fan, so a certain bias is inevitable. The fact that practically every article here is about the club I love should’ve been a clue, but apparently not. As for the timing, there was no particularly chosen moment, rather a two week international break that gave me the time. Had I wanted to time it better, I would’ve waited for Bent, Shevchenko, Rooney and Ronaldo to be playing for their respective clubs, and Alex Hleb to be rested. However you look at it, the story would’ve looked largely the same.
I wanted to draw some conclusions and even surprise myself by doing the research. By discovering that Wigan and Villa spend a lot more than I thought, while Reading and Backburn were down the other end, means I succeeded. If you liked, then fantastic. If you didn’t, c’est la vie.
Let’s hope for a happier week, shall we? To start that, I’d like to remind people that we have won the league more times at White Hart Lane than Spurs have. Allow that thought to make you chuckle as we build towards the weekend.