May 182009

By now you’ve probably all seen reports that Wenger has ‘hinted’ he might be off to join Florentino Perez at Real Madrid next season. The papers have latched on to it, claiming that it is either confirmation that he is sick of the criticism being levelled at him for four trophyless years, or an ultimatum to get more transfer funds in the summer.

But it is also a story that, when you actually look at it, has no credence whatsoever.

The story stems entirely from comments Wenger made on French television, when asked about Perez’s plans to return to Real and revive the galactico culture he was famous for during his previous stint. Wenger was quite evasive on the subject, as he often is when talking about other clubs:

“With Florentino Pérez in charge, the project he has put forward would be ­interesting for any coach”

A sentence that has sparked a thousand rumours. But since when can ‘interesting’ be replaced by ‘appealing’? Having Perez as your boss is certainly interesting, but not for the right reasons – the manager’s job becomes that of a head coach only, as the president often supercedes him on transfers, arranging the arrivals of world stars every year, often those that do not fit into the team structure or ethos. By the end of his time at Real, the dressing room was an unmanageable mess of egos. Already, he is claiming he will bring stars with him if elected, and while these promises are always lies, it confirms that once again he intends to drive the deals.

All of this is against Wenger’s entire working practice. He nurtures players, encourages the development of young talent, and thrives on turning a rough diamond into exactly the sort of player Real themselves then seek. What’s more, he does this irrespective of whether money is available to capture more established talent. Combined with Perez’s penchant for taking control of matters he should leave to others, Real are about as far down the list of clubs suited to Wenger as anyone.

Wenger has consistently pledged his future to Arsenal, and he is aware that leaving now would be perceived as a failure, or at best a half success. He has come under unprecedented fire in the last few years, and it would be in his character to prove the masses wrong before he takes his career in a new direction. He knows this team is not a million miles away, and he will be keen to complete this incarnation before considering any other options. He is a proud man, and he does not walk away when he has such unwavering support from his employers.

We are entirely the summer, and that means the papers need to fill column inches with stories that are increasingly based in fantasy. Unable to cover much actual football, every sentence uttered is scrutinised in greater detail, and often, as in this case, completely misinterpreted.

It is only May – we have months of this to come.

  13 Responses to “Wenger’s Madrid link a classic case of misinterpretation”

  1. Well, I wouldn’t rule out Wenger’s departure yet.
    He might have been clearly hurt by some idiotic criticisms from idiotic people during the shareholders’ meeting.
    He might have felt not being appreciated for what he has done for the club and thus it’s normal for anyone, including him, to leave for better opportunities.
    I’ll put this (Wenger’s possible departure) as 50:50. Don’t be surprised if Wenger leaves Arsenal this summer.
    If he leaves, then don’t expect us to get 4th again.

  2. I agree. If he does go we will not get 4th again. and the people who will be to blame for that are the fickle idiotic P***ks who THINK they support Arsenal and who have been after Wengers blood and not support his and the clubs ambitions. I really hope Wenger stays more than anything. And i really hope the fans will get behind him again and support the club whole heartedly and push for success. I believe in Wenger and the players. i really do think they will become fantastic. Come on you gooners!! BELIEVE!!!!!!

  3. laylay, I know he’s been hurt, but he just isn’t the sort of character that walks out when times are tough. I’ve thought for a while that this is likely to be Wenger’s last Arsenal incarnation, but he’ll want to see it through.

    dodo, that link is just further speculation on the same quote. And frankly, Balague talks a load of tosh of a regular basis.

  4. dodo – Guillem Balaque has strong links with AS, the mouthpiece of Real Madrid. I wouldn’t give too much credence to his opinion on this.

  5. Guillem Balague is the Spanish equivalent of Miles “clueless c*nt” Palmer..

  6. I am a little concerned by this.

    Interessant (French for interesting) has positive connotations – i.e. interesting in an appealing way.

    However, I HOPE that this is just a warning shot at his disgraceful treatment by fans. Compare it to Hiddink’s adulation at the Bridge for 4 months work and I can see how he feels.

  7. Wenger is often complimentary about other teams. It means nothing.

    I can say that I think United are worthy champions, but it doesn’t mean I’m about to become a United fan.

  8. it’s going to rumoured rumoured…..untill wenger signs another 4 years with the gunners

  9. If the quotes are accurate I think it’s a huge blunder by AW.
    IMO it’s a petulant reaction to either the uncomfortable Q&A session or a disappointing meeting with the board regarding the transfer kitty. Possibly both.
    It didn’t surprise me one bit to hear Ade comparing Milan to Beyonce as I honestly didn’t expect anything less from him since last Summer.
    But IF AW’s quotes are genuine I would be extremely disappointed at what can only be interpreted as a statement of genuine interest in working for Madrid. If this is not the case it alternarively has to be his attempt at warning the board that he’ll leave if his wishes aren’t granted.
    Be honest & ask yourself how you would feel if the quote was attributed to a player & the word managers was replaced with players?

  10. oh, please. Have a think about it before speaking. Wenger to Madrid? A guy who’s been at a club for over 10 years and been patient enough and prepared to build 3 teams, the last of which could be the best and fulfil everything he’s put into the club, to leave for a team that changes its manager at the drop of a hat – and where 1 trophy-less season, let alone 5, is enough for you to be gone

  11. Duckster – think about it. Wenger is a pundit on French television, and is asked to make comments on clubs all the time. As soon as he says one club is going to be interesting over the next couple of years, that means he’s off?

    Come on.

  12. Duckster – are you a spaz? Did you not read the article you are purported to be commenting on? Wake up and stop making a tit of yourself on teh interwebz

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