Arsene Wenger : Duplicity and Deception
I need a reality check. Well, not in the figurative sense of establishing what is and is not realistic. No, I literally need to make a check on reality, for I have just finished watching ‘Dynamo-Magician Impossible’. Watching a man toy with the boundaries of what is real to such an extent is unnerving and [...]
I need a reality check. Well, not in the figurative sense of establishing what is and is not realistic. No, I literally need to make a check on reality, for I have just finished watching ‘Dynamo-Magician Impossible’. Watching a man toy with the boundaries of what is real to such an extent is unnerving and yet hugely thrilling. Never before have I seen someone perform such incredible deeds of deception, such as lifting the glasses off of the face of Tinie Tempah’s album cover and pulling a silver chain through his own neck. And it is truly remarkable. Here Dynamo tricks the public with calculated schemes of deception to a rapturous reaction. Oh how The News of the World would have loved their own acts of duplicity to be so well-received. With the resignation of Rebekah Brooks this morning, the News of the World phone hacking saga rumbles on and on, with the public being constantly reminded of the paper’s now notorious hoax. And with that, constantly being highlighted is the public’s position in the greater media sphere, where we are blindfolded and forced to stare helplessly into the occult world of ‘media clarity’. Somewhere in between the amusingly secretive performances of Dynamo, and the snakelike deceitfulness of Rupert Murdoch’s corporation lies our very own Mr. Arsene Wenger.
There was a time, once, when Mr. Wenger spoke nothing but beautiful prose of truth, sense and reality. What he said was gospel and anyone who questioned this man’s judgement was a fool. He came out with outlandish comments of going a season unbeaten and, whilst some ridiculed him, we could see sense in what he said. Comments which of course would eventually come to fruition. There was also a time when Le Prof’s hasty remarks about transfer speculation were seen of as no more than careful scheming. We all knew that him moving away from a transfer link or denying any need to dip into the market was merely away to step out of the limelight. We knew that something was up his sleeve and that was all that mattered. In Arsene we trust, remember! Those were the good old days. Now, well, a lot has changed. 6 trophyless seasons, an inflated and far more competitive market and the relative failure of many potentially superb youngsters has raised the fan’s collective cynicism and rendered each and every one of Wenger’s Wengerisms as recycled, predictable and unsatisfying.
When Wenger says, as he did yesterday, “The job is to find the players with the right talent that will give a plus to the team”, fans fear a repetition of the disappointment of recent transfer windows. Transfer windows during which the need for additions has been less, the quality of the squad has been higher and fan belief has not been eroded to such a non-existent level. When Wenger leaves his faith in an injury prone and unconvincing Kieran Gibbs and the habitual underperformer Armand Traore following the departure of one of the club’s most experienced players at left-back, fans are instantly reminded of a similar reluctance and lack of effort in purchasing a first choice keeper last summer. An outcome of misguided loyalty that has often been rued since. And when it seems we are no closer to bolstering nor improving an ailing defensive unit, and the one signing of a summer in which Wenger promised to be “very active” is a winger from the French League, unproven and unconvincing on the international and European stage, who can excuse us for feeling tricked.
And yet we have almost grown accustomed to this. So common were Wenger’s assertions that the team have ‘great mental strength’ and were ‘unlucky’ during last season’s tragic slump that his comments have now become a ridiculed cliché. It seems our manager is slipping away, just as our club is slipping backwards. The once unbreakable affinity every Arsenal fan had with Wenger seems to be trembling and creaking with every denial and horrendously optimistic statement. Wenger yesterday claimed the team are ready to win the title. “What we did last year, considering the age of the squad and the problems we had with injuries, was a credit to the team and we have a good opportunity now to show that we have the quality.” It is absolutely baffling how Wenger can be so glaringly wide of the mark. Last season was not a credit to the team. It was a disgraceful shambles in which we finished with 68 points, Wenger’s second lowest total since his arrival in 1996. The age of the squad is young, yes, but much too young, and this was glaringly revealed when push came to shove. And injuries should not cause a top club such hardships as they should possess a squad rich in adequate personnel. The same old excuses, the same old predictions and the same old blind, stubborn faith is being wheeled out and the season is still a month away. More than tiresome, it has become infuriating for those who can see through the nonsense.
Wenger’s outlandish comments are becoming more than just hopeful prophecies. More than drivel even. They are beginning to become deceitful lies. Whether he believes his own lies is debatable, but it is becoming an old case of ‘if you say something for long enough you start to believe it’. The fans are being served up a smokescreen of recycled garbage time after time. And just like his attempted appeasements, his first line-up of the season included the same old inadequacies. Denilson was still there, after another season of ineptitude and despite even claiming he wanted out of Arsenal. Squilacci also made an appearance, the player we all thought would be the first of the deadwood to leave the Emirates. Even the perennial underachievers Armand Traore and Carlos Vela have seemingly wormed their way back into the squad and underlined the stagnation and imminent decline facing the team. For someone who has always kept faith in Wenger, and never called for his sacking whilst others have been quick too, I not only recognise but demand that this must be his last chance. One more season. That’s all he’s got to remove the wool from in front of our eyes, buck up his ideas and rediscover his ability to lead a team to success. Over to you boss.