Ducking And Diving Ahead Of Manchester United
When my children were younger, they loved the television programme ‘Engi Benji‘ I think it was called. Whenever disaster struck, as it invariably did with an alarming regularity, the phrase, “What are we gonna do?” chimed out. Those words probably struck a chord in the minds of the multitude who want fresh blood into the squad when Arsene noted in his press conference that new arrivals were unlikely in this transfer window. Not even renewed attempts by the media to say Loic Remy of Nice or Gai Assulin from Barcelona are going to change that.
History is the only judge of whether Wenger is going to be right or wrong and even then, judgements will be subjective, the outcomes of games can be changed retrospectively in our minds. No certainty can be applied to the new results and the arguments continue to rage, winning such debates is impossible since they are entirely hypothetical.
Focus is now on tomorrow’s clash with Manchester United. Ferguson has pleaded with the neanderthals to stop their vile chants against Wenger, rather like King Canute trying to hold back the waves, I suspect. As well as fending off the media regurgitating Wenger’s accusations about Darren Fletcher being football’s anti-christ. Wenger has a bigger target – quite literally – in mind, praising Wayne Rooney on the one hand whilst chopping him off at the knees on the other.
The dive at Old Trafford which ended the Invincibles run still clearly rankles. For some, the penalty he won in the away fixture this season is of equal stature but I would agree with Wenger that it was a foul by Almunia because the Laws of the Game state that the position of the ball is not a primary factor, so long as it is in play. What is galling is the inconsistency in applying those rules, Cesc being fouled in similar circumstances against Bolton yet receiving no reward.
All that Wenger has done is state much of what was written about Rooney earlier this season when for once the media railed against an England player diving, rather than holding Wenger to blame for these ‘Johnny Foreigners‘ who do it all of the time. He stoped short of calling Rooney a cheat but leaving tomorrow’s officials in no doubt that their eyes may deceive them in the circumstances when the United player bounces off the surface.
Meanwhile, under the guise of an appreciation, Kevin McCarra in this morning’s Guardian believes that Project Youth is in decline, citing examples of the Da Silva twins and Kakuta going to rivals as evidence that Wenger is not the world’s leading authority on talented youngsters and losing out to domestic foes means that he will struggle to produce the flow of talent through the Academy.
Except both of those transfers happened a while back and since then Arsenal has signed more youth players. Additionally, all the while the media looked to the bank balances, Wenger was fighting Spanish clubs for the best in the world as well as being bulwarked by British bureaucracy for work permits. In short, nothing has changed other than media awareness of the issue being raised through the shortage of ready cash at clubs to attract star players to these shores and the repeated public pronouncements of those at the top of Fifa and Uefa.
Another piece that was not really worth the effort came in this morning’s Daily Telegraph where an invitation was garnered into the inner sanctum of Stan Kroenke’s sporting empire. Great for the journalist in question, watching various sporting events, a rip-off for his employers as the piece could have been written by any of Stan’s people and so unenlightening for you, as an Arsenal supporter, that it is pointless reading it.
There is no snippet of information there that has not been well-documented in the press already. Any hint of his plans for his investment in Arsenal, is saint or sinner, blocking Usmanov or waiting for the Uzbek to offer a ridiculous price for the shareholding sitting next to the bacon and ribs in Wal-mart?
Posted on January 30, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged Arsenal, Football, Manchester United, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip, Wayne Rooney. Bookmark the permalink. 96 Comments.