Kalamity Ken

I almost fell off my stool at the pub Sunday. No, not what you think (this time), but I was all cocky, telling everyone who’d listen (no one did) that interviews after games are too predictable.

Much as I love the Arsenal, Arsène’s not one for entertainment off the pitch. Most of the managers are all clichés and official bashers. Don’t get me wrong, the referee is a great scapegoat, but you know the managers are going to see it poles apart.

There’s not too many entertaining managers out there, really. Martin O’Neill is always good for telling it like it is. Must have learned a thing or two from old Cloughie. Mick McCarthy wasn’t bad, and Ian Holloway is missed in the big league.

So, there I was, banging on about how ‘King’ Kenny was going to lay into everyone but his team. After the Suarez fiasco, you’d think he’d bought some blinkers from an Aintree car boot sale. But no. The dour one pretty much said what the neutrals had seen, and didn’t defend his players. Maybe he was still steaming after Carroll’s departure. Apparently the pony-tailed one let a torrent of abuse go in the direction of his manager, but he missed and swore at a kid in row Z instead.

And why is Kenny called the King? Just because his name begins with a K? We don’t call our boss Admiral Arsène. Surely there’s a more imaginative word to use for Kenny these days, even if it does have to begin with K. Knackered?

Anyway, he stitched me up by going all honest, maybe because the heat is on from the American owners, who probably wonder why that other team in the same city with the funny name is ahead of them even though they have no money. When Woy was in charge, and taking the heat from the fans, Kenny didn’t exactly stick up for him. Would Woy have done any worse than this? Would all of this craziness have happened? Woy’s probably well chuffed to be well away from the spotlight. But it does prove one thing, and even the Arsenal aren’t immune.

Used to be that managers had a chance to work with the team and shape it a bit. Now, you’ve got directors of football, owners who know bugger all about the game, and the internet. In the good old days, if you got pissed off about something, you got home, stewed for a bit, wrote a letter, typed it out, typed it again because you cocked it up the first time, put it in an envelope, and forgot about it. Now, everyone reacts instantly to everything. It’s all over Twitface in a second, and every website’s comment board is full of people writing messages in spite of their inability to actually write.

When things are good, there’s an eerie silence. But the second the opposition scores, it’s a bloody disaster and time for the manager to go. While I have zero sympathy for Dalglish, it is amazing how you can win a trophy and still be on the chopping block. At least Villa and Blackburn fans have an excuse. Arsenal are not immune, though. When they win, they’re supposed to. When they lose, it’s all Wenger’s fault and he’s useless and the world is coming to an end and he’s got to go.

No doubt, if we stuff six past Man City, and then concede a soft one with five minutes left, the web will be full of negative comments about how the Gunners’ defence is way too dodgy and if they want to win anything they need to buy eight new centre backs and revert to a 6-2-2 formation. But why would you want to copy West Ham?


I'm Bryan T. Wood and I've been following Arsenal since they played in black and white. That's a reference to old tellies, not shirts. I have an Arsenal supporting wife and two Gunner kids, Kenny and Tony, named after Sansom and Adams. Pity for Kenny she was born a girl. I've travelled the world in my job and I've played at Wembley. Admittedly, as I'm a musician, it was with a band and sadly not for the Arsenal. Here's my weekly take on the world of football as seen through non-biased red and white glasses.