Get your magic hat on, Arsene

Arsene Wenger’s magic, he wears a magic hat…continue to fade. I remember that starting when good ol’ Georgie Graham was in charge of the 1-0-to-the-Arsenal (did he really buy Chris Kiwomya* or was I in a coma up in the East Stand? No wait a minute, I am sure I remember him scoring at home to Forest soon after he arrived — was that the first game after GG got the sack for the bungs?). But, moving on and it’s one of the greats from that era who is hailing AW a magician in this morning’s Sun.
The paper carries an exclusive interview with TA in which he describes the boss as a “magician” with unrivalled powers. And he reckons our young Guns have a long way to go to match his Invincibles — as that team should have won four Doubles in a row, he says.
He said: “Arsene for me is a physiologist. He is a magician in that field, bio-mechanically assessing players, fitness or whether they are ready to play. I think that’s where his forte is. In preparation of professional athletes he’s second to none. It’s amazing what Arsene has done so George’s achievements can be over-shadowed.”
TA loves the way AW regenerates Arsenal’s squad every few years but thinks the class of 10/11 have a way to go to rival the team of 10 years back.
>He said: “I had lunch with Patrick Vieira just before Christmas.  One of the best squads we ever had was the 1998 squad — we were saying that we should have done more. We should have done that Double in 1999, the year Man Utd won the Treble. That squad was such a good squad. OK, we won the Double again in 2002 but after ’98 we should have gone on and done 1999, 2000, 2001.”
TA quit playing in 2002 and takes stock of the Arsenal since his time out: “We’re talking eight years. There have been many technical, gifted players in that time, from people like Alex Hleb, Tomas Rosicky and Andrey Arshavin.  We seem to acquire that kind of player, quick and technical. But the best of the bunch is the skipper, Cesc. He’s phenomenal, and my daughter adores him! She’s 15 and has posters everywhere of Cesc.
Adams added: “It’s a great football team that Arsene has put together. There is a fantastic structure now, good organisation, fantastic people working for the club, magnificent supporters. It’s all in place, isn’t it.” As I said there is plenty more at the Sun.
>Very little else of Arsenal interest this morning in the red tops, but we do find Gilberto Silva singing our praises in the Daily Mail (I know, they pinched it from Arse.con — but, hey, what are you going to do?). He said (dubious quotes alert): ‘I have been following Arsenal’s matches in the Premier League. I’m sure that despite the two defeats against Manchester United and Chelsea, Arsenal can make things change.
‘They must believe in themselves, in their quality. They must believe in themselves that they can win their remaining games. Arsenal need to achieve the first trophy to feel that they can do it, because for a player it is very frustrating when you go through a whole season and have been very close, but at the end you don’t get the reward for your job.
‘I’m sure if Arsenal win their first trophy, they are very young and their confidence will be higher and they can win more and more. It’s up to them to believe that they can do it.’
Gilberto will return to the Emirates Stadium when Brazil take on the Republic of Ireland in a friendly next week and the 33-year-old is looking forward to being on familiar ground although I personally couldn’t give a flying hoot about the game and think it is a travesty that a certain Celtic striker of dodgy origins should be allowed to walk onto our hallowed turf.
Back to Gilberto who added: ‘I still speak sometimes to see how they (Arsenal players) are. It is nice to keep in touch. I’ve always had a very good relationship with the players and also people who work at Arsenal. As I’m not there anymore, it’s nice still to have contact with them and still give Arsenal my support.
‘I miss the good atmosphere within the team. But to be honest, I miss everything about Arsenal. The time I had at Arsenal was amazing and I miss everything. But I have great memories about Arsenal, memories I will never forget.’
Well, that’s about the size of it this morning, folks. BTW, if you are off to Stoke head for Harry’s Bar opposite where the buses take you to the ground in the God-forsaken town centre — Strongbow £1.50 a pint — I kid you not.