Ok , this is probably not a good thing to do, me a relatively inexperienced blogger intent on delivering entertainment and information to his readers, having a go at a seasoned hack. I have long disliked the flavour of Myles Palmer’s conversion from self appointed autobiographer of Arsene Wenger, and I am likely to find him a more than worthy adversary who will rip this article to shreds if he wants. But as the members of Parliament in Westminster have found out to their costs these last 2 weeks. They will come a time when your hypocrisy is exposed.
Am I accusing Myles Palmer of hypocrisy? Well in a word yes. This is the man who savages Arsene Wenger in his columns, then reminds the readers to buy his book “The Professor”. If Myles Palmer was so righteous and not a hypocrite, he would withdraw the celebration of Arsene Wenger’s finest years from his book and stop selling it so hard. Perhaps he might rename it “Not the Professor” But we all know that money talks and seasoned hacks like him covet the oxygen of publicity. But given the admiration that this same writer had poured upon Arsene Wenger in the earlier part of his time at Arsenal, one is entitled to ask, what gave him the right to be cheerleader for the “Get Arsene out” brigade.
So much as I dislike the odious diatribe being delivered on his site, it nonetheless is served up as fair comment. But upon closer scrutiny, rather than profound rhetoric, the reader is presented with a pusillanimous excuse for a commentary on all things Arsenal. In this most difficult of weeks for the Arsenal, only the faithful who support the club and its manager will recoil from some of the nonsense served up in his columns. Remember, that whilst Arsene Wenger is still manager of this great club of ours, it is my opinion, that if you really want to destroy the prospects of future success for the club, then destroying Arsene Wenger is the right way to go about it. Take this excerpt for instance…
“As regular ANR readers know, I’ve pointed out that Arsene Wenger is a masterful spin-doctor who sets his own agenda, bamboozles a compliant media, spins his own headlines, and moves the goalposts when it suits him. He is much cleverer than the directors or the journalists. He could do their jobs but they could not do his.”
A spin doctor? I ask myself why Arsene Wenger needs to spin the reality of what he has achieved at our club? If Palmer is suggesting that Wenger is trying to distort the facts to prevent himself being seen in a bad light, then listen to Arsene’s words. His grasp of many languages is extremely adequate. Arsene uses the minimum, and it is left for others to distort what he says. He has often been accused of lying to fans. Where is the evidence? Just because Arsene expresses his intention to buy a number of players, and circumstances between the agents and the clubs breakdown, why on earth is Arsene held responsible? Get the agents out of the equation and many transfers would not be so complex. The players and club don’t help by putting out mischievous statements. We bloggers make things worse too, but there has to be a forum for contructive criticism, but Arsenal News Review aint it! Which is why Arsene is right to tell people to shut up! If anyone does spin, then its Myles Palmer surely, to get you to believe some of the rubbish that he writes. He is ever present on the inner sanctum getting it hopelessly wrong…lol.
“So Arsenal’s key decisions are all made by one man – and made in a different way to other clubs. Rather than risk buying the experienced players he needs, and making a big mistake which might cost him his job, Wenger prefers to give pay rises to his many protégés to make them more loyal to him. He has 52 players and he snatched Aaron Ramsey from Man United and put him on £850,000 a year when he would have been on £350,000 at United.”
Simple nonsense… This is not about Arsene Wenger trying to get players to be loyal to him. Ask Lehmann or Diarra for pity’s sake! Many experienced players are currently over priced for their supposed quality. Obtaining the young players is also an expensive business. Arsene Wenger has signalled his intention to put Arsenal back at number one by signing some of the best youth players of the next generation. Buying aging players on large wages, with no desire to bleed for the shirt is not necessarily the best way to go. As for trying to protect his job? He made enough mistakes this season to cost many managers their job, but at the end he made sure that Arsenal have Champions League football next season and we appeared in two major semi-finals. It was the players who let us down, with their performance on the day. For the first seven minutes we played Man United off the park at the Emirates I seem to recall. If one were being cynical, one could argue that some of Arsene Wenger decisions this season have been at odds with his usual deft tactical awareness, take the omission of Arshavin at Wembley. Arsene has given his explanation, it was to instil more confidence in the other players, but given the spate of injuries what else could he have done done? We had enough chances to win the game, but the players didn’t take them. Palmer also notes…
“No wonder he is so good at signing promising young footballers ! His youngsters are on very good money compared to other clubs. He probably has 10 teenagers on £10-25,000 a week and another 20 on less than £10,000 a week. In this way, Wenger spreads his bets. But if he goes on operating that way, and spending far too much on the wages of players who are not in his first team, the team will always be short of the two quality players it needs to turn Arsenal into a big club that wins big trophies.”
This is where Myles Palmer at last makes sense. Arsenal have spent over 100 million on players salaries, happily most of that comes from the broadcasting revenues, but the introduction of Arshavin has proven that it is worth waiting for the right player. Imagine two more decent additions like Arshavin in the summer and we will be making the step up to the next level. The problem is that too many of the “big stars” have either been injured or under performed. Is this Wenger’s fault? I can criticize Wenger for some of his playing formations. Diaby out wide, Denilson out wide, none have worked, but eventually Arsene will find the balance of the team.
“Clearly, Danny Fiszman cannot manage Wenger from a village on the shore of Lake Geneva, so they’ve installed Ivan to manage him. And Ivan did not come 3000 miles to Arsenal to fail. If Arsenal do not win a trophy in 2010, you can be sure it will not be seen as Ivan’s fault.”
Palmer appears to worship Danny Fiszman, and I cannot understand how Palmer can see faults in Wenger, yet ignores Fiszman’s role in the Board chaos that currently reigns. Arsenal Football Club, having now employed Ivan Gazidis, should be thankful that Wenger was a workaholic. The claims that Wenger is all powerful at the club may well be true, but if you consider that he has had to coach, manage, buy and sell players and be Director of Football all at the same time. Was this of Wenger’s making? Who sacked David Dein? Keith Edelman? And pushed Lady Nina off the Board? I think that Danny Fiszman has been the power behind the throne, and having made his fortune from his shares, I doubt very much if Fiszman wi ll stay around much longer to see the aftermath of his coup d’etat. But Myles is right, Ivan Gazidis is a class act and will not fail. If we are to move forward, then he will put in place a regime that will ensure that value for money is the key.
So Arsene Wenger willagain prove that his kind of class is permanent. Remember that we only ever hear the media or blogger’s angle on issues. Whilst it would be nice to have statements from Arsene, he respects the institution that is Arsenal Football Club better than Myles Palmer would concede. Arsene Wenger has integrity and style, he has also apologised for the disappointment experienced by the fans. He acknowledges that he has made mistakes. What the hell more do people want of this great man? Yet as he approaches his sixtieth year, having sacrificed a lot of his private family life for our great club, can we not as fans allow him one bad season? This “bad” season would have been accepted as amazing success by Aston Villa, Everton, Man City just to name a few. We have become spoilt as fans and too quick to condemn.
Look at Alexandre Song for example, many fans wanted him out of the club, yet his progress this season has been amazing. It is players like him that allow us to understand why Arsene keeps his faith with players despite the fans opinion. I have said this before, and I’ll say this again. Arsene Wenger owes us nothing for the success that he has bought to the Club. It is Arsene Wenger who has to suffer silently the misinformation put out there by the likes of Myles Palmer.
Arsene Wenger is committed to finishing his work, and next season he may hope to share the joy experienced by Thierry Henry last night in lifting the Champions League trophy. We will all regret the day that Arsene Wenger leaves this club, you mark my words. Enjoy this dynasty while you can. For me, it has been a priviledge to witness the beautiful game, the game that Barcelona proved last night can win trophies. Arsene Wenger was the inspiration for that display in the Olympic Stadium in my view. If only the stadium project had not starved Arsene of funds at vital times over the last four seasons. but we cannot have it all, remember that. The worldwide credit crunch and the lack of profits from the Estates project at Arsenal was hardly Wenger’s fault, but people like Myles Palmer would have you believing so. Some of you reading this out there may not like Arsene Wenger, but you have to respect what he has achieved for Arsenal Football Club at the very least surely?
So ends my probably ill thought out attack on another blogger. I have broken all the Blogging rules by doing something that should never be done apparently but do I care? Having voiced my support for Arsene Wenger last week on the airwaves and on TV, I felt that I had to finish my crusade with a swing at the arch disciple of the Anti-Wenger brigade. Anyway, the best message that real Arsenal fans can send to this self appointed “would be assassin” of the greatest manager in the history of our club would be to stop buying his book. Maybe then he might get the message that Hypocrisy does not pay. So having lit the blue touch paper, I shall retire and step back and watch the fireworks…
Fabregas the king.