Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Compost and comment

The sun is shinning and Phil Brown is working on his tan as he scatters the Fisssons and prunes the Lobelia. If Brown’s departure for pastures new was propagated by Bendtners last minute winner on Saturday then The football world should honour him. An exponent of anti football this acolyte of Sam Allardyce along with
Tony Pulis, Mick McCarthy, Owen Coyle and Steve Bruce make the British Premiership Manager the questionable product that he is.

The mundanity of their ethos is matched in turn by the pundits and other self appointed trustees of football’s conscience and duty of care. Particularly since the Ramsey assault Arsenal have been pilloried for playing football and not being drawn into the world of containment and ‘old fashioned’ (that should read outdated) methods.

When these characters voice their opinions they are an extension of the Allradyceisms of these ‘old school’ managers.

Arsene Wenger was interviewed in Saturday’s Independent magazine and it made for interesting and insightful reading. The kind of interview seldom seen in our sporting press. It’s unlikely that Arsene’s intellectualism would be appreciated by the average Talksports listener or employee for that matter.

It is not purely about being ‘foreign’ there are other British managers who have a deeper understanding of the game such as the remarkable Roy Hodgsen; I say remarkable, as what he has achieved at Fulham within a pro football ethos is clearly under rated. People like McLeish and Moyes are also thinkers who do not say a lot but often bring insight to the table.

Despite reservations around some of Wenger’s decisions, his maintenance of ethos and value remains clear as does his planting the seeds of identity. As long as Arsenal embraces footballs deeper values we will be a club disliked by the blinkered media. How will those voices of derision react if Arsenal were to come away, come May with one of the big prizes? If Arsenal come up roses it will be despite the bullying and negativity, and will leave a lot of people with egg on their face.

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