Those untouchables that inhabit *
Mos Eisley Spaceport Fleet Street are paid by the inch for vitriol. The Press have always disliked the Arsenal, ever since we challenged the Northern Dominance in the Thirties and they are currently loving our decline. They are turning on the man they once lauded as a genius with great gusto and in doing so seem to be relishing the opportunity to reignite the Anti-Arsenal flames.
Now whatever ones views about our Manager, he is OUR Manager and one who has always played ball with the media.
image courtesy Flickr.com
I remember myself, @captainsarse and @Arsenal_Winston, as members of the press,attending one of Wenger's earliest fixtures in charge at Sheffield Wednesday. As we tucked into the free sandwiches and imbibed of the complimentary liquid refreshment Arsene Wenger came in through the out door and despite the fact we had lost 2-0, he was erudite, charming and affable which the real reporters were visibly impressed by.
That was November 1997 and of course we all know how that season ended; in glory. But not before a tipping point was reached when the Arsenal lost to Blackburn Rovers 1-3 at Highbury towards the end of the year. The repercussions of the lock-in that took place afterwards where issues were aired by the players (led by Adams) was that the team were galvanised and went on to take the title and the FA cup. The old guard, in effect, made it clear to the newer recruits what playing for the Arsenal actually meant. A chapter in that season that the press overlooked as they were busy declaring Arsene's genius, without looking fully at the constituent parts that aided Mr Wenger in his triumph.
The contrast fifteen years later in how the press feel about Monsieur Wenger is a marked one. Its almost as if they are angry with Wenger for showing up their judgement, annoyed at Wenger for making a mockery of their declarations of undying love for his purity. Deep down though, they have been waiting to reopen the Arsenal 'hate' file that our success had closed. Even fairly recently we were still playing great football on occasions and this meant the press had to keep shtum or risk looking like they had backed the wrong horse.
When the Sharks start to bite
Regardless of opinions on our Manager I don't like to see the press behave towards him they way that they do to so many others and they wouldn't be able to if he could calmly place a trophy on the desk at the press conference in the style of the great Hollywood actress Bettie Davis who, on being asked to justify why she didn't feel that she had to read for a part, calmly opened her handbag and placed an Oscar on the table, after a pause she then placed another Academy Award next to it.
Winning silences critics.
The modern day business of football and the media is a fickle one. One minute you're the cat's pyjamas and the next you're the Emperor's new clothes. Arsene Wenger has been turned upon by the media because he is deporting himself with vulnerability alongside his trademark stubbornness for the first time,he also seems to be losing some of his erudition and, like sharks, the gentlemen of the press smell blood.
*"Mos Eisley Spaceport you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy "-Obi Wan Kenobi