Sir Alex Ferguson retired at the right time. He was 71 years old, had just recaptured the Premier League title from Manchester City and had already left the total number of championships in Liverpool behind. There was nothing left to win or prove.
Arsene Wenger must be jealous of that. In his revealing interview with Martin Samuel on Saturday, Wenger sounded like an unfulfilled man.
He could have moved to Real Madrid twice – the club he adored as a boy – but he didn’t. He could have made England. He did not do it. Instead, he stayed with Arsenal year after year, pointing to loyalty and responsibility to lead them through the financially challenging process of moving to a new stadium.
Arsene Wenger should have left Arsenal earlier – it’s a shame he couldn’t see what others could
Wenger didn’t have a lot of money for players, he tells us. Instead, he shaped the training area individually.
Apparently he chose the plates for the dining areas. This commitment, this care and the attention to detail are admirable and credible. If he knew Wenger as well as we did, he would have put his heart and soul into all of this.
It’s just a shame he could never see what the rest of us could. That he stayed too long.
The idle years of his second decade at Arsenal – they haven’t won the Premier League since 2004 – should have given him reason enough long before the club encouraged him to do so in 2018. Wenger admits he was always a bad loser. But for years he allowed himself to be one.
Wenger believed he could lead Arsenal to further stardom but became a habitual loser
In pursuit of the trophies that matter to him, Wenger became a habitual loser of what he hated. In that regard, he lost to Manchester United and Chelsea and then City and even Leicester.
And what for? So that Arsenal remain solvent after Highbury? No, there was more than that. Wenger always thought he could do it, thought he could win big again, just like he did when he arrived full of intelligence, fire and innovation in the 1990s.
This is one of the problems with alpha males. They always think that someday they will win, no matter the circumstances. But Wenger only grew further away from it the longer he stayed.
He speaks like he never spent on gamblers. He has. He just hasn’t spent all that well in the later years.
Wenger still craves the Arsenal job like Sir Alex Ferguson never did at Man United
For reasons as yet unexplained, he took the liberty of deviating from the prototype of the Premier League team that he first put together. He had the qualities of cold competitiveness and steel sacrificed by Patrick Vieira, Emmanuel Petit and Thierry Henry.
He became a manager who bought bad defenders, a coach who put together teams that could be overrun by less gifted opponents who were only willing to keep running and go harder. He bought Mesut Ozil, watched him fail, and then gave him a new contract.
And it’s all such a shame. It was then and it is now. That said, we’ve never seen the best of him long enough. Wenger clearly still craves that Arsenal job like Ferguson never did at United.
On Saturday he said that memories in football are short, that all that matters is the final result. Unfortunately for him that is not true. People also remember the past 10 years. Wenger should have put himself first and left Arsenal when he got the chance.
Antonio reveals that West Ham wasted money on other strikers
By a reasonable estimate, West Ham has spent around £ 100mn solely on center-forwarders in the past three and a half years, only to find that they already had one named Mikhail Antonio.
No wonder co-owner David Sullivan says he’s “depressed”.
Mikhail Antonio (right) impressed and showed that West Ham wasted money on other strikers
Lowe has the right to summon Aguero’s grip
Rebecca Lowe is the savvy anchor of NBC Premier League coverage in the United States.
Last week, she possibly best received Sergio Aguero’s decision to put his hand on the neck and shoulder of assistant referee Sian Massey-Ellis in the game against Arsenal.
“There’s a reason thousands of women found this uncomfortable sight and that’s because it has happened to them in every situation and in every place,” Lowe told viewers.
Rebecca Lowe explained why Sergio Aguero’s actions made women uncomfortable
“Whether at work, in a bar, on the street. The uncomfortable nature of what we saw resonated with them.
“I don’t know Aguero’s intentions, but they are irrelevant. When someone feels uncomfortable, it has to be recognized. ‚
Lowe’s comments cut through the rubbish spoken since the incident and the answer to one question is very clear. Should a woman involved in a male sport expect to be treated differently from a man? Of course, when it comes to unsolicited physical contact, she should.
Honesty is the best policy, Ole
One of the best lines I heard on this business came from the Midlands 20 years ago.
Ray Graydon was the manager of Walsall and when he was introduced to the Lady of the Sun he said, “Ah, your paper prints all of these lies, doesn’t it?”
“Yes, that’s right,” she replied. “Managers like you tell us Fibs and we write them in the papers.” She was right too.
All managers mislead the press about injuries and transfer goals and it’s understandable.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer denied Mason Greenwood had a timing issue, but he should be honest
However, sometimes they can help themselves by holding their hands up, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer falls into that category.
It appears Mason Greenwood has a problem with the delay. Solskjaer has said twice that the story is not true, but it is a great deal.
It would have been better to raise the issue publicly and emphasize that it had been addressed.
Then it goes away. Instead, it lingers.
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