Published: 26 January, 2017
by TOM FOOT
WENGER Out, Wenger Out! Out. Out. Wenger AAAaaghht!
They’re everywhere, aren’t they? The Wenger Outs. Harping on every time we draw, or let a goal in. Players don’t respect him. He doesn’t inspire them. He’s always telling them to pass sideways and not to shoot. He’s got to go.
I feel like I’m the last Wenger In left in north London. Wenger In. Wenger In, In. Wenger till I die. You tell someone you’re Wenger In these days and they look at you in stunned silence – as if you’d pledged allegiance to Donald John Trump. Fake news!
The Wenger Outs are the real Trumps if you ask me. SAD!
It’s all so The Apprentice, isn’t it? “You’re fired!”
There’s a bronze bust of Wenger inside the stadium for a reason. He should go when he wants to go. Supporters can’t just call for his head like a pack of crazed jackals.
The quality of football he has brought to us has been extraordinary. There’s the Invincibles – yes – those double years, the end of season league clinchers, at Spurs and United. There’s the Champions League final.
He brought us players like Kanu. And the likes of Hleb. Wenger’s sides’ touch and control have always been the envy of the league.
Maybe there’s been too few trophies, but go to an Arsenal match and you’ll see moments that will take your breath away, little flashes of genius that you don’t see anywhere else in the country. You watch kids playing anywhere in north London and you’ll see they are all trying to do it the Wenger way.
A colleague asked me didn’t I think his time had come when I saw him being sent off on the weekend after pushing the fourth official. I haven’t seen it. But I heard Wenger’s response on the radio – it oozed exactly that calm and collected dignity that has made the club one of the envies of the world over for the past 20 years. He’s not the angry arm-flapper the media makes him out to be. This guy is the Barack Obama of the Premier League. He’s the last decent thing we’ve got left.
Listen to the players. They’re not singing the Wenger Out song. Theo says he’s making motivational speeches like Al Pacino. Mesut Ozil won’t sign a new contract before he knows whether the manager’s staying or going. And the players that have forsaken him, there’s a sense of forlorn tragedy to them, is there not? Van Persie. Fabregas. Cole.
The Wenger Outs assume things will simply get better if the manager is sacked. That the club will rise from its perennial fourth place mentality and assume a rightful position at the top of the tree. I suspect the opposite will happen, and there will be a painful decade in the Europa League doldrums watching, regretfully, as Spurs and Chelsea battle it out for silverware. Wenger In.