Pity Arsène Wenger, the manager who cannot win

Image: Tim Boyd

This may be a controversial view among Salut! Sunderland readers, but what more was Arsène Wenger supposed to say about the Jack Wilshere sending off?

We’ve been quick here to deplore the lack of consistency – okay, let’s be even more blunt and say the hypocrisy – shown by the Arsenal manager when it comes to foul play and cheating. Those famously selective powers of observation have let him down on numerous occasions when a few well-chosen words would have sent out an honest, dignified message.

But on Saturday, Wenger made no attempt to defend his young midfielder, whose rash lunge ruined a superb display and brought its correct punishment. Was he supposed to add: “And what is more, he should be – ‘ow you Eenglish say? ‘ung, drawn and quartered for his disgusting offence which proves once and for all that far from being a team of elegant, high-minded athletes imbued with the purist Corinthian spirit, Arsenal are a bunch of thugs and cloggers.”

He may have had a strop later when asked about another Asrenal challenge, and I don’t think he expressed embarrassment at Chamakh’s dive, but he had probably just run out of humility.

I think Wenger struck precisely the right balance between sensible condemnation and the vilification of his own players that is, frankly, not his job.

But it is true that the incident should finally persuade him that even the most gifted of players, intent on performing with skill and intelligence, are capable of making late or potentially dangerous challenges. Serious foul play is wrong, whether committed by a Jack Wilshere (not to mention a Martin Keown) or a Martin Taylor or Ryan Shawcross

The difference between exquisite timing and injury-threatening recklessness can be very small indeed.

Monsieur Salut

8 thoughts on “Pity Arsène Wenger, the manager who cannot win”

  1. Not saying that it was a bad tackle. It WAS a bad tackle. Of which both Wenger and Wilshere have both apologised.

    But when Shawcross and Taylor made their tackles all the noises coming from their respective clubs were how football was a “man’s game” etc. I can assure you that Shawcross has not apologised.

    He said after the game that he will keep on playing the same way and that “injuries are part of the game”.

  2. Arsenal Articles: Everyone so far agrees it was a bad tackle. Some have said it was an injury-threatening tackle. I am glad for both parties that didn’t happen. No one was hurt by George Michael but he still went to jail as much for what he might have done as for what he did (London lampposts having no known feelings).

    But I didn’t know Shawcross had not apologised, indeed I thought he had. If he has not, that would be a disgrace; if he has, AA owes HIM an apology.

    I thank the other posters for being more ready to recognise an attempt at fairness and proportion – but should I take the thumbs down for the comment explaining the spam problem as a sign that certain Gooners are indignant members of the spamming community who see nothing wrong with their activities?

  3. Nice to see a bit of balance from an opposition fan.

    Arsenal are continually slagged off as a soft touch but the minute one bad tackle goes in just listen to the hysterical shrieking from the same people!

  4. If you remember Wenger apologised for the Taylor comments and he hasn’t mentioned the “clean” tackle from Shawcross since Febuary. Refreshing too see, well done. Bad tackle from Jack.

  5. Usual health warning:

    All comments welcome but Salut! Sunderland has become such favoured prey of the international spam vermin that people commenting for the first time will experience a delay – as short as possible – for moderation.

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