Huddersfield Vs Arsenal, Saturday 12th May, 2018.
Arsene Wenger walks out of the tunnel between two lines of players and officials. They applaud him. He makes his way to the away fans and acknowledges them, thanking them for attending what will be his last game.
What’s been nice about Wenger’s press conferences more recently is that the focus has been on his leaving, and not on blaming the referee for his team’s downfalls.
God, I hate him.
Sorry, I know people are all in high praise of him, saying he did so much for the English game and all this and all that.
But did he?
For me, he took the Britishness out of the Premier League. Something I think plays a huge part in the national team’s recent dismal tournament performances.
What drives my crazy about him, is that he rarely ever comes out in press conferences and admits his team’s own faults. It’s always, “oh, in the 63rd minute, the referee gave a throw in the wrong way.” Honestly, is such a small decision going to decide a game?
Even the big decisions that one could argue would decide a game – say there was a big penalty shout he didn’t get. What about the amount of shots his team got off target? Passes misplaced? Fouls that led to set pieces? Missed tackles? Surely there are far more of them than a single decision made by a referee? Surely there are more mistakes by his own team to blame?
But no, he will come out afterwards and bitch and moan with that infuriatingly annoying voice of his how it was the referee who was the cause of his team’s downfall; not his team’s crappiness.
When he came to the English game, he revolutionised Arsenal’s diet and fitness regime. In what was a binge-drinking culture of football, he won his first few titles by giving his team an athletic advantage.
Then he bought in loads of foreign players.
And so did everyone else.
And the Premier League grew to have the minority of English players we have now.
Look at it this way:
World Cup 1990 England reach the semi-final.
Euro 1998 England reach the semi-final.
1998 Arsene Wenger joins Arsenal.
What then for England?
Yes, we have the world’s best players in this league, and that’s great. But many people have lost their interest in the national team; so much so that they would rather pour their heart and soul into supporting their local club, full of players to whom the club’s location means nothing – rather than an England team of English players who also support that team.
For me, I’m looking forward to not hearing his irritating pathetic voice whining about “oh referee this” “oh referee that” and seeing a top 4 (though now top 7ish) team stop contributing so little to the English national side.
Time for a new manager to come along and revolutionise the game. And to do it in a way that makes us cheer on the three lions again, rather than a group of players who know nothing of the city they wear on their shirt.