Arsene Wenger came out and apologized for the mistimed tackle by William Gallas. How many managers do that!? He also gave a very objective analysis of that particular incident and quite a few others from the two games with Bolton. But if you read reports covering the press conference, most of the headlines are saying “Angry Wenger” or “Wenger Hits Out” and things like that.
In itself it would be incredible, but as Arsenal fans we are so used to such mindless and biased coverage that any kind of an objective press report would indeed be hard to believe.
In November, Le Boss predicted Chelsea will drop points. He was quite objective even when the team had lost playing poorly against one of the main rivals. Did anyone bother to analyze what he said? No, people were happy with their own limited understanding and misplaced judgments and the boss was ridiculed for his considered thoughts.
A few years ago I was a cocky young college student who thought he knew everything about the game. I laugh at that now but it was an important part of my learning experience. I criticized Wenger every time Arsenal lost and always thought I had all the solutions. The main reason I was able to improve from that state was that I used to listen to and read everything that Le Boss said. Over a period of time I realized that every single problem was much more complex and the manager knew everything I did and much more. That is also the foundation of my unflinching faith in Arsene Wenger.
I believe two things that helped me improve were respect for the man and a willingness to accept that I might be wrong. After that it was just natural progression. These days it makes me wonder if many people in the media and the blogosphere, who constantly criticize Le Boss, actually respect what he is and what he has done. Maybe they do but are too full of themselves, or they are plain incompetent, who knows.
From what I have read, the single biggest line of defense for the Media is that they have to sensationalize to sell the papers. That’s a strange explanation. Firstly, it implies that people are dumb and cannot appreciate the facts of a story unless they are spiced up. Secondly, I don’t know too many people who actually like the sensational stories anyway! If you read around the internet, almost everyone is upset with the media. So where are these lots of dumb people who buy the papers because of the sensational content!?
One of the longest serving and most successful managers in England is castigated almost every time he comes up with something every football lover should think about. I have been trying to think of the reason behind this and a few words by Albert Einstein, another man whose writings have influenced me a lot, come to mind.
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex… It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.
I realize that these are separate individual quotes, said at different times, and in diverse contexts. But, to me, the wisdom in these words seems universal and to a great extent applicable to the situations Arsene Wenger often finds himself in.
For instance, every pioneering effort from Arsene right from bringing foreign players to the league to developing youngsters and blooding them in the Carling Cup has met with violent opposition even if it wasn’t of the physical kind. (Thankfully!)
The relevance of the second quote will not be lost on anyone who regularly listens to Le Boss. One obvious example is his insistence that foreign players have made the English game and team better.
The third one is quite a beauty. To me it applies perfectly to the tiny Tots and to quite a few of the doom and gloom brigade who can’t see beyond buying big name players.
I guess if the great scientist had been with us Wenger would have found a sympathetic ear!