Sir Alex Ferguson retired at the right time. He was 71, had just reclaimed the Premier League title from Manchester City and had already eclipsed Liverpool’s league tally. There was nothing more to gain or prove.
Arsene Wenger must be envious of this. In his revealing interview with Martin Samuel on Saturday, Wenger looked like a dissatisfied man.
He could have joined Real Madrid twice – the club he idolized as a child – but he didn’t. He could have managed England. He did not do it. Instead, he has stayed at Arsenal year after year, citing his loyalty and responsibility for guiding them through the financially difficult process of moving to a new stadium.
Arsene Wenger should have left Arsenal earlier – it’s a shame he can’t see what the others might
Wenger didn’t have a lot of money to spend on players, he tells us. Instead, he put his individual imprint on the training ground.
He chose the plates for the meals, apparently. Such commitment, care and attention to detail is admirable and credible. Knowing Wenger like us, he would have put his heart and soul into all of this.
It’s just too bad he could never see what the rest of us could. That he was staying too long.
The fallow years of his second decade at Arsenal – they haven’t won the Premier League since 2004 – should have given him enough reasons to leave long before the club encouraged him to do so in 2018. Wenger admits that ‘he’s always been bad. losing. But for years he allowed himself to be one.
Wenger believed he could guide Arsenal to greater glory but has become a usual loser
In pursuit of the trophies that matter to him, Wenger has become the thing he hated, a habitual loser. In this regard, he lost to Manchester United and Chelsea, then to City and even to Leicester.
And why? So that Arsenal can remain solvent after Highbury? No, there was more to it. Wenger always thought he could do it, thought he could win big again, 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 they will win eventually, no matter what. But Wenger was only getting away from that the longer he stayed.
He talks like he’s never spent on players. He did. He just hasn’t spent everything so well in recent years.
Wenger is still plagued by Arsenal in a way Sir Alex Ferguson never did to Man United
For reasons hitherto unexplained, he allowed himself to move away from the prototype of the Premier League squad he had first assembled. It made it possible to sacrifice the qualities of cold competitiveness and steel provided by Patrick Vieira, Emmanuel Petit and Thierry Henry.
He became a manager who bought bad defenders, a coach who brought together teams that could be knocked down by less gifted opponents who were just willing to run further and attack harder. He bought Mesut Ozil, saw him fail, then gave him a new contract.
And that’s a real shame. It was then and it is now. It means we’ve never seen the best of him long enough. Wenger clearly still wants the job at Arsenal in a way Ferguson never did at United.
On Saturday he said that memories are short in football, that all that matters is the last result. Unfortunately for him, this is not true. People have remembered it for 10 years as well. Wenger should have gone first and left Arsenal when he had the chance.
Antonio shows West Ham wasted money on other strikers
By a decent estimate, West Ham has spent around £ 100million just on center forwards over the past three and a half years only to find out they already had one called Michail Antonio.
No wonder co-owner David Sullivan calls himself “depressed”.
Michail Antonio (right) impressed and showed West Ham wasting money on other forwards
Lowe right to call Aguero’s take
Rebecca Lowe is the accomplished anchor of NBC’s Premier League coverage in the United States.
Last week, she probably provided the best interpretation of Sergio Aguero’s decision to place his hand on assistant referee Sian Massey-Ellis’ neck and shoulder in the Arsenal game.
“There’s a reason thousands of women have found this viewing uncomfortable and that’s because it’s happened to them in every situation and place,” Lowe told viewers.
Rebecca Lowe explained why Sergio Aguero’s actions were uncomfortable for women
“Whether at work, in a bar, in the street. So the uncomfortable nature of what we saw resonated with them.
“I don’t know Aguero’s intentions but they are irrelevant. If that makes someone uncomfortable, let’s face it.
Lowe’s comments cut through the trash said since the incident and the answer to one question is very clear. Should a woman involved in men’s sport expect to be treated differently from a man? When it comes to the issue of unsolicited physical contact, of course it should.
Honesty is the best policy, Ole
One of the best lines I have heard in this area came 20 years ago in the Midlands.
Ray Graydon was the manager of Walsall and after being introduced to the Lady of the Sun he said, “Ah, your paper prints all these lies, doesn’t it?”.
“Yes, it is,” she replied. “Managers like you tell us lies and we put them in the newspaper. She was right too.
All managers are misleading the press about injuries and transfer targets and that’s understandable.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer denied Mason Greenwood had a timing issue, but he should be honest
Sometimes, however, they can help themselves by raising their hand and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is in that category.
It looks like Mason Greenwood has a late problem. Solskjaer has said twice that the story is not true but it is.
It would have been better to raise the issue publicly and stress that it has been resolved.
Then it goes. Instead, it persists.