I hate to disagree with Tony, as the man speaks a lot of sense. Perhaps our differences arise through our age and the moral degradation that has occurred between them! I write this cautiously; worrying that people may believe I am on the payroll of Suárez and contracted to defend his every action. Admittedly a strange relationship, but one I feel obliged to continue as I enjoy defending an underdog – even when that underdog is worth £50 million!
At any rate if he does join, I fear I’ll need the practice…. so the articles will keep coming…
Lately there has been talk in the dailies concerning this transfer: all differing slightly, but all concurring that a move for Suarez would present a moral dilemma for Arsène Wenger. The basis being that Arsène Wenger, ‘beacon of morality’, is compromising everything he stands for by inviting the services of Suarez.
Now I love Arsène Wenger, but he isn’t overly moral, nor is he immoral. In fact his morality lies somewhere between signing a 16 year old via a loophole and making that 16 year old the best playmaker in the world. I doubt Cesc felt exploited, but regardless it wasn’t a honourable move.
People take Arsenal’s recent thrift in the transfer market to be a manifestation of this pious outlook, as though Arsène refuses to spend because a fundamental part of his character forbids it. Nothing to do with a club in transition, or the small matter of juggling debts with football success – just a man, so stubborn and proud, so sure of his methods and repelled by the new ways that he trudges his eccentric path.
This idea is somehow leant credence because Arsène has a degree in Economics. As though a grasp of Economics makes you a ‘tight bastard’! But presenting someone as an entertaining caricature sells papers. Presenting them as a real person with complex dilemmas doesn’t. This formula also allows articles to be assembled with minimal fuss like flat pack furniture – adhering to a standardised system of phrases and ideas.
It is convenient for media outlets to counter a frustrated interview in Stoke or a heated reaction to another talented player having their leg snapped with, “God, isn’t he sanctimonious…”. It fits a personality they’ve nurtured for him.
If I was to pinpoint the defining trait of Wenger’s philosophy: it is his duty to entertain. Yes, he’s one of the few that remember football exists as entertainment – that is where his self-righteousness ends though. His best teams were entertaining, but they were hardly the Dalai Lama and his mates playing 4-4-2. Whether it is true that ‘The Invincibles’ practiced with 10 men once a week, we’ll probably never know, but as a rule rumours survive because they are believable. Not to mention that Wenger’s teams from 1996 to 2010 received 80 red cards.
Wenger’s tactics have always favoured attacking play, his teams have set out with the intentions of being proactive and what player suits this more than Suarez? I can hardly think of a player so proactive and inventive. Who else would have thought to bite Ivanovic? What mere mortal would have known that to instil the necessary angst in an opponent, a bite was needed? Most of us would have relied on traditional mind games. As the saying goes, a bite speaks a thousand words.
If the Devil were to score 30 goals for Arsenal next season I’d probably write some favourable words on him.
No one will ever know if Suarez insulted Evra with an innate malice. Perhaps it was merely a bad choice of words. Nor will they know what possessed him to bite Ivanovic. What we do know though is saying something racist and being a racist are two different things – both are reprehensible, but one is much worse. I don’t believe Suarez is racist, his heritage coupled with the cultural differences in the Spanish-speaking world, make it hard for me to believe.
He is a scoundrel though and Luckily for him an entertaining one at that. The boring scoundrel, that’s when we lose patience.
- Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football – Arsenal’s early years
- Making the Arsenal – how the modern Arsenal was born in 1910
- The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal FC: crowd behaviour at the early matches
- Clubs treat fans with contempt as they sell the notion of the individual over the team
- Ian Wright in contradictory mood, but the media makes its anti-Arsenal stance clear
- What You Tube has done to football; “Sergio Busquets – The Quiet Man”.
- Should Fans Be Making Decisions for Football Clubs?
- Football management: that most exquisite affair that can make tears fall
- The Little Victories that pave the way for the great leap forwards