By Tony Attwood
That headline, or something akin to it, must have been the instruction given out this morning to by the sports editor of the Telegraph to their Football News Correspondent Matt Law.
For while other papers dealt reasonably with the issue of the clash of loyalty when a coach at a club is also employed as a pundit, the Telegraph certainly couldn’t get the point. Indeed couldn’t get it so much at having scampered in at 9.59am yesterday with “Arsene Wenger’s decision to reject Thierry Henry’s offer is another sign of Arsenal manager preferring his voice to be the only one heard” they then had a quick whisk round to follow that up with “Henry aims to prove Wenger wrong by combining TV alongside coaching career.”
The essence of the two articles was this. The said correspondent, being a little out of touch with the way of the world, was “surprised” how much Mr Wenger was on TV. That really doesn’t show him up in a good light. Mr W is a superb person to have on TV, with his encyclopedic knowledge of players, football, stats… his easy wit and charm. He is a very popular person on the TV and over the years he has moved from channel to channel.
So having found out rather late in the day (perhaps because the Telegraph either doesn’t have access to French TV or doesn’t have anyone who speaks French) that the Arsenal manager does TV beyond the nonsense interviews with Sky and BT, they then decided that this was a good thing to hit him with, when there was a problem with Thierry Henry doing Sky and Arsenal coaching.
This time they were telling us that Henry could go to Watford or West Ham or even a “national association.”
To show how odd all this is, consider this bit that was then thrown in. “Henry had been willing to work alongside Kwame Ampadu with Arsenal’s Under-18s for free and assured Wenger that his Sky commitments would not become an issue, but the 66-year-old would not budge.” What does the working for free have to do with anything? Sky pay Henry around £4m a year for his work, and he clearly is a good pundit. So what difference would it make if Arsenal didn’t have to pay him?
It was up to the Guardian to quote Thierry’s comment, “I would like to thank Andries Jonker for offering me the chance to coach the U18s @arsenal, which I was honoured to accept. However I respect Arsène Wenger’s decision and I want to wish their manager Kwame Ampadu, the boys and everyone at the club all the best for the forthcoming season.” I think the Telegraph have now added that to their piece.
Meanwhile Tony Adams has taken on the work with the Under-18s on a trial basis and both sides are seeing how that works out. Freddie Ljungberg is working with the under 15s and under 16s.
- Why do some football supporters of a certain football club get so very angry?
- Football is being murdered in front of our own eyes.
- Arsenal Ladies v Notts County Sun 10 July – The Match Report
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