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July 2021

Le philosophe et le professeur: looking though Arsène Wenger’s eyes

By Le Mouton Noir Soixante-trois


One of the constant brickbats hurled at our illustrious manager is that he supposedly only sees incidents on the pitch he wants to see and conveniently ignores those dubious decisions that work in Arsenal’s favour.

Indeed in 2009 the ever reliable Daily Mirror wrote a whole piece entitled “I did not see the incident”:  Arsène Wenger’s Top Ten Myopic moments . This lists includes Dennis ‘the menace’ Bergkamp’s elbowing of Lee Bowyer and Fabregas’ allegedly spitting at Phil ‘the-future-is-bright-the-future-is-orange’ Brown. Helpfully, by using the phrase “I did not see ze incident” the Mirror reminds us that M. Wenger is French.

He’s French. Got that? Not English like all the other PL managers. French. And myopic. He probably eats garlic. Which might affect one’s vision. I don’t know, I’m not as clever as those chaps at the Daily Mirror.

Sight is of course one of our five senses, along with touch, smell, hearing and taste. Everyone knows this, even the French.

But a very famous Frenchman (no, not  Arsène Wenger – there are other Frenchman you know) has told us that we cannot trust our senses. This man was René Descartes, and he was French but not a football manager. As far as I am aware there is only one French football manager, and that’s  Arsène ‘Myopic Frenchie’ Wenger. Anyway, I digress.

Descartes (1596-1650) basically invented science. Without him there would have been no enlightenment, no modern philosophy, no reasoning, and no Brian Cox. He applied mathematics to philosophy to break away from medievalism and Renaissance scholasticism. In doing so he ushered in the modern world.

Des wrote that ‘the senses deceive from time to time, and it is prudent never to trust wholly those who have deceived us even once’ (like most PL referees..). Let me give you an example of this.

Imagine you are driving along a wide open road on a sunny day (hard in England in the autumn I grant you.). Up ahead the road appears to be covered in a pool of water, shimmering in the sunshine. But when you get there…wait, its all gone. The road is dry. It is a mirage.

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Or to give you another, football related example, you see Ashley Young dart into the penalty area and a clod hopping defender sticks out a leg and deliberately trips him up. Poor Ashley, so cruelly denied a certain goal. The ref points to the spot (well he does if its at the Sir Alex ‘not French’ Ferguson arena…) But lo, Ashley Young was not tripped, the eyes of the ref have deceived him – he cannot trust them. The little sh*t dived (again!).

Instead of trusting our senses, M. Descartes argued, we should instead trust our minds. Cogito Ergo Sum, he said, which translates as ‘I am thinking, therefore I exist’, more commonly repeated as,  ‘I think therefore I am’.

Arsène Wenger is a cerebral manager (yes dear Daily Mirror, cerebral means intellectual in this context, he is still French, obviously) and we can see this in the (dare I say,  Cartesian) manner in which he introduced science to English football. This man thinks. His words are carefully chosen. He is an intellectual. Un philosophe if you will allow me to use a French expression. So he thinks about football, he doesn’t simply judge things on first appearances, he takes his time.

If we return to those 10 myopic moments and apply some reason we can see that M. Wenger was usually right to not ‘see ze incident’. A scrap between two of his open players, or the throwing of food does not need to be dissected in public, Arsenal deal with things like that behind closed doors.

If RVP’s goal was offside it is up to the referee and linesman to spot it, not M. Wenger; the same is true if one of our players pushed or elbowed someone else. In fact if you bother to analyse those moments when M. Wenger is ridiculed for not seeing the incident you can actually make a perfectly rational case for why he says what he does.

It is actually just another way for the press to try and undermine a man they have never understood and who is clearly infinitely more intelligent than all of them put together. What’s more (and I may not have mentioned this) he is French.

A bientôt

Le Mouton Noir Soixante-trois

The books…

31 comments to Le philosophe et le professeur: looking though Arsène Wenger’s eyes

  • I think that it is singularly notable that both Arsène and René carry accents, something which the typesetting techniques of the Daily Mirror can’t handle. Hence their dislike of both men.

  • WalterBroeckx

    An accent…how French… 😉

    Those French people… I wouldn’t be surprised that Wenger likes Camenbert. And I don’t mean the one you buy fresh in the supermarket that is still hard. No I wouldn’t be surprised if he likes the Camenbert that has been in your fridge too long and has started go flat and gives the impression of wanting to run away from its own peel.
    If this would be the case and as he is French nothing would surprise me of him, then this could be one more reason for the media to hate him. 😉

    I like my Camenbert when he is hard by the way.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Nice article by the way, Le mouton noir. 😉 I like that name even though it has no accent.

    I think that Wenger himself has admitted that from time to time he just wanted to protect his player and used this phrase. It just shows that the interest of the club comes first for him. And still people dare to question him and his commitment to Arsenal…

  • colario

    You know you are Belgian if you like your Camenbert hard.

    You know you are French if you like your Camenbert soft and runny.

    You know you are English if your parents don’t know that Camenbert is a cheese.

    You know your are not French is you don’t know the French spelling of Camembert.

    As for me, all I am saying is that where I live they pronounce the ‘t’ in Camembert and sad to say CamemberT is very, very expensive.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Blacksheep 63 – Tres bon , merci beaucoup mon ami .

    And here is Victor Hugo – football critic ,with his observations on Le Prof ,the media ,the unwashed multitude we( I) call the AAAA and the axis of evil .

    A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor.

    ( Wenger said with a smile: “You will see what we will announce. If we sign someone I promise that we will be very quick to announce it, but maybe we have a good surprise for you……..
    But we are working very hard and let’s give us time, until tomorrow at 11 o’clock.”)

    The wise man does not grow old, but ripens.

    Perseverance, secret of all triumphs.

    Concision in style, precision in thought, decision in life.

    The man who does not know other languages, unless he is a man of genius, necessarily has deficiencies in his ideas.

    The wicked envy and hate; it is their way of admiring.

    Strong and bitter words indicate a weak cause.

    Common sense is in spite of, not as the result of education.

    When God desires to destroy a thing, he entrusts its destruction to the thing itself. Every bad institution of this world ends by suicide.
    ( Dear God , let it come to pass !)

  • The font

    What Daniel levy said when he heard that mesut ozil was going to arsenal
    It echoed all the way to the marble halls

  • OMGArsenal

    Walter….I know you are a Flamand not a Walloon,so I will not argue your point about Camembert. I live in a French community and speak it as my second language so I adore how Arsene speaks English, with a French syntax….but does he like Camembert?
    Mouton Noire 63 was an excellent wine……..!

  • Arvind

    This is a nice article and most unfortunately there are probably people who think just like that. Rio Ferdinand is certainly making a case for a career in media..just saying.

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    I bet AW likes Munster cheese.
    After all, Munster is a town in his own Alsace region.
    Walter, we should start a guess my cheese contest, with me guessing that your favorite cheese is Edam / Mimolette.
    Back to AW, he should write a book about his way of doing things in football. We will call that book “Discours sur la methode… Wengerienne” to spoof Rene Descartes.

  • Tony,

    What’s happening man? I just lost my post AGAIN!!!

    It’s super annoying. Please check out what may be causing the problem.

  • Plus, I only lose good posts. Now that post 2 sentences, it went through.

    Please check it out. Something is wrong.

  • Arvind

    @Bootoomee: It might be worth registering a 2nd email address and trying again. That is what worked for me a few months back.

  • nicky

    Wife returned from a short break in la belle France, a few days ago.
    Disgusting cheeses and meats have desecrated the fridge.
    My supply of cheddar cheese totally contaminated.
    After 65 years, marriage stakes in peril.
    “It’s me or the French muck” I said.
    “Defence de pisser” she replied in pure French.

  • blacksheep63

    Tony I think you need to launch the Untold Cheese blog…

  • Arvind,

    Thanks! I just did but same result. Got message that I already posted comment but comment isn’t here. I have even tried another browswer (firefox to ie) with same result.

  • Oh what’s the point if one can only post 2 sentences. I’m off!

  • Unbelievable belief

    Daniel Levy did not see it comming.

  • Gianni Dioro

    Camembert, shmamembert, Wenger is ethnic German.

  • Matt Clarke

    It’s no coincidence that the native press and officialdom have fed AW ‘hard cheese’ during his stay.

    I heard that René Descartes ‘was a drunken fart’…more propaganda?

    I love Brie but lactose intolerance means that I have to avoid it. Too much information?

    Nice Cartesian pun BlackSheep 🙂

  • WalterBroeckx

    I do notice that the site is loading slow on my part of the line also.

    I will ask Tony to have his IT wizzards to have a check. maybe we are coming under another cyber attack lately but we haven’t found it yet?

  • Walter,

    Thanks. It could be a cyber attack because it just doesn’t make sense that posts fail to appear while the site tells you it’s aleady been posted when you try again. Also, this started about a week or 2 ago.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Problem could also be that some people from the AAA have used some words in their names when we blocked their abusive comments.
    An example could be that someone used the words “Wengeryouc*nt” in his name. Of course we then block him but the site then also blocks each comment that has that word combination in it and throws it in the big internet graveyard. Now if there is anywhere a space in that name he could also block the word Wenger itself.

    You’d be amazed to see how many of such abusive names we have in our blocked list…

    Just to say that sometimes things are not that easy to see what is going on. But I asked Tony to have a look at it

  • Unbelievable belief

    I thought you had found a way to shorten posts Walter!

    Mind you I’ve just sent through a couple of long winded ones on the other article.

  • rantetta

    Ah, thanks for some insight into missing posts. It’s only my most wrought, significant and over-long posts that disappear. Tut and Bah.

    Lovely article, thanks.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I too have lost quite a few jokes of late despite posting from different computers .
    Was that a collective sigh of relief I hear ?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Say what ?

    An elderly couple were driving across the country. The woman was driving when she got pulled over by the highway patrol.

    The officer said, “Ma’am did you know you were speeding?”

    The woman turns to her husband and asked, “What did he say?”

    The old man yelled, “He says you were speeding!”

    The patrolman said, “May I see your license?”

    The woman turned to her husband and asked, “What did he say?” The old man yelled, “He wants to see your license!” The woman gave him her license.

    The patrolman said, “I see you are from Texas. I spent some time there once and went on a blind date with the ugliest woman I’ve ever seen.”

    The woman turned to her husband and asked, “What did he say?”

    The old man yelled, “He thinks he knows you!”

  • Brickfields Gunners


    George’s Sisters…

    One Sunday morning George burst into the living room and said, “Dad! Mom! I have some great news for you! I am getting married to the most beautiful girl in town. She lives a block away and her name is Susan.

    mom and dadAfter dinner, George’s dad took him aside, “Son, I have to talk with you. Look at your mother, George. She and I have been married 30 years, she’s a wonderful wife and mother, but, she has never offered much excitement in the bedroom, so I used to fool around with women a lot. Susan is actually your half sister, and I’m afraid you can’t marry her.” George was brokenhearted.

    After eight months he eventually started dating girls again. A year later he came home and very proudly announced, “Diane said yes! We’re getting married in June.” Again his father insisted on another private conversation and broke the sad news. “Diane is your half sister too, George. I’m awfully sorry about this.” George was livid! He finally decided to go to his mother with the news his father had shared.

    “Dad has done so much harm. I guess I’m never going to get married,” he complained. “Every time I fall in love, Dad tells me the girl is my half sister.”

    “Oh, ” his mother shook her head, “Don’t pay any attention to what he says. He’s not even really your father.”

  • Brickfields Gunners


    25% of the women in this country are on medication for mental illness.

    That’s scary.
    It means 75% are running around untreated.

  • rantetta


    Thanks for your comments to me on the previous post. And thanks for the jokes. I find these amusing interludes brilliant, and wonderfully timely – when the anti’s are roaming this site.

  • jambug


    Very funney.

    Even my wife laughed……..At least I think it was a laugh…aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • LRV

    A thoroughly enjoyable read.