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April 2021

The man is back. Now the season can really begin for Arsenal.

By Walter Broeckx

Yesterday Arsène Wenger returned to the training ground at Arsenal. And by the looks of it he really was in a great mood. A smile as big as the sun above the sky could be seen on a few pictures. And he looked sharp in his new Puma kit which I am sure was based upon Tony’s books about Arsenal’s history.

Incidentally on the same day that Aloysius Van Gaal started at Manchester United. The ooh and aah surrounding him at Manchester were a bit bigger than Wenger being back at Arsenal. I know Aloysius (that is his real first name as written down in the birth registers) also known as Louis is new to his club and so it is in a way normal that he gets a bit more attention than the return of Wenger for the umpteenth time in the summer at Arsenal.

But people went wild about the fact that Van Gaal almost immediately when coming back from Brazil went to his club. Well so did Wenger but he doesn’t get any applause for it. Not that he is waiting to be applauded for it I think.

When the AAA went mad about seeing Wenger on the beach in Brazil they didn’t realise that in fact when being there he was working. Working for the French TV but also working for Arsenal. Ask Sanchez. And yes I am aware he gets paid a lot by Arsenal but when you looked at the way people reacted to Wenger running and playing on the beach it was as if he has committed some kind of blasphemy.

When football players take a holiday we find it normal. So why wouldn’t a manager be able to take a holiday in the summer? Why does there need to be some kind of orchestrated outrage about it? Or are those complaining about Wenger enjoying himself on the beach people who never take a day off from their own job? If so: don’t be a fool and try to enjoy life a bit. It will not kill you. It might even make you feel better and stop you from moaning.

Of course cameras come out when Wenger is doing some running on the beach. Most football fans from whatever team will recognise Wenger when they see him. And when he is doing some footvolley on the beach the camera’s will catch it. But what is wrong with him doing this? He is 64 years old and he looks in a fine condition and I hope I will be as fit as him when I turn 64. But I doubt you will find me running on the beach in Brazil.

About his TV work there also shouldn’t be any complaint. Of course he will have arrangements with the board about it. And I don’t think the board will mind him watching all that football out there and giving his ideas on French TV. In that position he also represents Arsenal FC in a way and more importantly he can be close to the action and have a good look himself at some players he might be interested in.

By securing Sanchez with a little help from Wenger in Brazil it also is clear that it isn’t Wenger himself who does the negotiations. Wenger will tell Arsenal who he wants and probably tell Arsenal when to pull out a deal when the price is too high or the wages are not in line with how he expects that player to perform. And then it is up to the people who do the negotiations to make the deal happen.

They don’t need Wenger to finalise the deal. In fact I don’t think you will find Wenger’s signature on the contracts of players. That isn’t his job. And if he signs the contracts that is just for the show because it is a contract between a player and Arsenal FC, not a contract between a player and Wenger.

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So those who said: “what is he doing out there he should be working for Arsenal and make transfers happen” are completely wrong. It is just another lame excuse to have a go at Wenger.

And to do the training? Come why do we have an entire training staff at Arsenal? As a kind of decoration? Just to do like the others? No of course not. They all have their job. And they all have their instructions on how and what to do. And as long as there are no matches they can take care of the players.

But now Wenger is back in town. And we are only two days away from our first friendly match of the season. And it will be great to see the players out and Wenger in the dugout once again. As that is where he really wants to be and where I really want to see him. I hope he had a nice time in Brazil, made some great connections that might come in hand later on for Arsenal and I wouldn’t be surprised that he made them.

Now let us bring it on. I think we are already seeing a return of the first WC players who went out after the first round so we could probably see Jack, Oxlade and Santi joining the rest of the team in training. But before our trip to New York I don’t think we will see any new faces joining in with the team.

That will be for after the USA trip I think. Then we will have the likes of Sanchez joining us in training and he will probably have his first appearance in the Emirates cup together with our French players probably.

I don’t know the return date of our German players but I have heard that they are only expected back the Monday before the Community shield. So only a short preparation then for them. Not ideal but this was always on the cards with the Germans. But they sure will be arriving in a great mood I can imagine.

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17 comments to The man is back. Now the season can really begin for Arsenal.

  • oldgroover

    St Aloysius, patron saint of: a) Young Students
    b) All Christian Youth
    c) plague victims
    d) Aids sufferers & their care givers.
    Don’t think any of this applies to Man U supporters.

    Truth be told Walter, I don’t think that many people were all that fussed about Arsène’s activities in Brazil.
    The one or two that commented on here seemed to be rather young and unworldly.
    It wasn’t an issue with most of us (AAA or otherwise).

  • Gidsilva

    Welcum back wenger and good luck 2 wenger and his men on their first pre season tour arsenal 6-0 boreham

  • rupertcook

    I never understood the fuss over Wenger going to Brazil. Surely that’s the best place to be if you’re looking for new signings. So he went to the beach. What do people expect him to do, huddle over the tv in the dark watching endless reruns of every World Cup game?

  • finsbury

    The manager was subjected to critiques by the likes of the genius Andy Dunn.

    A player I’m hoping has a good pre-season and has another great season is Gibbs (though he really should have buried that chance in normal time in the cup final 🙂 )

    There was absolutely no mention in ITV or the BBCs World Cup coverage of the best English LB, with the most experience in the CL, who did not go to Brazil. Deschamps took his veteran and a rookie at LB, that is a combination that you can understand. But to take a PL plodder with no experience against CL opposition and and a rookie? Very odd when you have the options.
    If anyone goes back and watches the first Munchen game this season they will see that Gibbs coming off was probably the biggest disruption to Arsenal’s strong momentum early in that tie, he’d played against Robben before and the experience must have helped! He is that good that he is missed in a game against Bayern Munich/Germany.

    Hopefully he’ll have another very good season:

  • bc

    Totally agree, but it will be very hypocritical of wenger to slate wilshire for partying during his holiday, when wenger was frolicking on the beach with half naked beauties, while he was working!!

    Wenger would be wise to remember that he is in his 60’s and jack is in his 20’s. Perhaps if he starts handing out warnings and punishment, he should consider his own behaviour as well. Certainly, not the sort of actions most grandads would get away with.

  • Tom

    “Frolicking on the beach with half naked beauties ” , really ?
    I don’t know what beaches you go to but that’s pretty much what everybody does when in Brasil or any other beach I have ever been to.
    You see there are those things called” bikinis” and women wear them when at the beach. I know it’s disgusting and ungodly and it leads to all kinds of unpure and sinfull behavior, like men staring or even worse – talking .

    Wenger really should know that once you reach sixty , you only should attend beaches for seniors but don’t worry because the next WC are held in Rusia and Qatar . Not much chance of frolicking with half naked beauties at beaches in those countries , especially Qatar.

  • i knw theirs no move dat wenger will make dat wont b criticise by sum ppl bt giv d man a break, he deserves d fun. welcum back wenger.

  • John L

    @ bc,

    the difference being that jack is a professional athlete, coming into a big year in his career and he needs to be in top condition mentally and most importantly, physically. he has the potential but does he have the focus, professionalism and mentality to maximize it? i believe jack needs to be very careful with himself over the next couple years and wenger (if he indeed did ‘slate’ wilshere) is correct to say he shouldnt be out partying.

    wenger is a manager. the pressure and stress of his job is different. and wenger being on the beach, having a little fun is probably a good thing for arsenal. seeing as he will be crucified by the press again this year.

  • Mandy Dodd

    great to see the boss enjoying himself. Even his harshest critics acknowledge the guy is a complete workaholic so even a limited time relaxing can only be good, though I do wonder how much chance he actually did get to relax over there

  • bjtgooner

    Debuchy confirmed!

  • There is know other manager in the PL that deserve’s a break more that AW. That man will have to take god know’s what from the media and some so called Arsenal supporter’s. Not for one second do I believe that while he was in Brazil he was not doing work for the club he love’s. Get of this man’s back and get down on your knee’s and thank god that he is our manager instead of moaning that he should not be on a beach.

  • Mandy Dodd

    great news BJT, not a great surprise, but an experienced player who is keeping one of our ex players… of whom I have nothing but admiration for…out of the French team. So has to be considered a good signing in a good summer for our transfer team

  • Damilare

    Yes, Debuchy is here!

    Accueil Mathieu!


  • Hisham Hashim

    Not for one moment I think that Wenger does not have Arsenal on his mind; in the TV studios or on the beach in Rio. That man bleeds Arsenal in his veins. We should be ashame to call ourselves true blue, oops, true red Gooners in comparison to Wenger.

    Merci bien Arsene…

  • para

    Seems like van Gaal is already indoctrinated and taking up the fight, he mentioned that “4th place” mantra in his speech, hopes he ends up having to fight for 4th place this season.

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    I thought bc’s post was tongue-in-cheek humor.

  • bob mac

    Arsene takes EVERY first team squad training session himself.

    Parts are led by others but he always has the major input.

    Absolute fact.