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“The difference between newspapers and people” by Arsène Wenger

By Tony Attwood

In an article last week I suggested that journalists and commentators who simply dismiss a manager’s insight and understanding out of hand should first prove their own ability by managing a club.

I also noted that the post at Borrowash Victoria of the East Midlands Counties League was up for grabs and suggested that Jeremy Wilson – a forthright critic of Mr Wenger – might care to prove his own abilities by taking the post on.  Thus far it seems he has not taken up the challenge.

However his colleague Jason Burt has mentioned the issue, and not for the first time I am left with the feeling that we can on occasion be a bit ahead of the news.

Mr Burt writes that Arsène Wenger has “issued a withering attack on Arsenal’s “bitter” critics, reserving special contempt for his former striker Paul Merson.”

This relates to the point that Merson used the word “clueless” to describe Arsenal some 13 times in the space of about five minutes on TV.

Now we must respect Paul Merson in his opinions of managers, for not only was he a player, he was also a manager himself of Walsall.

In his first full season with Walsall (2004/5) his team went out of the cup competitions to lower league opponents, and were close to a second consecutive relegation, saving themselves only at the end of the season.

The next season, 2005/6 was another relegation battle, and just over half way through the season he was sacked with the club again facing relegation.  He left, and rather than return to management elsewhere went and played one game for each of Tamworth and Welshpool.

Merson and Mr Wenger have history: Merson was at Arsenal when Mr Wenger came along, but then he was sold to Middlesbrough amidst stories that the two had differences.  Indeed while other players that Mr Wenger inherited (players like Seaman, Dixon, Winterburn, Adams, Bergkamp, Keown, Parlour) all flourished, Merson was moved on as quickly as an offer could be found.

Mr Wenger referred to his problems with Merson by saying in his interview on the topic of Merson’s comments, “I managed him. I tried. I’m not interested in Paul Merson.”

So when Merson speaks of Arsenal of being “like an under-12 team, all bombing forward,” we should perhaps give him credit for having managed a club, but also note that his judgement was not sufficient to secure the mid-table stability that Walsall craved.

Mr Wenger then re-iterated Untold’s point that “People who have managed altogether zero games they teach everybody how you should behave. It’s a farce.”   It is fairly clear from the interview that Mr Wenger was speaking at this point of the journalists who were criticising him, especially Jeremy Wilson, who I suggested should apply for the Borrowash job.

However in a desperate attempt to deflect attention from their own journalist the Telegraph report on Mr Wenger’s repost tries to suggest that he was still criticising Merson, and then points out that Merson managed Walsall.  Unfortunately at this point Jason Burt gets as confused as Jeremy Wilson and suggests that Merson managed Walsall “briefly”.  No, he managed Walsall from 10 May 2004 to February 6 2006.  20 months, which in terms of managers is a long old time.

Mr Wenger continued, “Honestly, I cannot even be upset about it. People criticise without any proven fact, just because they love to criticise. It’s much more about bitterness than any real objective facts.

“Honestly, if I really cared, do you think I would’ve survived 18 years? Honestly, the answer is there. What I care about is if players are punished or criticised in an unjustified way.”

Mr Wenger also had a rather neat put down for the so-called journalist interviewing him.  Asked if he had criticised the team for letting slip the 3-0 lead against Anderlecht he said, “No, I rectified their mistakes.   It’s not exactly the same. I don’t tell them ‘You’re an absolute idiot’. I ask them ‘What should you have done there?’ That’s the difference between newspapers and people.”

How true.

The books

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77 comments to “The difference between newspapers and people” by Arsène Wenger

  • jonfromwellington

    well said Tony.

    funny how most of the people who criticise Wenger have never managed a football clubs in their lives

    You’ll find those who defend him have been there and done it. Funny aint it.

  • anthony

    Great article. couldn’t have said it better.

  • ZOON

    Well if you have to have managed a football team to have an opinion on any form of tactical or managerial problems in the game.

    You should shut this site down pronto and stop expressing your own opinion’s aswell.

    Good job the players listen to Arsene and didn’t make the same mistakes in the next game.

  • philip2711

    Once again, you are attacking the messenger – not his message. EVERYONE is entitled to have their opinion and you are entitled to agree or disagree. You lose credibility however when you chose to suggest that a person is not entitled to an opinion (or dismiss that opinion) simply because you beiieve them ill-suited to have one by virtue of their experience or lack thereof.
    Please focus on the issue and convince the doubters that their opinions are ill-founded and incorrect on the basis of what you actually see inn front of you.

  • john

    The smart-arse critics of our manager and team might gain more credence if they ever saw fit to comment after a winning performance

  • jonnygunner

    As much as you are trying to be loyal to our manager-and I respect that Tony,I do feel this time he really is on a slippery downward slope.
    Time will tell but I do think his time may be up before too long.
    The wolves are crowding.

  • Stuart Selner

    What a ridiculous argument this is. So journalists shouldn’t criticise the Prime Minister as they’ve never been Prime Minister. They shouldn’t criticise a musician who they think has made a lousy album because they haven’t been musicians. This list is obviously endless. Is Gary Neville not allowed to criticise the club because although he’s won everything there is to win in the club game (something Mr Wenger has failed to do) he has never managed? The number of people lining up to point out the obvious deficiencies in the current Arsenal squad is growing and now includes some of the most successful people to have been involved in the game. By your reckoning only Bob Paisley could question the great Brian Clough and we all saw what happened to his Forest side.

  • philip2711

    @ john…
    I guess in that case I am a ‘smart-arse’ – but your argument is flawed. When things are going well there is little need to be critical unless being pendantic.
    But the growing evidence of a stale manager, seemingly unwilling or unable to escape his own stubborn self-belief IS cause for concern and comment.
    I’ll simply repeat what I’ve said a few times in the last couple of years – Arsenal as a football club would not be where it is today without Arsene Wenger – POSITIVE; at the same time Arsenal as a football team is only where it is today because of Arsene Wenger – and that is increasingly coming down NEGATIVE.

  • bradster

    The league table is a clear indicator of performance and i don’t need to manage anything to be able to read it.

    Why can’t the paying customers of Stan Kroenke football club not question performances? If Arsenal is a financial institution then expect customer mentality from the fans.

  • andy1886

    Tony, whilst I agree that Merse was over the top in his criticism it would be a pretty dull programme if every pundit was excluded from commenting on anyone who had a better managerial record than they did. Who would have been able to utter a word about SAF? That’s part of the price you pay when football becomes ‘entertainment’ first and a sport a distant second.

    I do have to take issue with you on one point though, that “Merson was moved on as quickly as an offer could be found.” According to the ex-player he was offered a new contract which he declined. Are you suggesting that this was not true?

  • Scott Von Gooner

    Thank you for this piece. Nice take on a tired subject. Keep up the good work. Sir, you are a journ, unlike the many posers.

  • Scott Von Gooner

    Journalist …..

  • Quincy

    Obviously ZOON, no one is stopping you from having an opinion, but to suggest that Merson knows more about tactics and managing than Wenger is a joke, not to mention all the other journalists and pundits who believe they can do a better job of managing the club than Wenger. If they really believe that then why don’t they prove it by taking up a managing position as Tony suggests. Criticising is easy, doing is another matter.

  • Mick

    Nobody, Tony included is saying people are not entitled to their opinions. The argument is about displaying some perspective. Since the weekend in the media and on this very site I have seen our performance against Swansea described as a debacle, a fiasco, farcical, shambolic, catastrophic, disastrous etc and an equal number of similarly ridiculous and insulting adjectives used to describe our manager, who if nothing else, deserves and has earned, a large amount of respect. A catastrophe for goodness sake. Hillsbrough, now that was a catastrophe, not losing 2-1 at Swansea. People should calm down a bit. We are all entitled to a view and an opinion of course but do not expect it to be respected when it is presented in the moronic way we see in the media and sometimes on this site. Well presented and balanced comment such as that shown by the likes of Patrick Barclay are always good to hear. Spiteful, biased and bigoted rants designed to fuel controversy and discontent, emanating from the likes of Talk Sports moron in chief and head bully Adrian Durham should be consigned to the rubbish bin.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Is this really great shit or what ?

    Are Paul Merson’s comments and opinions to be lightly sniffed at?
    Are we to simply regard him as a crack pot , trying to blow smoke up … well, wherever they blow smoke ?
    Does the grass from his side really appear greener ?
    Would a club take a gamble and bet on him to come good ?
    What are the odds that he be able to manage others as he managed himself?
    Would he drink in all that adulation of the media and be intoxicated ,as well as be the toast of the AAAA ?
    CHEERS !

  • Brickfields Gunners

    “Educated men are as much superior to uneducated men as the living are to the dead”
    Aristotle.

    He who can does , he who cannot teaches .
    George Bernard Shaw .

  • Brickfields Gunners

    ” The truth ? You cannot handle the truth !”
    The AAAA wakes up to reality .

    http://www.gocomics.com/wumo/2014/11/05#mutable_1228225

  • andy1886

    Mick, actually I agree with you, Swansea away is a tough game and losing isn’t the worst result we’ve ever had. Most of us take the ranting of the press with a large pinch of salt, and aren’t whipped up into a frenzy like some less level headed people. Merson is there to offer opinion in the spirit of an entertaining football based programme. If he spouts bland platitudes then the audience switch off and he loses his job. Why lose your rag with him? It’s just as futile as shouting abuse at AW in front of the TV on match day. This is all part of football and has been for a very long time. Media organisations love to get a reaction. Best thing to do is ignore them.

  • andy1886

    Brickfields, as you quoted Shaw here’s another one that you may like a little less:

    “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”

    😉

  • TommieGun

    Not to imply by the tiniest amount that I agree with any of the recent criticsm by whoever that may be, BUT, as per the “you need to manage a club before you can criticze a football club manager” contention… err, it is baseless, to say the least.

    Certainly, most journalists who comment about the government, did not serve as prime minsters (or even lowly, regular ministers);
    Certainly, most journalists who comment about the economy did not serve as chancellors of central banks;
    Certainly, most journalists who cover new cars did not win a formula 1 race, or, invent a new engine;
    Certinaly, most journalists who criticze new books, plays, movies, art – did not win a Booker prize, an Oscar, or have their paintings being sold for 100 million $ in Sothby’s.

    I think you got where I’m headed by now.

    It is totally irrelevant who is the person who delivers the message, as long as:

    (a) the commentary/criticsm is not driven by ulterior motives [cavaet: sometimes even when someone has an ulterior motive, their criticsm can be correct; however, the notion that such criticsm might be tainted, can cancel most of the weight of that criticsm);

    So if, for instance, there is some disgrunted past player who enjoys sticking it to Le Boss, then we can say that he is speaking in order to promote his own agenda [this is, again, a defense argument, which does not go into the merits of the criticsm, but, at least, is valid – as opposed to “you needed to manage a club before you can comment” argument, which is baseless].

    (b) the commentary/criticsm is based on facts, research, evidence, whatever you want to call it. It’s not just random conjectures.

  • Quincy

    TommieGun, one simple question, do you think a man who has never studied at university is qualified to criticise a research paper on physics? Yes or no?

  • Quincy

    (1) Being a politician requires no special training. Angela Merkel was a physicist, for example.
    (2) Journalists who comment on the economy either studied economics, or are probably talking rubbish.
    (3) Journalists who comment on cars are talking from the buyer’s perspective, not as engineers, they have no technical criticism do they?
    (4) I am mum on the arts. I have my own opinions on them.

    There’s nothing wrong with an opinion, but when Merson says Arsenal are clueless, then you’d think he knows how to do a better job than Wenger, isn’t it? Or why such harsh criticism? Managers know than journalists and even ex-players very rarely have the same knowledge and understanding of tactics and management that a manager does. There was an article here on Untold to that effect a while ago when I think it was Walter who spoke to a manager.

    If you really believe you can do a better job that Wenger, than prove it by taking up a management job. Merson has been a manager, and we’ve seen the results.

  • Tope

    It is always right to be quiet when angry. We all feel sad when Arsenal lose matches but we must all learn to criticize objectively, calmly and respectfully because we can make mistakes just like the manager does. There is no need to insult anyone in the process. The manager should concentrate on his job because paying attention to all comments will not help our team.

  • AB

    I tell you what the Man U game is going to be bloody interesting . Bring it on can’t wait !

  • AB

    Wenger didn’t become a good manager overnight he’s had 20 plus years practice

  • andy1886

    Quincy, how about a man with a teaching diploma? Is he qualified to critique a physics research paper? Let me know and I’ll explain why I’m asking.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Just a quick reminder: anyone who thinks that we are on a blog where it is normal to talk in a threatening tone against any writer on Untold will not see their comment published. On some blogs you will be a hero for doing so but not over here. So no need to try it.
    And certainly when you try to post a first comment and start name calling from the start. That is the quickest way to get you off the site. But thanks for visiting anyway.

  • Quincy

    andy1886, no.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Now on the subject. It would be interesting to have the pundits write down before the match how the match will be played, which role the referee will play in the outcome by making wrong decisions, and will tell us how the teams will play tactically and what the other team should do to counter those tactics.
    Write it down put it in a sealed envelop and then let it be opened after the match and look at how much they really knew before the match and not after the match when they know the final score.
    A final score that defines who was “great” and who was “rubbish” as the only measurement they use is who won at the end.

  • Freddie Jeeves

    Pep or Arsene ??

    Scenario.

    Let’s say we finish 4th or just outside the top 4 & Pep approached The Arsenal this summer wanting this job starting next or the season after for a 5 year project, would fans want embrace him or would they reject him in favour of Arsene’s last 2 years.

  • andy1886

    Sorry Quincy but I’m being a bit cheeky. The man with the teaching diploma was Albert Einstein, he never did a physics degree but I’m pretty sure he would have done a good job with the hypothetical physics research paper. In fact it was for one of his early papers that he was awarded a PhD for from the University of Zurich. He didn’t formally study there but I guess when you’re a genius you don’t need to.

    There are always exceptions, nothing is black or white.

  • proudkev

    Absolutely spot on post. This is exactly what I have been saying.

    FACT. Paul Merson is a Chelsea fan and his family are all season ticket holders. This is a man that is so responsible and wise, that he ended up with a serious drugs and drink problem and a gambling addiction while representing our club. A club he claims on Chelsea TV, who’s results he never looks out for. I would take his judgement with a large pinch of salt. Yes, he did fall out with Wenger, who shoved him out of our club – I guess it wouldn’t be hard to guess why.

    Yet SKY wheel him out for Arsenal games and try to pass him off as an Arsenal fan. The media and the ‘I Know Best’ crowd laud his every word. Ignorance.

    Lets look at Arsenal being ‘clueless’ and unable to defend:

    Top 4 on goals conceded:
    1.Southampton 5
    2. Swansea 11
    2. Chelsea 11
    3. Man City 12
    4. Arsenal 13

    Others:
    Man Utd 14
    Liverpool 15
    Spurs 16
    Everton 18

    Is all this over reaction justified?

    Little Maribor Made mugs of Chelsea, scored one but missed two sitters. Not a word said. This is the beloved Mourinho, this defensive, tactical genius who has managed to concede just two goals less than the ‘inept’ Wenger in the PL. And Mourinho does not have his first choice centre half missing, his first choice right back missing and his DM missing!!

    Its fashionable to gang up on the Arsenal and unfortunately we have some pretty ignorant fans joining in.

    Such a great club deserves better.

  • Freddie Jeeves,

    Great question but before I give you an answer here is one for you:

    Would Pep be bringing the Xavi, Iniesta Messi (etc) of 3-4 years ago or would he be bringing the current Robben, Neuer, Mueller, Boateng (etc) with him?

    If your answer to the question above is no then sorry, I’ll be sticking with AW of of the last 2 or 10 or 18 years.

    Thank you!

  • semeotist

    And anyone who is not a journalist should not criticise members of the sports press. The same argument can be used to posit that anyone who has never refereed a game should really not be be too critical of them. Oh wait… Walter uh um. Great site and great writing – keep up the good work! COYG

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    off topic:
    Özil’s ( thats Ozzle if youre Jamie Carragher) isnt going to trial with his old man ( has all of that kack been on his mind?). And most sadly of all is that Poldi “hat die nase voll “(had enough)and wants to go in the winter transfer window.Hes been heavily quoted in the German press today. He doesnt want to just play for 10minutes in a game.
    Plenty of changes,(all things change anyway Kundun, forced or not, take heed Chelsea your time will come too).Dont know what you got till its gone? Boring Boring Arsenal making a nostalgic return?The X factor generation wont like 1-0 to the Arsenal, even if its a solid defence.Surely there will be protests?
    Talking of which,re the protest thats being planned against AW at the Man U game, erm any chance you can do it another time? As its one game the team, the club, need to win regardless of any managerial issues.Time for a bit of unity.Is that allowed in the Thatcherite world?
    COYG! Aha and Amen

    ps those who can does, those who cant teaches, those who cant teach teaches gym, and those who cant teach anything becomes a conceptual artist.

  • andy1886,

    I agree with you about Einstein but he did exactly what Tony has been suggesting: he went into the field and showed his stuff. He didn’t just sit on the sideline criticising other physicists for being ‘clueless’.

    I don’t think that there is really any requirement for some serious paper qualifications to be a manager. If you can prove you are good, you are hired and paid handsomely. If you think you are great but actually suck, you get sacked like Paul Merson and a range of other wannabe managers who are now running their mouths on TV against their betters, football management-wise.

  • Tom

    Proudkev

    Arsenal do lead the league in points dropped from leading positions with 9.

    Isn’t that reason enough to reevaluate our tactics?

  • Freddie Jeeves

    Boo:

    But lets be realistic it’s probably less likely Arsene will continue once this contract ends in May 2017.

    We have to look ahead which is why I asked the question. Sure players want to play for him & his meticulous attention to detail matched with good players we already have would add new attributes

    Personally if Kroenke wants the club to progress over the next few years & Pep looked at us & the match was right I would be 100% for it.He has age with great experience on his side.

  • ZOON

    @Proudkev

    Really? I have seen him and his boys at Arsenal numerous times?

  • Freddie Jeeves,

    My response to you is based on how you framed the question which came across as if you think Pep is better. If you are asking whether Pep will be alright as Wenger’s successor, my answer will be yes. I have nothing against him although I would love to see him manage a team on shoe-strings and with no ready made stars. You know, like Koeman is currently doing with Southampton.

    If the Dutchman can finish in the top 6 this season, I will definitely prefer him to Guardiola.

  • ZOON,

    If that’s all it takes then all the football writers are Arsenal fans. They’ve all been seen at Arsenal numerous times. But I seriously doubt that being at football grounds constitute followership of teams especially for those who get free tickets.

  • Mick

    @Bootoomee
    ‘you get sacked like Paul Merson and a range of other wannabe managers who are now running their mouths on TV against their betters, football management-wise.’
    What you mean like Stewart Robson, reserve team coach at Wimbledon and Southend United!!

  • apo Armani

    So well written Tony!

    As for Merson; sour grapes!

  • Mick,

    Exactly!

    With the uproar about Wenger’s comment, it is instructive that the losers of the yapping class can dish it out but can’t take it.

  • andy1886

    Boo, very true, great managers are few and far between. There are a heck of a lot of poor ones though, they can comment, we get to decide if we think they are talking complete b*ll*cks of course, so it’s up to all of us to apply our own b*llsh*t filter.

  • Freddie Jeeves

    Boo:

    Why is it important to see how Pep would manage a team on a shoestring ? We are not a small club so he wouldn’t have to manage us that way. I do agree Koeman is one to watch.

  • proudkev

    Zoon.

    Yes, I am sure Paul Merson is a Chelsea Fan, despite SKY trying to mislead you all. Here is his 4-4-2 Interview from a few years back:

    (Four Four Two magazine Q and A with Paul Merson):-

    Q: Who did you pretend to be in the playground? Heidi, Cirencester
    A: Ray Wilkins was always my hero. I was a Chelsea fan when I was growing up, and Butch was the main man at Stamford Bridge back then. I’ve met him a few times since – we were on A Question of Sport together, and he knows he was my idol. He’s sick of me telling him, especially when I’ve had a drink”

    Q: Are there any teams you’d liked to have played for but didn’t? Nick McDougall, via e-mail
    A: Not really. When I was 18 Anderlecht wanted me, and Rangers wanted me at one point, but I have no regrets. AC Milan might have been good. But then, I can just about talk English, and there’s the whole language thing – it would be hard work and life’s too short. It’s also tough on the family if you go abroad. Even though I supported Chelsea, and had a chance to go there, I went to Arsenal. Chelsea were s*it back then.

    For years Gooners have been complaining about his negative reporting on the club. Wenger got shot of him when he arrived but kept faith with others. SKY know this of course, so instead of getting a proper Gooner like Charlie George we get this bloke witha huge chip on his shoulder. Meanwhile Spurs, Liverpool and Man Utd get their ‘supporters’ doing their games.

  • OB

    Can’t listen to Merse, loved him as a player but him along with Wrighty and Smithy have got jobs for life as long as they keep sticking it to The Gunners, I unfortunately have a couple of Arsenal friends (put to the test some times) who fall under the category of lapping up the media and they had great pleasure in messaging me the other day “even Merse knows it”, I replied in no uncertain terms “even Merse, f*#k Merse the Chelsea loving ex Gooner who jumped out of Arsenal for the money on offer at Middlesborough” or words to that effect.

  • proudkev

    Freddie. We have to judge Koeman after a few years, too often we get knee jerk rave reviews, like Pochettino was receiving. We are just 11 games in, long way to go yet!

    PS: Someone needs to take a look at Southampton and see how they are operating their youth academies and scouting – because those boys are doing an incredible job.

  • proudkev

    OB. Spot on. My wife walks out of the room when Merse appears on the TV, she says he always looks like he’s lost his last fiver. Mind you, she can talk – every time I leave a tiny mess anywhere she’s pulling a ‘Merse’.

  • proudkev,

    “Even though I supported Chelsea, and had a chance to go there, I went to Arsenal. Chelsea were s*it back then.”

    If this isn’t Merson confessing to being an opportunistic careerist I don’t know what is. What a dick!

  • proudkev,

    On Koeman, I am not one to jump on a bandwagon but no matter how you look at it, credit must be given to the Dutchman for what he is doing at Southampton, especially with the mass exodus of their players last season. But you are right, it is only 11 games and we’ve seen many great starters fall to mid-table or lower by the end of the season.

    My naming Koeman, however, was to counter the narrative of Pep being the next best thing after slice bread despite only managing 2 teams that are as ready-made for greatness as they come. If Pep can manage an average team successfully, then I’ll be more in awe of his achievements.

  • Pat

    @Brickfields at 2.57.

    Merson in a nutshell. Very funny!

  • proudkev

    Bootoomee. I do agree about what Koeman has done , especially with all those players leaving. Done a great job. I was making the point that our media and many fans seem to specialise in jumping on band wagons.

    But Southampton football club also deserve huge credit for the quality players they have brought through the club. It’s not a recent thing either and they are turning into our feeder club!

  • omgarsenal

    There appears to be a great deal of confusion among Arsene’s and Arsenal’s critics on UA, as follows:

    1)They believe Tony wants to muzzle them, but the truth is that he wants freedom of expression IF it is backed up by rational and verifiable facts, not vitriol or negative criticism for the sake of whining.

    2)They confuse their feeling after a few poor performances as being accurate reflections of the future for AFC.

    3)They actively seek to convince everyone that,Wenger,like milk gone bad, is past his due date and that a once formidable manager is now and forever become inefficient and useless, all based on a supposed analysis¨of results over the last 4-5 seasons or so.

    4)They eagerly discount or entirely ignore the investment issues, ceaseless and crucial injuries, very poor officiating and the entire Arsenal philosophy of transfers, man management and club focus over this same period.

    5) When confronted by UA regulars (because they only come on here to moan,whine and criticize if there are dropped points or poor performances) they cleave to the idea that everyone is entitled to their opinions BUT they ignore that those same opinions must be rationally and accurately defended….something all too many of these same critics fail miserably at.

    6) Suggesting that we get someone to replace Wenger (a certainty one day) is both amateurish, idiotic and myopic in the nth degree. Where will we find someone of Wenger’s quality or better?
    Even IF we were fortunate enough to get a Guardiola,Knopp or Koeman to name a few as replacement(s) AND assuming that they’d want to manage the Arsenal,what proof do you have that they’d fit the bill and succeed? There are so many issues (now being actively considered by the Club,by the way) that none of us has the slightest clue about who can take over.

    Hopefully these points will inspire some deep thought before the critics engage in writing their moans.

  • Gooneress No1

    Well written Tony. Merson is making a fool of himself but for me this thing runs far deeper than disgruntled, jealous or desperately in need of a career after football ex-players.

    Whether it’s allowing the far from classy one to insult Arsene with childish taunts or using petty functionaries who laughingly call themselves journalists the establishment are at the root of these attacks. Considering their mentality and nature I can only assume the club is not run to their corrupt satisfaction…

  • Brickfields Gunners

    If ever he loses his present job , Paul Merson could be a ready made poster boy for so many of these following worthy causes ; or failing which they could be fine t-shirt or political slogans !

    a) A MIND IS A TERRIBLE THING TO WASTE .
    (Stay the fu*k in school )

    b) JUST SAY NO !! ( Slogan of U.S. “War on Drugs” campaign )
    ( *To drugs and alcohol, and sh*t and stuff !)

    c) JUDGE NOT LEST YE BE JUDGED . ( Matt. 7:1 )
    (* He who lives in grass house should not get stoned !)

    d) THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK .( A 2008 television, radio, and magazine advertising campaign.)
    (* “Even a fool, when he holds his peace, is counted wise: and he that shuts his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.” Proverbs 17:28 …)

    e)LET ME BE CLEAR… (Barack Obama’s favourite line !)
    (* First take foot out of mouth ,then speak !)

  • blacksheep63

    @Brickfields, GB Shaw was wrong or has been misinterpreted. (those who can do, those who cannot, teach) Who taught GBS to read and write?

  • Mick

    blacksheep
    Maybe we should extend that quote with the following…
    and those who think they can but obviously cannot become football pundits.

  • TommieGun

    @ Quincy – I did not say I can do a better job then Arsene. If you had cared to read my posts in UA, you would have seen that. But why not miss a chance to have a go at someone.

    As per your comments – they in fact do a great job in proving my point.

    (1) Being a politician requires no special training. Angela Merkel was a physicist, for example. ->

    So? She is a politician now. She has gained experience as a politician and her actions are judged on that basis, and not her previous employment. That has nothing to do with the fact that people who criticize her actions, did not serve a single day in office.

    (2) Journalists who comment on the economy either studied economics, or are probably talking rubbish. – >

    Do you seriously contend that “someone who studied economy” has the pedigree to criticize the actions of the Chairman of the Federal Reserve just because he has completed a 3.5 year degree?! Come on. The journalist who criticize moves made by central banks’ chancellors would, by your own standard, have a lot more than a degree. It would be the equivalent, in my opinion, of a statement saying that someone can criticize Wenger (a top world class mananger with 25 years experience = the equivalent of the Chairman of the Fed. Reserve), would be someone who read a few books about football (someone with a basic degree in economics).

    (3) Journalists who comment on cars are talking from the buyer’s perspective, not as engineers, they have no technical criticism do they? – Thank you for helping me prove my point. That’s exactly what I’m saying: a layman can have very valid criticism, because criticsm does not revolve around ALL relevant details and facts. The car reviewer does not know WHY Mercedes chose to tone down the engines on the new E class – the engineer knows that it was in order to be more eco-friendly, or to have better balance with the transmission, etc; the reviewer just knows that the car behaves in a lamer fashion, speeds out of curves better, etc. It’s the same as football journlists who don’t really know why Wenger didn’t buy Joe Schmoe who would have scored 400 goals or Bobby T who would have been immense as a DMF – they just know that we miss a CB and a DMF.

    (4) I am mum on the arts. I have my own opinions on them. – no easy way out here, eh ? You are not a journalist, and you don’t publish your opinions on art. But you couldn’t come up with any smart reply here – how come people who criticize movies never won an oscar; never won a Booker prize; etc.

    There’s nothing wrong with an opinion, but when Merson says Arsenal are clueless, then you’d think he knows how to do a better job than Wenger, isn’t it? Or why such harsh criticism? Managers know than journalists and even ex-players very rarely have the same knowledge and understanding of tactics and management that a manager does. There was an article here on Untold to that effect a while ago when I think it was Walter who spoke to a manager. – > Merson is a jerk and a douchebag. What does that have to do with anything? I have read much better criticisms from people with much less football background then Merson.

    If you really believe you can do a better job that Wenger, than prove it by taking up a management job. Merson has been a manager, and we’ve seen the results. – again, totally irrelevant.

  • Fishpie

    Paul Merson gets paid for his opinions and, fair’s fair, if you offer one, other’s are entitled to disagree. So those who have had a pop at him above that’s cool. But although there are pundits and journalists etc who respect Mr Wenger, there aren’t many who are saying many positive things about him currently. And my impression is the majority of them are genuinely puzzled by what Mr Wenger has done (or hasn’t done)for many years now. The Merse is not the only one: far, far from it. He’s just been blunter than others about what he saw on the pitch. Whether his motivation was to hurt Mr Wenger because of a past falling-out or whether he was just bewildered by such poor defending, the truth is the vast majority of people who watched it would have concluded too that Arsenal indeed appeared to be clueless. Did any of you think, “actually I thought Arsenal looked pretty assured and competent in defence”? And based on the evidence of numerous poor defensive performances over many years now I think it’s fair for any pundit to suggest that Arsene indeed appears to have very little idea of how to create a team that can sustain a season’s worth of good defensive performances. “Clueless” , whilst a charged and critical word, is accurate. And honest. And based on a reasonable amount of evidence. Arsene was, I suspect, actually offended. The truth hurts.

  • Fishpie

    I should point out that I recognize Mr Wenger has created a defence good enough to get us into the top four each season and that this suggests he is not only not completely clueless but actually pretty good. Where I agree with The Merse and other observers is our defensive inadequacies have cost us dear in terms of progressing to the point where we seriously challenging for the title or Champions League. And it’s in this regard that Mr Wenger appears, despite being in football all those years, to have little idea of how to “rectify” repeating problems, which might have got us significantly closer to top honours, had he done so.

  • proudkev

    TommieGun. Just to pick up on Chelsea fan Paul Merson’s constant criticism of Arsenal. This goes back a few years and includes doping allegations Merson made in his book published in 2011. The former drug and alcohol abuser (ironically) accused Arsene Wenger of injecting unknown substances into players bodies. Thsi was picked up by the media and yet again Mr. Wenger was again the subject of media questioning. He was not best pleased with these lies:

    Arsene Wenger: ‘Every year we have at least 20 doping controls. In 15 years we have not had one positive control. You think, really, I try to dope?If you find one player who I asked to take an injection to play one game, no matter how big the game was, I would resign tomorrow morning.
    ‘If you find one player who I asked to take something, bring him here in front of me. If we give them something, it is multivitamins, magnesium, calcium or vitamin C like everybody else.

    Paul Merson stayed with me for four months, so I think it is better you ask people who have played for five, six, seven, eight, nine years here how we behave medically.
    ‘Do you really think that Paul Merson is convinced that we dope our players? So what was his target? To sell the book. It is absolutely ridiculous to put any suspicion on the way we treat the players and respect the players’ health.’

  • Steve0

    I’ve never bought in to this idea that journalists without any managerial experience shouldn’t be able to criticize a manager based on results and expectations, but fair play if you do. Logically though, wouldn’t this mean that massive weight would have to be put on the opinions of those with the best resumes in the managerial profession, such as the ‘specialist in failure’ comments by Jose Mourinho?

  • Steve0

    And just to reiterate,I don’t believe the taunts of a rival manager really should be taken seriously while reasonably thought out criticisms from pundits are laughed off due to a lack of managerial experience, but if we’re laughing off the pundits because they aren’t qualified to speak about Arsene Wenger’s performance, we’ve laid the groundwork to take Mourinho’s taunts as gospel, as the man probably has the best CV in the modern game.

  • Quincy

    andy1886, sorry this reply took such a long time but I’ve been having internet problems. Einstein did four years of maths and physics to get his teaching degree, and in 1905 got his PhD in physics from the University of Zurich. So actually your statements about Einstein are misleading.

    The point isn’t that journalists can’t have an opinion. Nobody said that. But when Merson says Wenger is clueless, you’d think he could do a better job, isn’t it? You can disagree with what you believe Wenger has done wrong, fine, but to go so far as to say he’s clueless, well then, YOU do a better of it. Criticising is easy. Merson tried managing, and failed, and yet he can still say Wenger is clueless. It’s really not that hard to understand TommieGun.

    “So? She is a politician now. She has gained experience as a politician and her actions are judged on that basis, and not her previous employment. That has nothing to do with the fact that people who criticize her actions, did not serve a single day in office.”

    Kind of reinforces my point, doesn’t it?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    “A truth that’s told with bad intent,
    Beats all the lies you can invent.”
    ― William Blake( Auguries of Innocence )

  • Sam

    “Mr Wenger then re-iterated Untold’s point that “People who have managed altogether zero games they teach everybody how you should behave. It’s a farce.” It is fairly clear from the interview that Mr Wenger was speaking at this point of the journalists who were criticising him, especially Jeremy Wilson, who I suggested should apply for the Borrowash job.”

    Isn’t that like saying “people who have never worked in Banks should not be allowed to criticise Bankers for the recent problems. They don’t have any idea of how a bank works”?

    Agree many of the criticism leveled against Mr. Wenger is unfair, but surely not all of it? And is it right that only football managers should be allowed to criticise him?

    For example, I do think it was a totally irresponsible that an unproven green-horn like Sanogo started the CL game against Bayern Munich last year and I find it totally irresponsible that the club of the stature of Arsenal should have to resort to that. Are you saying I am not allowed to say that because I am not a football manager?

  • finsbury

    Quincy

    “So actually your statements about Einstein are misleading.”

    He also accused Paul davies as bearing an equivalent grudge to Paul Merson.
    Anyone with ears listening to this interview will understand the base level of htese comments:

    https://player.fm/series/footballistically-arsenal/paul-davis-the-meeting

    I left ample time for him to correct himself (the thread is now closed i think), it’s a sad spectacle to see someone attempting to smear Davis who has conducted himself in the Arsenal Way. Not a squeak in nearly twenty years! As all right thinking people can understand,, that is simply showing respect to all parties whether you are upset with them or not. It’s not complicated.

  • finsbury

    Quincy

    “So actually your statements about Einstein are misleading.”

    He also accused Paul davies as bearing an equivalent grudge to Paul Merson.
    Anyone with ears listening to this interview will understand the base level of these comments:

    https://player.fm/series/footballistically-arsenal/paul-davis-the-meeting

    I left ample time for him to correct himself (the thread is now closed i think), it’s a sad spectacle to see someone attempting to smear Davis who has conducted himself in the Arsenal Way. Not a squeak in nearly twenty years? As all right thinking people can understand, that is simply showing respect to all parties whether you are upset with them or not. It’s not complicated.

  • finsbury

    I supppose some find the comments from the likes of Robson and Merson (Chelsea fan) closer to heart then comments from Paul Davis*

    *Season ticket holder at Arsenal i think.

  • Hmmmm it’s unbelievable, the Arsenal loses a second match and it’s disaster,so for all the magwampas who think the prof is gone I pity you,he is around for sometimes until he breaks furgus time as a manager,you hate that but there is nothing to be done as he will be there for years to come. As of the unbeaten record ha ha ha 49*!? mourinioass won’t make it so all the records are there to stay. Sorry but it is what it is and that’s what it will be so bare with it or hang.

  • hunter13

    ZOON
    November 11, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    having an opinion is one thing…

    yelling at Arsene Wenger telling him what he should have done is insanity, desperation, clownism. ok the last word dont exist i made it up ..its to describe the clowns in media who want to dictate to him how to run his football club.

  • hunter13

    fins? the same fins ? ahahahaaa

    just for you …

    cesc ..khedira
    ….ozil……
    theo…..alexis
    …..suarez….

    all the good ones fit !

    regards, warm

  • hunter13

    newspapers..lol professional trolls..they make a living by provoking the gullible. scum really

    journalists are there to record events as happened..not form opinion

  • Oluwatoba

    I think Untold should have a rider declaring thus

    ‘You have a right to your opinions where based on fact, but you have your right withdrawn as soon as you deviate from fact’

    I do not understand why certain quarters can’t possibly present issues without affording their emotions a free ride.