By LE GALL
Opinion is a flitting thing,
But Truth, outlasts the Sun –
If then we cannot own them both –
Possess the oldest one –
On the one hand, you have the never-ending gossip of the dirtymoney-grabbing “pundits”, including some renegades whose statue would well deserve the Lenin treatment.
Dear old Woody said it all about them:
On the other, you have the plain, simple, disinterested truth of the actual expert:
‘Arsène is just the best manager in the world.’ (Robin van Persie; January 2018)
Notice the “is”, not “was”.
‘I enjoyed every day, every minute I worked, trained and played for Arsène.'(Robin van Persie; January 2018)
This post will consist in reminding a few facts which, directly or indirectly, back up Robin’s praise of the great man.
1. The guys, whose wealth depends on the quality of the information they get, agree with Robin.
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Some time ago, AW told those who were willing to – really – listen to him how far went his personal involvement in the new stadium project:
The “bankers demanded” …, you know, the very guys who have to make decisions on the basis of truths, not opinions (I’m certainly not forgetting anything about the mess these guys have put us in since 2008 … but that’s another story), which is the reason why Noam Chomsky’s source of information is not what might have expected from him those who regard him as nothing but a blinkered leftist:
“…/… the educational system is divided into fragments. The part that’s directed toward working people and the general population is indeed designed to impose obedience. But the education for elites can’t quite do that. It has to allow creativity and independence. Otherwise they won’t be able to do their job of making money. You find the same thing in the press. That’s why I read the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times and Business Week. They just have to tell the truth.”
2. The facts proved the money men right
From 2006-2007 (the season following the 1-2 loss of 10-man Arsenal to 11-man Barcelona in the Stade de France) to 2012-2013 (the season preceding the buying of Özil – which marked the (partial) end of the austerity years); the gooners not only qualified for the Champions League, but also made it to its knockout rounds, every year, under the direction of AW. If you look back on the depleted squads the man had at his disposal, just ask yourselves: under the same circumstances, how many managers in the world would have eventually boasted the same kind of accomplishment? Here is the factual answer:
Of course, we were knocked out in the round of 16, seven times in a row, blah, blah, blah … This is not exactly the subject here, but just let me remind you that between 2009-2010 and 2016-2017, we had to face five times, either Messi’s Barcelona, or a Bayern looking very much like the Mannshaft that destroyed la seleção in Rio in 2014.
That alone would be enough to make any mathematician (anyone, in fact) familiar with probability theory, raise at least one eyebrow … But when, on top of that, you remember that at least three of these games ended up with a ten-man Arsenal against an 11-man (plus ref) “Barceyern”, you actually end up with a possible impossibility, the footballistic equivalent of the Schrödinger’s cat experiment in quantum mechanics …
Anyway, let’s get back to the point …
3. As soon as the “austerity years” came to an end, we went back to winning trophies
“Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth”, is a law of propaganda often attributed to the Nazi Joseph Goebbels. All variations on “Arsène the loser” are such lies.
Mesut Özil (bless his magic touch: yes, I do admire the lad) signed for Arsenal in 2014, and since then Arsenal have won 3 (three!!!) F.A. cups!!!, i.e. one of the most prestigious trophies in the football world. I started this section with a monster, I’ll wrap it up with the evocation of another one. As it is well-known, Stalinist propaganda used to erase the political opponents from the photographs. This is exactly what the “4th-place-is-not-a-trophy-fa cup-is-not-a-trophy” brigade have been doing.
We do not have to bow to their cries, we have to stand up against them; that’s what Tony has been doing on this blog for quite a while. Let’s all be on his side, and let’s look forward to the moment when the Europa League cup will end up being a trophy as well. (Should we win it … Should we be knocked out, the flood of articles stressing the importance of the trophy, and our ineptitude at winning any, is alluded to in the title.)
As for me, whatever happens Thursday, March 15, 2018, at the Emirates, I’ll be by the great man’s side, if only for the five years of his career he was all too willing to sacrifice, for the sake of Arsenal Football Club.
I’ll say it again: to play at the level we reached at home against Leicester/ManUtd/Chelsea (Premier league game)/Liverpool, … it takes a special squad, managed by a special man. Having said that, for various reasons I am not going to bring forward here, we are suffering from the most serious disease any sport team can suffer from: self-doubt.
Abused children are familiar with that gnawing feeling; the so-called Arsenal supporters who will boo the lads instead of cheering them up at the next home game, will behave like molesting parents, who believe there is such a thing as beating a child up into improvement of any kind.
Watch out! I’m not saying they are molesting parents, of course; actually, I think most of them are very decent guys it would be great to have a beer (or two …) with, football-chatting the night away … and that’s the saddest part.
If only they could turn a deaf ear to the hysterical cries of the piersmorgans, jonathanwilsons, barneyrooneys, danielzeqiris, etc …, etc …, of this world, and consider a thing or two I’ve tried to present here:
- Why is refereeing in England so different from rest of Europe?
- Milan v Arsenal. What it is like under new management?
- Who exactly controls law and order in world football? We might be about to find out.