The first rule of journalism is fill you spacce with the official line – cos if you don’t someone else will take your space, and you might be asked again.
The second rule of journalism is never apologise, never explain.
So it is that as it has become utterly clear that only a handful of Arsenal fans actually think Arsene Wenger should leave, the journalists who have been running the story have been unable to back off. With space booked for the story they have been scrabbling around trying to find something, anything, to back up their stance that the Lord Wenger’s world is falling apart.
Thus it was that they came up with Alex Hleb. As I recall Helb had two fairly ordinary seasons, and then one good one, after which he decided that he didn’t like London (at least that is what the papers said) and so he left for Barca.
Now he is wheeled out as the eminence grise pontificating on our club, telling us that people leave Arsenal every year because Wenger won’t buy.
It is of course rubbish – most players who have left, have left because Wenger decided it was time to call it a day. Few, like Hleb have taken their own way out. So let us consider what has happened to him. Six games with Barca. Six. That’s it. A falling out with the manager, and six games. (Although apparently it is sunny).
Which raises the possibility that the real reason that he left was that for all his techical ability Wenger knew that the one good season was just about all he was ever going to get, and so he cashed in, when Hleb said he wanted to go.
But the journalists have their story, and they can’t admit (as we can) that they too were conned by a bunch of highly actively Pagers who ran the story on site after site.
So on May 24 those of us with tickets for the game will demonstrate where we stand. There will be a march – the ‘Arsene Wenger March’, where the overwhelming mass of fans will show exactly where they stand.
The march will leave The Rocket in Holloway Road at 3.20, and head for the roundabout in front of the Armoury for 3.30.
The plan is to stay there for 15 minutes, singing songs in support of Wenger and then head on to the ground. Everyone who wants to show support for the most successful manager in the history of Arsenal, and the man who has single handedly transformed English football, you might care to join in.
Then there is the game, which should be a perfect opportunity to show support for the manager.
The press will of course ignore it, just as they ignored the sensational display of football on friday night, because it doesn’t fit.
But it does happen to be reality. There is only one Arsene Wenger and 99.5% of supporters love him.
(c) Tony Attwood 2009.
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