”Some are wrong because they are not strong enough to fight temptation and some some are wrong because they do not know.”
Wenger at his Dostoyevskian best. We are all guilty whether we realise it or not. Wenger might not be a Christian but this statement is as Christian as they come. I’m not entirely sure of the context but I think it is related to the tactical approach of managers at the Emirates and Higbury. Still, as a stand alone quip, this could be from any classic Russian novel of the romantic period. Wenger is called a un philosophe for a reason only it isn’t usually this.
Wenger is a true gooner. For all his professionalism Arsene Wenger is a football fan at heart. He understands rivalry and he recognises the importance of certain matches to fans. To Arsenal fans nothing is better than beating Tottenham. Wenger understood this, took it to heart and made sure his players understood it too. Beating Tottenham is vital. Bergkamp knew it, Henry knew it, Fabregas knows it. More pertinently Wenger knows that beating Tottenham is not all there is to it, it is also necessary to put them down at every available opportunity. Reminding Tottenham that the football they play is nothing, in terms of aesthetic appeal, compared to what he offers at Arsenal is part of the deal.
A Frenchman becomes an anglophile. Who would have believed that would happen when Wenger walked through the marble doors at Highbury all those years ago? Well it happened and Wenger never tires of telling us how much he likes the country. The multiculturalism, the passion, the reason. Wenger often says he feels at home in London and the United Kingdom. When he tells us how much he dislikes contemporary football in continental Europe it is merely his way of reaffirming his affection for the United Kingdom and the Premiership.
Wenger is a poet too. Only we see this side of him all too infrequently and so it is often forgotten. Sir Alex Ferguson has his inspiration and quips, Mourinho his bravado and charisma, Wenger has his philosophy and poetry. All great managers in their own right, actually this goes without saying, but this part of Wenger, the poet, is all too often forgotten or misunderstood.