I think the above question is the one question that if we had a clear answer would help unify the fragmented support. The question of Arsène’s power has raised it’s ugly head again in the last week with United winning the title. Many Arsenal fans are laying the blame solely at Wenger’s feet….”sold them the title” is a popular phrase used by these supporters.
In truth it’s hard to disagree with the fact that the traitorous Dutchman had a very positive impact for Salford United, and their early season form was boosted by his arrival. Ours on the other hand was affected by his departure and another summer of uncertainty.
The bone of contention however is that Arsène’s supporters don’t believe the decisions to sell players is solelyArsène ‘s and that his statements after another sale are simply those of a man being asked to follow the company line, but also bound by a loyalty the club he loves. Why else would he still be here?
Greed? I think he probably hasn’t got a lot to worry about when he retires.
Egotist? Maybe but if that was the case he would have taken the Madrid job a long time ago and given himself more chance to win a few trophies.
In a recent interview another departed player gave a slightly different version of events.
Wenger told me that if Cesc left, I would stay but Kroenke wanted the money.
The coach told me we’ll only take Gervinho. Cesc was already gone, I had only one year left so I decided to leave.
There is a subtle twist there in that the player himself says he chose to leave but he also says Kroenke wanted the money. There is though one undeniable statement – Arsène did not want him to leave.
So should Arsène come out and say as much? He has said previously that he could write a book about that summer, would it be better for us if like Mancini he would just come out and say “the Board are lying, they forced me to sell to buy, they did the same this summer too, that’s why I had to sell the Dutchman and Song, as I needed to bring in replacements in other positions with different skills and also replace the departed”.
Man City fans should be revolting against the manager given their squad but, despite having spent another *£14m net, by claiming that he was not allowed to spend as he had in the previous two summers (net spend £164m) the City fans have continued to show their support to him.
Arsenal fans disenchanted with the “all powerful” Wenger will point to the fact that Arsène says nothing of the sort as some kind of admission of guilt.
What if it is misplaced loyalty to a club that gave him the chance to manage at this level, what if he thinks it is better to present a united front, what if he can’t think of life without Arsenal.
There is no point saying “but if we’d kept X and Y we would be dominant” because we wouldn’t have A and Z if we hasn’t sold.
Those are the two sides of the story, but we do not know the truth, if we did would it change our opinions of the Board or Arsène? If I found out Arsène had final say on those players departure from the club then maybe I would view him differently, if on the other hand we find out he has nothing to do with contracts, sales, wage levels would it help us focus our questions (and ire) towards the board/owners? Would we believe again that “there’s only one Arsène Wenger”? Could we judge him solely on the teams performances knowing he has been working under internal pressure.
Gooner in Exile
*would have been £31m had Balotelli not exited in January