The Ship Be Sinking

Mouth Almighty

No Buys

Wenger on Walcott, “terrible pressure” of “modern media” relating to him being available for England

Other Wenger quotes on Walcott from a few years back:

”I believe he has the talent to be an England regular, that’s why he is here.”

”He has fantastic pace and good technique. Getting back into the England squad would certainly help his development.”

“”You look around the country and you complain that you don’t have any strikers….You accuse Arsenal of not bringing through English players. We may have bought him, but he is a young English player.”

”He is clinical in front of goal….He is calm, he doesn’t panic and he is a real finisher. He has improved a lot.””

Gee, I wonder where all that terrible media pressure for Walcott to be good enough for England is coming from? Certainly no one at Arsenal would dare encourage such hopes, lest they injure the chances of the poor dear! Wenger is a clown. A shabby, tragic, self-parodic clown. I don’t give a fuck if this team does the double this year, it’s impossible to take him seriously or root for anything he’s a part of at this point. It took me 5 minutes on Google to find those quotes because I knew they were there to be found- does he imagine that everyone has forgotten how he’s driven the Walcott hype wagon for years now? How he advocated and pushed behind the scenes for Walcott to be taken to Germany in ’06, as was widely reported in many locations at the time? I will say it again and continue saying it as long as it remains true: it requires awesome arrogance and contempt to lie in such an easily disprovable and transparently self-serving manner, all the more so when someone does it on a near-weekly basis. It requires belief that the liar will never- can never- be called to account for the lies he tells, can never be held responsible. If you who support the man still wonder why those who want him out describe the club as having aspects of a personality cult, this is part of the reason why.

Worse still, this points out one of the inevitable flaws in Project Youth: to stave off people who want to win now the boss is required to hype every young prospect he promotes, and then required to reverse himself violently and criticize anyone who expects performances out of them in order to shield them from pressure for which they’re not yet prepared and expectations to which they’re not yet equal. It’s happened or is happening with probably 10 or more different players in the last 5 years (Bendtner, Vela, Eboue, Denilson, Walcott, Diaby, Song, Nasri, Fabianski, Ramsey, Wilshere, etc. etc.), it becomes more and more of a transparent dodge with each iteration, and it’s eroding Wenger’s credibility even with his biggest fans. Some of these players will come good, some will not, but by running them all through this process it sets them up to be seen as failures at some point along the line as there will inevitably be a period when their hype exceeds their performances. Some, like Song, survive this period of pressure; others, like Walcott and Denilson, seem to wilt under it. It’s impossible to say exactly what role it has in the development of each player, but it’s hard to see it as much of a positive. Arguably it’s a completely unnecessary aggravating factor introduced by the refusal to allow younger players to develop in the context of dependable and sturdy veterans, who could shoulder some of the responsibility for results while their younger compatriots learned their business.

Or you know, just blame the media. Whatever’s easier.


February 22, 2010 - Posted by | The Arsenal

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