Is Arsene Wenger NOT Speaking English?

By on March 2, 2010

I just don’t understand the constant misinterpretation and misrepresentation of Arsene Wenger’s comments by the media. Earlier in the season, there was a campaign by the media to make him look daft by misrepresenting his statements regarding the removal of throw-ins from the game. That statement was made by Wenger during a holiday call-in show done for ArsenalTV where he was asked, “If you could change one rule in football, what would it be?” The Junior Gunners Christmas party had been canceled and Arsene agreed to come in to the studio and do a free webchat for ArsenalTV Online. Once the media got a hold of the statements, they ran with it portraying Arsene’s comments out-of-context as a serious suggestion for a rule change.

The row with Martin O’Neill over some post-match comments was a similar affair. Arsene praised Villa for an efficient and organized performance but O’Neill immediately took that as an insult and the media line became, “Arsene calls Villa a long-ball team,” even though he never said those exact words.

Now, fast forward to this past weekend. Understandably upset after the match, Arsene called THE TACKLE “horrendous” and “unacceptable.” It was. Shawcross, despite kicking with his laces, came far enough over the ball the break Ramsey’s leg in two places. If that’s not intentional, one wonders how a player who could so badly miskick a ball as that could be in the England side. But, that aside, the media turned that statement into one that was not about the tackle but about the player.

This was followed by criticism of Wenger for stigmatizing Shawcross as a player. But he did nothing of the sort. The BBC’s commentator, in his post-match interview with Tony Pulis, willfully misrepresented Arsene’s statement in this way to the Stoke manager who then heatedly defended his player, claiming he has “no history” of tackles like that. That statement is just false but you don’t see the media taking Pulis to task.

The only thing Wenger did say about Shawcross himself was to ask the reporters to spare him the “he’s-a-nice-guy” stories, which would inevitably follow. And they did. Conveniently forgetting Shawcross’s previous tackles on Francis Jeffers and Adebayor. The pundits were also quick to defend Stoke as “not that kind of team,” but anyone who remembers our league trip there last year would think differently. In that match, Adebayor, Gallas, and Walcott were all forced to leave the match and injured for multiple weeks by Stoke players’ tackles.

You just can’t help but wonder why the media consistently misrepresents Wenger’s words in the worst light possible. A foreigner challenging traditional notions of English football is not going to win many friends in a footballing nation that is a bit xenophobic and a bit stubbornly insular in its thinking about the game. It is still no excuse. I can’t imagine Wenger’s words could be more misrepresented if the journalists were forced to translate them from French themselves.

This Arsenal side will be there until the end. This is a different team than the 2007/08 side that gave away a possible 8-point lead in February after the Eduardo incident. And we saw that at the Brittania Stadium. Patrick Barclay was right when he said Arsenal were the strongest-minded team in the league. And the situation of the title race has turned from Arsenal needing to win every one of their remaining matches last week, to now Chelsea possibly needing to win all of their remaining matches.

It’s easy to dismiss what Arsenal have done so far by saying they are only in the title race because Chelsea and United haven’t been great, but that is just another attempt at minimizing Arsenal. The league is more even this season all-around and that is why Arsenal are still in the title race. Despite all the losses to United and Chelsea, Arsenal are still in the race because they get results against the sides they are supposed to and that is something Chelsea and United have failed to do on a number of occasions.


  1. ibbs

    March 2, 2010 at 9:27 am

    WHY does he continue to speak to the media anyway??
    They twist his every word to start arguments

  2. OC

    March 2, 2010 at 9:34 am

    What a great piece! And I don’t often say that on these sort of websites. Spot on with regard to Arsene’s comments, I find it ridiculous that people seem to think he said anything about Shawcross.

    With regard to the title – again spot on. Yes, we may have lost twice to Chelski and Utd, but we have dropped hardly any silly points. The best team always wins the league – lets hope it is us this season!

  3. Ole Gunner

    March 2, 2010 at 9:41 am

    Because bashing Arsene Wenger is a multi-million pound industry in England. I’d like someone to do a valuation of the column inches, internet bandwidth and TV time slots devoted to running twisted Wenger controversies. You’d find it probably matches coverage of Manchester United, the biggest brand in the Premier League.

  4. Microraptor

    March 2, 2010 at 9:45 am

    Read this…. but make sure you have a bucket close at hand before you start. What an unfettered cuntwipe this writer is…. I will never buy the Daily Mirror again.


    • ArsenalStation

      March 2, 2010 at 9:19 pm

      That article takes the prize for “Most Ridiculous Piece of Shit Article of the Year.”

  5. fat mike

    March 2, 2010 at 9:50 am

    Mate i was thinking the same thing, I support west ham myself and I can clearly see the interviewers from the BBC shit stirring. I don’t know who it is but he’s just trying to whip up a situation. I can see one day Wenger finally thinking to himself, ‘sod this, i’m off to Real Madrid because I’m more respected there’ and when he goes he’ll take aload of top players with him and the EPL will be a poorer place. I think it’s a dangerous game the media are playing.

  6. brdgunner

    March 2, 2010 at 10:31 am

    I can watch a game and interview with a group of people be in total agreement with them. Meet them next week and see their opinion change, because of the weeks read they had.

    I am really ashamed of our media. Its not restricted to football or sport. It happens all over. I think what football does more than other topics is give xenophobes a voice. In most topics is harder to highlight or use language which can be construed as racists or ethno-centric. In football you can publicly declare such outlandish statements as ‘foreigners dive, us English don’t. And other bull liker that.

    I find the problem starts with the interviewer. I am not sure if it is sky or the BBC or both. However, most recently, at Villa and Stoke the interviewer has interviewed Arsene then taken a totally different response to the other manager and caused a row.

    O’Neil is still griping at Arsene, surely by now someone has told him Arsene was quite complementary about Villa. And when the press do highlight they got it wrong like with Mark Hughes, they never apologise to Arsene.

  7. Richard

    March 2, 2010 at 10:50 am

    I completely agree…. But Arsene knows all of this himself. It is one of the things that makes him a truly great person. He doesn’t let himself be brought down to a lower levelby their sh1t-stiring, and he maintains his composure. He just gets on with his job.

    If I ever had someone I looked up to and respected, it is him. What a manager. What a man. What a legend.

  8. GunnerPete

    March 2, 2010 at 10:50 am

    The pity of it is that Arsene will not follow Fergie and ban talking to the BBC / SKY…both have the anti AFC lines ready before every game. Then when yet another mugging happens they trot out the ‘nice’ but sorry comments about the victim, but within hours have reversed all sympathy with air time for morons who the majority of the UK fans would not walk across the road to talk to. The negative propaganda that is ready made and ready to use before every game is a sick inditement on UK football. For year it was just bent as all top positions in the Football League and the FA were held by Northerners and they made sure that any club from the south that broke the dominance of the Lancashire louts would find it impossible to keep a run going. Bans & red cards and fines for next to nothing were the first weapon and then blind eyes when the same clubs poached and ‘influenced’ officials to turn games were the next.

    Now AFC are suffering from the ‘thugs for hire’ week in week out and who benefits from Arsenal having between 6/9 players missing continously for 16 months? Guess who?

    Arsene I urge you to walk away from after match interviews and be very picky who you give press conferences to…that way everyone will know that all the statements are just crude lies.

    Its very similar to the job that the Tory press has done on Brown for 2 years, and it nearly worked!

    • Richard

      March 2, 2010 at 10:53 am

      Not to get too political, but I don’t think Mr. Brown needs any help in making himself look like an ass 🙂

  9. szd_gooner

    March 2, 2010 at 11:26 am

    we all know that english media hates arsenal they dont want us to win any thing at all they want to label us as a side which is mentally too weak to win the title the only way we could shut their mouth is by winning the title n i strongly believe that epl is coming home

  10. Mike

    March 2, 2010 at 11:28 am

    This is aboslute nonsense. How can you come out with rubbish as, “one wonders how a player who could so badly miskick a ball as that could be in the England side”? Gary Neville did it!!!

    Love the rest of the article though. Spot on.

    • ArsenalStation

      March 2, 2010 at 9:20 pm

      Mike, it was a tongue-in-cheek statement… Thanks for the compliment on the piece.

      • Mike

        March 3, 2010 at 7:53 am

        Yep and mine 🙂

        • ArsenalStation

          March 3, 2010 at 11:03 am

          Cheers, Mike. Thanks for reading and commenting. Hope you enjoy the blog.

  11. Ted Harwood

    March 2, 2010 at 11:33 am

    OleGunner has hit the nail on the head. Journalism, for all of the positives it brings, has never been free from essentially using the concepts of “neutrality” and “justice” as cover for its agenda, which is to sell newspapers or tv ad time, or whatever. The media knows that a great deal of Premier League fans love to see Wenger in hot water (almost never of his own making, as you point out), and so they will do anything to make this happen, and rake in the cash. His success means that he is far more hated than Tony Pulis or Phil Brown ever will be, and thus far more valuable.

  12. Tsokan

    March 2, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    The funniest thing is dat some so called Arsenal fan tak side wit d media when they say such sh*t.i’m talking about this site,l*grove.

  13. Comrade23

    March 2, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    I’ve reached the point where I actually believe that the bulk of the English press, and Sky as well, won’t be happy until every foreign player and manager is out of England and the Premier League goes completely to shit. They seem especially to love trying to make Wenger look paranoid or foolish, and I think this is largely because he’s a) foreign, b) French (even worse!), and c) speaks his mind honestly. Frenchmen not respecting our fine English game? RABBLERABBLERABBLE!!!

  14. MikeSA

    March 2, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    It’s also interesting reading what appear to be even fairly innocuous articles.

    We are constantly assailed by little slanted injections in virtually everything we read about Arsenal in the so-called mainstream media.

    I’m tired of reading the little adjectives that keep getting strategically placed to slant opinion against Arsenal and Wenger again and again.

    Arsenal is the most widely followed team on the internet, and it’s all about getting hits from Arsenal fans and riling them up.

    It’s also about blatant xenophobia and dishonesty from the media, the referees, the fans, and little inglunder fans and fa.

    We need to stop giving hits to retards like collymore and his mates like keys, gray, etc etc.

    The way to strangle them is to remove their lifeblood: publicity and hits.

    There are also one or two “Arsenal” blogs that I seriously suspect are media false flag operations to sow discord and create a rich climate for raising heated debate and more hits.

    They prey on the gullible and the weak, channelling their stupidity and lack of moral fibre to advance their agenda.

    It’s no surprise that the mainstream media are being sidelined, especially in print, and they are desperately trying to survive in a world that is pushing them towards extinction.

    This all suits their agendas, and they’re punting it for all they’re worth.

    Genuine Arsenal fans and supporters need to stand firm and drive off these scum.

    We need to starve these hit-whores of their life-blood and render them obsolete.

    The club should start identifying the guilty parties in the media and making them sit on the stairs if they want to attend games.

    They should have to wear badges that allow any fans to push ahead of them in the food queues (whats with this free food for “journalists” crap?)

    They really need to start being treated like the scum that they are.

    They all got so upset when Kinnear told them exactly what sort of lying filth they are.

    It’s funny how on that occassion they desperately tried to turn the public against Kinnear, only to discover that the public actually agreed wholeheartedly with him.

    The media need to be treated like the shower of sh!t that they are.

  15. jonathan

    March 2, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    I dont even pay attention to all the shit that comes out in the media when it comes to the boss. I trust in Arsene Wenger and I know he is doing the best for Arsenal.

  16. Pingback: Is Arsene Wenger NOT Speaking English? « Arsenal Station

  17. Kelvin Sajous

    March 3, 2010 at 4:36 am

    Great article! I’ve always wanted to ask a blog writer this: what do you use to keep your braindstorms and outlines organized? I’ve tested different programs and even notebooks and I still haven’t found a solid solution. I would love to hear what you use to stay organized! Thanks!

    • ArsenalStation

      March 18, 2010 at 5:19 pm

      Thanks for the compliment, Kelvin. Though I fear I may disappoint you when I tell you that I don’t use any extra software to write this blog. Though I am an upper-level undergrad writing an honors thesis in history and to do that I do need to outline and stay organized. I’ve recently switched from PC to Mac so this may or may not help you but I have found a program called Scrivener extremely helpful… fantastic, even. For my thesis I use a combination of Scrivener, Papers, Sente, Notebook, and Word.

  18. GunnerPete

    March 3, 2010 at 5:57 am

    Richard you are exactly the problem I mentioned..media fed , media educated…no facts enter your head only media hype and we all know who owns 85% of the press in the UK…..What you didnt know that ? Well start educating yourself without the use of the press and you will see a totally different world built on facts not right wing propaganda!

    As for my article re; Arsene…..using your experience of life I suppose he deserves all the lies too?

  19. Faisal

    March 6, 2010 at 3:02 am

    Yellow Journalism at its finest

  20. Daily File

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  21. Reid Bresolin

    November 11, 2010 at 11:13 am

    Detailed post would it be OK if i translate into Dutch for our sites readers? Thanks

  22. Norman Tidrick

    February 21, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Hello there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be ok. I’m undoubtedly enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.

    • Arsenal Station

      February 21, 2011 at 2:10 pm

      Norman, you can follow me on Twitter… @ArsenalStation. Sadly, my real-life obligations have forced me to carry on my Arsenal conversations on Twitter rather than on the blog. Thanks for reading!!

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