Monday, August 18, 2008

Why Arsene Wenger's like me...

DISCLAIMER - the opinions in this post may be retracted without any warning, on account of suddenly improved performances by Arsenal.

It is time to address THE question that confounds all Arsenal fans and draws snide sniggers from everyone else - why is Arsene Wenger so darned stingy? For a long time i fell for all that hogwash about Arsenal being financially challenged (the new stadium and all), but looking at the seemingly bottomless pockets of (wait, did i hear debt ridden?) Real Madrid I started to wonder. Perhaps the only other twist on the matter usually revolves around the financial background of the classy Mr Wenger - isn't it absolutely remarkable how he manages to pick up precocious youngsters for practically nothing at all? (Sidenote: I wonder how long it will be before a warrant for cradle snatching is issued against Mr Wenger. After all perversion is nothing new to him - remember how Jose 'The Mouth' Mourinho anointed him as the king of all voyeurs?) The story about the talented teens is like a happy beginning to a tragic tale. Yes it is remarkable, but what is even more remarkable is the fact that the same players who make all the right noises about Arsenal being the right club for them, pack their bags the moment a Big Club comes along. (This is more of a recent phenomenon actually, but then my memory has always been notoriously poor.) So Mr Wenger ends up making a net profit according to the equation:

(O) = n(I) where n>2 and usually directly proportional to the duration of Arsenal's title drought
O = money collected from player sales
I = money spent on player signings

I am sure the economist in me absolutely adores the implications of that simple equation, but a more forceful voice in the head says-'Where are the titles?' And it was at that precise moment that i had a revelation - Arsene Wenger's like me! He refuses to buy players not because he cannot; he is an incurable romantic who wants to see how well he can do without any! Now how is that like me? Hasn't everyone experienced that absolutely delightful sensation of trying to answer an examination paper without having a clue what the subject is about? Arsene Wenger The Incurable Romantic? It's rather hard to reconcile with the professorial facade but as good an explanation as any, i suppose.

PS Arsenal still rocks, and Arsene Wenger IS the best talent spotter around!