I don't think it's the first time my nine year old son has seen Arsene Wenger, but when he saw him on the news this week he referred to him as a wrinkly old man. I can't help but feel that us, as fans are partly responsible for those wrinkles.
In his tenure as Arsenal Manager he's brought us, as Gooners some of the greatest moments in Arsenal history. But when the club built our fancy new stadium and attempted (and succeeded) to operate without a rich sugar daddy ,he wasn't able to maintain that level of success.
All he could do was stand and watch as players were swept from under his nose by big spending, rich 'super clubs'. Some say he wasn't trying hard enough to secure top talent, and the contrasting argument would be that he just wasn't given the resources to compete with the wages being offered to these players.
Arsene Wenger is a classy fella. He's certainly not the sort of manager to come out and say; "Those knob ends up in the office haven't given me fuck all to spend on players. If they'd give me another £92million then I'd be able to compete in this league!".
Instead, he takes any and all responsibility and puts all blame squarely on his own shoulders. No wonder he's looking more grey and wrinkly than a 1987 BMW leather interior. He owns this club. Perhaps not financially, but he would literally do anything and has done everything for Arsenal down the years. So why not sit him down and give him a fancy £100 pen to sign a new contract with?
It's easy to say this all now, as we sit top of the league, but I talked about this weeks ago when we weren't quite as fluffed up and rosy as we are now. He's only got roughly six months left, so things should start happening now I would think.
We beat West Brom on penalties Wednesday with a classic Wenger youth squad out there. There was a peppering of first teamer's with some minutes given to Vermaelen, Jenkinson, Arteta and Fabianski. Not much to talk about, as it was a higgildy piggildy display from two teams shuffling around their squads. Chelsea come to The Emirates in the next round on Tuesday, October 29th.
Swansea City this Saturday, and for all Gooners here in the US it's a game that is so incredibly accessible to the average Joe that a good performance would go a long way to getting the club a bigger following over here. NBC at 12:30 in the afternoon... what else is there to do?
I do like Swansea, I must say. They play a very similar game to us, and Laudrup has done a great job since taking over there. We don't have a stellar record against them, playing them four times in the Premier League we've won our home games and lost our away games. However, a win at their place in the belly of the UK would see us stretch our current record breaking away form to 8 games won in a row. Not too shabby.
Off to Wales it is then, and hopefully it'll be the Welshman wearing red & white that steals the show.... yet again! There's only one Aaron Ramsey!