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Dan’s Arsene Wenger Book Review – You may be shocked



As you can imagine as a person who loves football, reading and writing, I received lots of Football Autobiographies for Christmas. I thought whenever Arsenal are a little bit light on news, I would review various genres you might want to digest while we all remain in Lockdown.

I have finished reading Arsene Wenger’s book, yet you might be shocked by this review. As many readers will know I respect Mr Wenger and feared for years that only when he left would we truly appreciate what a job he did, and how hard it is to work under the current owners.

Unfortunately, I have been proven correct as the club continue to go backwards since he departed.

I still feel that thanks to the rise in social media, a section of our fan base disrespected the Greatest Manager in our history, which was once unthinkable. I maintain that those gooners who sacrificed our club’s long-standing values for the sake of subscribers deserve the current decline.

Shouting the loudest and swearing into a camera doesn’t make you anymore knowledgeable as a supporter, and many have lost credibility for not admitting they educated a next generation wrongly; the grass has not always proven greener.

While Mr Wenger is too respectful to rub our nose in the dirt and flat out say ‘ I told you so ‘ I was disappointed he wrote his memoirs like a politician. Recent equivalents from the likes of Roy Keane and Sir Alex Ferguson taught us that this would be a breakdown of what he really thought about particular players and staff.

Maybe it’s the faith the man has in his own convictions that he doesn’t feel the need to tell any sensational stories, but my advice would have been, if that’s your stance, don’t agree to the project. It’s not like he’s desperate for the money so why participate if you’re not willing to tell your audience new information?

You have to assume that anyone purchasing your work is familiar with your career so why only give information that a customer will already know?

I could have written this book, but worse; there were answers to long standing questions I was curious about. Instead we got a safe journal, where the priority seemed to be being diplomatic, so he didn’t upset anyone. In fact it’s almost like it’s assumed that the reader will be knowledgeable about the subject so why fight it?

For example, the assumption is everyone would know the true details about the rumours that the press put out about his family when he moved to England. This would have been a chance to give a chapter not familiar with most, instead we just get Mr Wenger repeating how sad and angry he was about an article lawyers have squashed.

I’m not asking anyone to use their personal life to sell a product, but either give context or don’t mention it at all.

Maybe legal reasons are also the reason he doesn’t want to offer his version of the French Match fixing scandal?

Old enough to know it happened but that’s it, this should have been one of the highlights. Instead we get a few lines where Mr Wenger, being the purist he is, explains losing faith in the game, hence why he moved to Japan. He didn’t want to divulge anything else because he’s over it and that would be looking into the past. Which is a positive way to live, but how can you write an autobiography without digging up the past?

That’s why we get a scan of his life but nothing more.

He’s always managed to protect his wife and daughter from the limelight. Apart from saying how proud he is of his child and accepting his loved ones sacrificed a lot for his passion, he chooses to leave out his personal life.

Again I’m not asking for gossip about his marriage, but he must have a few Harry Redknapp/Sandra antidotes for a laugh?

Without reading it, Jose Mourinho is quick to conclude he’s not mentioned due to his superior win/loss record over the Gunners.

In reality Mr Wenger doesn’t pick a fight with anyone. There’s no behind the scenes breakdown of transfers, no (like he promised) proof of ‘countless’ offers from other clubs and even those you think he wouldn’t care about upsetting (Sam Allardyce, Alan Pardew, Anelka’s brothers, Adebayor, etc ) he avoids any confrontation. Again that shows what a person he is, but doesn’t work in the confines of what you’re writing.


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  1. Pingback: Wilshere nears a returns, Arsenal two expensive deadwoods, Dan’s Arsene Wenger Book Review – Footballsocial

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