Ever searching for the new way to attract clicks, the hacks congregate in their favourite watering hole. Their credibility, shattered by transfers that never happen, needs reviving. The tired excuses – “lots of things can go wrong in a transfer after our sauces, sorry, sources tell us about it” – saw a healthy cynicism grow among Arsenal supporters.
In the smoke-filled bar, the aromas of cigar, Player’s Navy Cut and Gauloises – picked up by mistake while covering a Europa League tie – mingle. Amid the banter – “it’s only banter” – and bawdiness, Ideas on repairing the damage fly between the comrades of the sports writers union. Cross, back from his stint in the Arsenal PR team, quietly seething at the hack from the Heil.
Recalled to the frontline, he knew he’d been betrayed by malevolent hands behind the scenes. He’d done all that was asked of him, slating the fan’s favourite and deflecting attention away from the failing regime but it wasn’t enough.
The only sound which filled the bar was that of the rust-covered wheels of their minds creaking as they struggled for an original thought. “Eureka!”; the cry filled the air as, amid a windmill of flailing arms and gabbled speak, it became clear there was a new game in town: Director of Football Bingo!
In your super soaraway race-hate filled Daily Bile, we’ve got it all: transfer gossip, managerial sackings, and tales of three-in-a-bed romps between wannabe models and the married silhouette of a Premier League star whose wife, Mrs Silhouette and three silhouette children are devastated by our revelations – “I don’t recognise that silhouette, he’s not my husband” – we bring you, DIRECTOR OF FOOTBALL BINGO! The same rules as before but this time in a position of POWER!
Still only 20p for the Luddites or a computer screen filled with soft porn selling the dream of your own Thai bride.
The Future Ain’t What It Was
Which is more or less how this game is going to pan out. Yesterday the club confirmed that they wouldn’t be announcing anything regarding the manager’s future until the end of the season so’s as not to ruin everyone’s fun of having a good old bitch about him and the team.
Taking a leap into the unknown, the speculation is that a new director of football will be named at the same time. An Arsenal ‘Dream Team’ the board would like you to believe but in truth, the nightmare scenario of Wenger having another person on the board who owes him their job.
Some took an even bigger leap. Arsène trains up the next manager before taking over as DoF in two years. He’s the Arsenal equivalent of Freddie Kruger; you just can’t go to sleep or he comes tearing into your life, wreaking havoc.
Neither scenario works for me nor should it for Arsène. The summer isn’t going to make the situation any better. Indeed, with nothing much to fill the space, it’s only going to allow things to fester in minds, with next season becoming more divided, not least in the boardroom.
Depending on which hacks version of events you want to believe, the directors are behind Wenger. Some reports claim it’s to offer their full support but others believe it’s just an orderly queue to stab him in the back.
The notion of a director of football is nothing new at Arsenal; it’s been spoken about for decades. If it is finally acted on, I suppose it’s being done in the true ‘Arsenal Way’. Nothing rash, just a lot of cogitation and ‘parking of ideas’.
The first name thrown into the ring is never the player we sign and the same principle holds true for the new board role. Which is a pity because Marc Overmars is eminently qualified for the role. Then again, Jorge Sampaoli has the credentials to be the new boss and a $1.5m release clause but we won’t get him either.
The notion of Arsène working with a new boss whom he can’t control, doesn’t ring true. Wenger’s adamant refusal to accept the concept previously is a huge stumbling block to progress. The reality is that Stan wants him to stay, increasing the value of his business through mediocrity.
It isn’t going to change while Kroenke is in charge either. His track record across the pond is there for all to see. Preferred to Usmanov in the beginning, he’s turned out to be the wolf in sheep’s clothing. Unperturbed by success, unmoved by it.
Wenger is his ideal manager. Not just in how he manages the money but also in the lack of ambition. The status quo is what they both prefer. In fact, they are Status Quo; around for decades but the good times have gone. They are now an Arsenal ‘tribute band’. They look like the real thing, sound like it but you know it’s just a shallow interpretation of the past.
Another Arsenal shambles. But that really is the Arsenal Way. Seven years of success followed by eighteen of failure.