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Wenger: A Sore Loser or Ballsy Stalwart?

Wenger: A Sore Loser or Ballsy Stalwart?

As is tradition in the Premier League, Friday is a day of pre-match press conferences, a day when managers answer questions regarding their up-coming games, injured players and also when Sky Sports News reporters ask club custodians to answer questions that are completely irrelevant to their team, players or their next match, in an attempt to squeeze every last drop of blood out of a 'story' ..... usually involving Arsenal'

Today will be no different. We'll see images of an amorphous blob in a Blackburn tracksuit spitting bile and saliva all over the camera during a rant on how the lowly teams teams have to endure much more than the 'big four' and how he got robbed of a chance to be England boss. We'll be treated to moral pontification from men with all the ethics and social aptitude of a dung beetle. Yet funnily there will be no articles written with quotes from managers agreeing with (or writing it off as something that happens in the the moment) Wenger's decision not to shake Mark Hughes hand at the end of the 3-0 defeat to Man City at Eastlands earlier in the week (And there were some to see if you could ignore that massive media outcry).

As long as I can remember, fingers have been pointed at Arsene, labeling him a sore loser, a baby and a person who doesn't know how to behave, and yes, sometimes the Arsenal gaffer has said and done somethings that have been a bit cringe-worthy, but I believe he should be commended.

All too often these days people refuse to think for themselves, they go along with the most common opinions and beliefs to avoid ridicule, they'll conform to others traditions and ways of doing things simply because they're afraid that their own beliefs will be mocked and shunned amongst their peers. Yet Arsene Wenger has the courage of his convictions to go against the flow and do what he considers to be the right thing. Of course sometimes he's wrong, but he is only human.

His decision not to shake Mark Hughes hand after being label a 'fucking wanker' by the Welshman (and god knows what else) was a small one, it probably was one that was forgotten by Wenger until he was quizzed about it by reporters. Arsene sees the handshake as a mark of respect, and will not shake hands with anyone he deems has been disrespectful to him. And surely that's fair?

Wenger has been lambasted, even by some of his own fans, for lacking common courtesy or the professionalism to close the game in a traditional manner, but if courtesy hasn't been shown to him, then why should he return it? Many have said that things happen and words are spoken in the heat of the moment that should be forgotten once the whistle blows, but I defy anyone here to switch their emotions off and on at the blow of a whistle. It's impossible.

So to label Wenger unprofessional and uncourteous because he refused a handshake ten seconds after the final whistle, yet Hughes gets away scott-free simply because it was in the heat of the moment of a match is not only hypocritical, but it's bullshit. Who here is still incensed everytime they picture Stephan Henchoz handling the ball on the line in the 2001 FA Cup final, or Wayne Rooney taking a dive to end Arsenal's unbeaten run? So don't tell me that seconds after a game can no longer be considered the heat of the moment just because a whistle has blown. So if Hughes can be forgiven, then so should Wenger (not that I think he did much wrong if he believes he was disrespected).

Upon reflection, I think it took tremendous courage for Arsene to do what he did, right or wrong, he stood up for what he believed in in spite of the fact he knew the shit-storm he'd face after the match. If the world had more people like Arsene who had the bottle to do what they thought was right in the face of persecution from their fellow man, the world would be a much better place.

So get out there, make your own traditions, stand up for your beliefs, shun conformity and refuse to shake the hand of a twat. Embrace your inner-Wenger .... liberate yourself.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Friday December 4 2009
Time: 1:15PM


I think the whole argument- though well constructed and with some salient points- falls down on one key issue. If Arsenal had won, would Wenger have still walked off in a huff? One can only speculate, but I think we all know the answer.
Little Dutch
04/12/2009 13:34:00
That's not something we can really answer .... because none of the other manager have the balls to react for fear of sanctions and ridcule. The ony person who dare speak his mind is Fergie .... and even though they never have a drink .... he always gets a handshake.
04/12/2009 13:41:00
Another point that needs to be made is that Wenger, more often than not, shakes the hands of other managers in defeat, so if he was truly a sore loser then he that's something he wouldn't do. So there must be reason enough for him not to shake in the game that he didn't ... some reason other than a football result.
04/12/2009 13:46:00
The most infuriating thing about Wenger is that most can see the logic of his stance. Not that logic stops purple faced pomposity exploding pathetically amongst the pious bourgeosie of the footballing media. Some managers had whinged equally pathetically in his early years that Wenger didn't respect the conventional tradition of having a drink in the opposing managers office after a game. 'He's not one of us' they bleated at the time. But logic has apparently to submit to hypocrisy in football. Would Wenger have shaken Hughes hand if he'd won? Probably but not necessarily if Phil Brown is to be believed. He might have even shaken Hughes hand if Hughes had been quick enough to offer it in a genuine act of comradeship. Create your own traditions indeed and give your respect to those who earn it. That way they'll be more genuine respect all round.
04/12/2009 13:48:00
I think this argument is getting bogged down in traditions/ culture etc, etc, etc. None of that is relevant in my eyes. The fact is, Wenger got in a huff because he lost and this is how he expressed it. That's the beginning of the story and the end of the story. Everything else is prevarication that does nothing to usurp that point. It's all advertisement without product.
Little Dutch
04/12/2009 13:51:00
I can't see it LD - Had the game been lost in a contentious manner then maybe. We've all seen Wenger bleat about decisions going against, and not seeing anything. No, we were beaten in this game and soundly so, something that has happened many many times before and Wenger has offered his hand. Only when there is a contriversial event in a game has Wenger ever refused a handshake .... and not because of the result.
04/12/2009 13:57:00
The argument that he should have shaken Hughes hand only exists at all because of culture and convention. He didn't shake Hughes hand because he didn't particularly want to. Whether that's because he lost, although there isn't a particular trend there as he has also failed to shake hands when he has won games, or because of some anger towards Hughes doesn't matter. He didn't shake Hughes hand because he didn't want to - there is no better reason than that.
04/12/2009 13:58:00
LD the Daily Express(great paper that it is) are claiming that Wenger was called a F****G W****R by Hughes. Seeing as how the whole handshake think is based on respect, i totally understand why he would not shake his hand. Even if he had won i think he would of walked off. Should Zidane & Materazzi have shaken hands at the end too?
04/12/2009 13:59:00
LD, Paul, great sutff from both sides but I'm gonna fall somewhere in the middle. The shakey hand nonsense is a load of old tosh as far as I'm concerned. But at the same time it's not entirely unfair to call Arsene a sore loser. As LD stated, if Arsenal had won that game, I am 99% sure he would have offered his hand.
04/12/2009 14:01:00
It's not unfair to call Wenger a bad loser at all. He is a very poor loser at the best of times. But being a poor loser hasn't prevented him shaking the hands of those he still holds some respect for.
04/12/2009 14:09:00
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