Date:Friday May 25 2007
As I sat watching tv last night, Stella in one hand, the remote in the other, I happened across a channel usually only frequented to view some late night titillation show, yes ladies and gents I watched a program on the Bravo channel.
The show that caught my eye was titled 'The Greatest Managers in Britain' as voted by 25,000 football supporters in Britain.
The program had already been on for 20 minutes or so and had all ready run down from 20 to 11, and after getting the low down and seeing the Mr Kevin Keegan had been named at number 18 (Ahead of George Graham #20) I knew Arsene Wenger would be in the top five at least.
Running through the possibilities in my mind, I came to the honest conclusion that Wenger would probably finish 3rd.
Thinking logically, trying to get into the mind of the average football fan, I truly believed that European glory would be at the forefront of the peoples minds, and also the usual 'true Brit grit' nonsense coming into play.
So logically in my mind it would be Wenger at number 3, Brian 'Ol Big Ead' Clough at number 2, and the trophy talisman who is Purple Nose Ferguson claiming the honour of top manager.
Imagine my surprise then when back to back European cup winner & all round popular geezer, Brian Clough was named at number five, behind Jose Moaninho would you believe? Spurs were then handed something else to put on there 'Roll of honour' when Bill Nicholson was named 3rd best gaffer ever to manage in Britain.
Leaving only Alex Ferguson & Arsene Wenger to battle it out once again.
Ferguson was sure to win it in my eyes, as much as I hate to admit it his record is second to none, 9 league titles, back to back doubles, a European cup intermingled in a treble winning season, he deserved it I thought.
When the announcement came that Fergie was the second best British manager ever, I felt I'd done the football supporters a massive disservice by assuming they'd take a medals haul (and if we're being honest he's spent a fair bit of moolah) over a man who has transformed our national game, our team and our philosophy & style to unrecognisable proportions. Gone have the days of 'Boring boring Arsenal' and now we're often referred to the most beautiful side the world has ever seen.
'I can't believe they've voted Wenger' I said to the wife.
'Don't get your hopes up, it might not be him' the Mrs said rather naively.
'If Ron Atkinson, Kevin Keegan & Harry Redknapp make the list then Wenger wins' was my reply.
It was really nice to see Arsene Wenger receive recognition for all he has done. For fans of other teams to realise that Le boss has produced some of the most pretty football on a relative shoe string whilst seemingly having a production line of young players that either go on to become world beaters ala Henry, Fabregas, Vieira, or players who are ploughed back in to the English game such as Sidwell, Pennant, Upson, Cole & Muamba, is testament to everything Wenger stands for and believes in..
So here's to Arsene Wenger - Britain's greatest ever manager.
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Date:Friday May 25 2007
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