Arsene Wenger on the success of failure
Sitting here in my office during yet another international break, I cannot help but ponder on the greater philosophical meaning of winning silverware, and why on earth Arsenal supporters keep making such a fuss about our failure to do so.
I beg you to join me at the Emirates stadium one time, to observe and appreciate the extraordinary grandeur, the truly unimaginable magnificence of the place, and you will finally understand why the board could not care less whether we finish third or fourth in the league this season. Especially whilst the people in the stands are paying such astronomical ticket prices.
As I wait by the phone, expecting at any moment the call from the Dutch medical staff with the news that Robin Van Persie has picked up an injury and will be out till the new year, the words of Bob Dylan come to my unfathomable mind: “There’s no success like failure, and failure’s no success at all”.
The footballing world mocks me and my Arsenal legacy almost as much as it mocks the English national team, yet what could be more successful than a thriving, financially-sustainable club built by a lone visionary amidst a league of teams bankrolled by bored billionaires? The perilous balance of my cash flow does provide for some edgy moments at excruciating points each season, but at least I can rest in the comfort of knowing that Van Persie’s left foot is by itself a far more effective bailout system than the entire Eurozone put together.
Manchester City now draws the praise and respect – oh, excuse me whilst I chuckle at a reply of Theo Walcott trying to cross the ball… City now have the players to realistically compete for every trophy, yet we must remember that if their owners conducted business the same way in any other industry, the banks would take one look at their balance sheet and repossess their enormous, air-conditioned Arabian villas and leave them coughing in the desert without so much as a glass of water to chuck at Carlos Tevez’s face.
Such ‘success’ can only lead to failure, as Dylan indicated. At this moment, City supporters cannot believe their luck at having won the Premier League lottery, but their castle of overpaid and overrated footballing misadventure is built on sand and doomed to crumble, whereas my beloved Arsenal has deep foundations of economic sustainability within the firm base of what probably used to be some sort of factory in north London.
With those musings, dear subjects, I bid you farewell. It will not be long before you see me again, for only next week the nation’s cameras will be zooming-in on my sulky touchline expression, on the tortured way my hand brushes through my hair whenever Alex Song gets on the ball, and on the nonchalant shrug of my shoulders when I get sent off by the referee and ordered to watch the match from the stands amongst a horde of incomprehensible English morons branding me a paedophile.
Arsene Wenger currently serves as Glorified Events Manager at Arsenal Football Club.