Wenger was right to reject Henry
Such controversy over a non-issue. As Arsenal fans are wont to do we are split on whose side we should take in a power struggle between our record goalscorer, Thierry Henry, and our most successful manager ever, Arsène Wenger.
The manner of your reaction to the news that Wenger has “rejected” Henry will say a lot about you. People are loathe to admit they have an agenda but so far this past week we’ve seen the sharpened knives come out for Wenger as his detractors swallowed a fake quote claiming Ramsey rated Chris Coleman above Wenger and now believe Wenger has rejected Henry as he wants no contest to his power at Arsenal.
What a load of old tosh. Had Ramsey indeed claimed Coleman was the best coach he had ever worked under what difference would it make?
The media rumours that Wenger is attempting to stave off threats to his position are just that. They hold no basis in fact, just opinion. If you want to believe that Wenger is a despot then you are more than entitled to believe that — although I suggest you seek professional help.
Wenger isn’t perfect but from what we know of this story he is in the right. Wenger has asked Henry to make a commitment to Arsenal and Henry has elected to continue with his media duties. That was a fair request with a fair response but I do question Henry’s desire to be a manager if he isn’t willing to sacrifice his media career to do it. I’d go as far as doing a bit of sports betting online that he tanks in his first role.
Berating Arsène for this is the epitome of having an agenda. Such people wish for the manager to be relieved of his duties and will espouse any vitriol or regurgitate anything resembling evidence to support that view. It’s so unbelievably tiresome. Our fans are engaged in constant tit for tat sniping about who is right or wrong about Wenger or being caught in the crossfire for holding relatively moderate and flexible views on the manager.
We’re forever defending our opinions to the fans at the extremes of the spectrum and it’s exhausting. Why must we live in an era where you have to qualify any slightly pro-Wenger comment with “he’s not perfect but”?
What Wenger asked of Henry was reasonable and, in any case, he would not have escaped criticism had he allowed Henry to lambaste Arsenal for his other employers or miss training sessions and matches in order to trade dreary banter with David Jones and Jamie Carragher.
There are no double standards either. Commentating in the off-season or when your club’s season has finished is not the same as covering matches every week.
I believe the reactions to this are a mixture of disdain for the manager and a misplaced notion of loyalty for Henry. I’m confident few would accept Alan Shearer working part time for the BBC and part time for Arsenal. Shearer is the preeminent goalscorer in Premier League history, not as technical as Henry nor as successful but someone you’d be happy for strikers to learn from. In theory.
In reality you wouldn’t want Shearer coaching your team because he’s proven to be as poverty a coach as he is a pundit. Can we guarantee Henry is any different? We can infer that he has a little something as he was offered a job but at the end of the day it comes down to priorities. He was asked to prioritise coaching and chose not to. That’s fine. There is literally nothing else to glean from this.
I don’t believe Wenger refused his offer to work part time for free because he is worried about his position because the board would be absolutely mental to sack Wenger and replace him with a pundit and part time coach.
Thierry Henry is a club legend but that does not give him the right to determine how and when he serves the club. His ability as a coach is entirely separate from his playing legend. Wenger is right to ask him to choose and he made his choice. That should be the end of it with no fingers being pointed.
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