Saturday, December 5, 2009

A Gents Game?

Arsene Wenger's recent touchline antics have caught my eye this week and have made me think differently of a man whom I have associated as being one of the best managers around.

Wenger refused to shake Manchester City manager Mark Hughes' hand on Wednesday night following his sides 3-0 defeat to City in the Carling Cup. Wenger has been one of the best managers of my lifetime but it's little things like this that spoil the great image I have for such a great manager.

There's no doubt things are tough at Arsenal at the moment, no trophy since 2005, big name stars leaving the club, a supposedly limited transfer budget (although this is something Wenger denies), struggling to compete with Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool...but surely the gentleman foundations that football was built on haven't left Arsenal as well?

Football was built as a gentleman's game and surely with all the problems that football has seen over recent years (diving, cheating, match fixing, dodgy transfers to name but a few) the common courtesy of shaking hands and being magnanimous in defeat is something that can easily be saved? Shaking a hand is easy, congratulating the winner is easy, being graceful in defeat is easy and are all things that, in my opinion, should be seen as mandatory by all managers and players.

And the thing I find most disheartening is that Wenger has no regrets about the incident, even with hindsight he couldn't even admit he was in the wrong.

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