The Real Special One, Arsene Wenger

By Joel Musambi


Photo: AFP

Coming off the heels of criticism from Jose Mourinho, Critics have given substance to the notion that Arsene Wenger is truly a “specialist in failure.” It’s very easy to point out Arsenal’s failures in the UEFA Champions League, or the fact that they have not won the Premier League Title since 2004-05. Although conversely, I can also claim Wenger has overachieved during Arsenal’s title drought.

The EPL has grown tremendously by the influx of cash in the last decade or so and top clubs have reaped the benefits buy often overpaying for top players. Simply going by transfer figures, Arsenal have actually overachieved. Wenger’s ability of buying cheap young players with potential and maximizing their potential to unforeseen heights is a testament to his talents. Before splurging on Mesut Ozil, Arsenal’s biggest transfer was Jose Antonio Reyes for a measly (by Premier League standards of course) 17,600,000 pounds. This reality should make top managers envious, especially those who need to spend hundreds of millions dollars to compete for the title — especially Jose Mourinho.

While many clubs are losing money, Arsenal is making a profit every year. Recent reports showed that Arsenal has over a hundred million in reserve cash. The club is lucky to have a manager so well equipped to perform with sub-standard talent. If you were an owner of a club, would you honestly rather hire Mourinho over Wenger?

Even though I’m not an Arsenal fan, I recognize that achievements of the great Arsene Wenger. Often the source of ridicule because of recent trophy-less seasons, I rather applaud him for what he’s had to work with. Simply by comparing squad talent, Arsenal should not be competing at all with Manchester City and Chelsea, but halfway through the season they are right in the thick of things. Being cognizant of all the elements makes Jose Mourinho’s comment incredibly insensitive. This comes at an inopportune time because Arsenal could very well win the league title and by doing so, it would lead me to questioning who the real special one is

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