Take the pictures

September 20, 2010

Once again Arsene Wenger found himself at the centre of controversy over the weekend following the disastrous 1-1 draw at Sunderland. Wenger was alleged to have shoved 4th official Martin Atkinson but defended himself with the claim ‘take the pictures and look at it. I complained to nobody.’

Well there you have all the evidence you need that Wenger indeed complained to nobody even though Arsenal were hamstrung by the behaviour of the officials, playing against eleven men for only the second time this season, having Alex Song sent off following a string of merely protective challenges and conceding freekick after free kick.

But Arsene was pushed almost beyond the point of his habitual sang froid by the decision of the officials to keep playing until the final whistle.

Creativity is a great way of getting your message across, especially when the facts may not entirely back up what you are trying to say. As one of the great intellectuals of the world game, Arsene is aware that he sometimes needs to ignore details and focus on the spirit of an idea to help him communicate his ideals. So he was right in principle to say that Ryan Shawcross had ‘kicked’ Heurelho Gomes in the recent league encounter between Stoke and Spurs. While not factually correct, it might have happened, maybe in a different game with different teams and different players and at a different time. And isn’t that all that matters? It’s not lying.