As you’ll have seen by now former Arsenal player Stewart Robson made headlines this morning after labelling Arsene Wenger a ‘dictator’ and claiming that the boss’ relationship with assistant manager Steve Bould is non-existent.
We live in a free country and the guy is entitled to his views; for all we know there could even be a modicum of truth in what he says. That being said, when you’re effectively little more than a rent-a-gob lackey paid by the media to opportunistically spout negativity you do come across like you’ve a massive axe to grind.
Perhaps it has something to do with the way he was unceremoniously dropped by Arsenal.com this summer following complaints about his down-in-the-dumps punditry on matchdays? Whatever the reason, he’s said his piece, garnered himself some headlines and simultaneously trickled warm piss all over the hands that once fed him.
While Robson may not be impressed by Wenger’s views, Ray Parlour has, like a gallant red-haired knight, swept to the defence of the Frenchman claiming that whenever he visits the club all appears hunky-dory.
“Steve Bould was a real character in that dressing room area, he’s one of those sort of players that points a finger at people if you weren’t doing your jobs, and I’m sure he’s not changed,” Parlour told Sky Sports.
“People will speculate very quickly about training bust-ups and whatever, but whenever I’ve been there Steve Bould’s been next to Arsene Wenger and they’ve been as good as gold.
“Stewart Robson has got his own opinions, but I played under Arsene Wenger and thought he was a great manager when I was there. He was always one of those managers you could talk to. Arsene Wenger is one of those sort of guys who will always try to stick up for his players.
“We would have meetings after games and it would all come out in the dressing room, which (is how) it should be. It is a private matter between the players, the manager and the staff.
“It was quite embarrassing to lose to Bradford, there is no doubting that, but I think he is one of those guys who does criticise people behind the scenes instead of in the press.”
Liam Brady, who still works with Wenger on a daily basis, also appears to have tried to play down the rumours by calling talkSPORT’s Richard Keys who subsequently tweeted:
“Spoken with Liam Brady. He assures me categorically that there is no rift between Steve Bould and Arsene Wenger. No rift.”
A further retort appears in the Evening Standard this evening with correspondent James Olley running a piece which quotes another shadowy club insider who claims that Bould is furious with Robson for mouthing off.
As we said at the beginning, Arseblog News is not claiming to know the truth. We’re just eager that one man’s views don’t become the accepted take on events because they claimed the biggest headlines. It remains to be seen what the boss and indeed Bould himself have to say on the matter – perhaps we’ll learn more before Monday’s game with Reading.