Arsene Wenger has called the increased media spotlight on every aspect of football clubs (not just Arsenal) ‘ridiculous’ and urged the media to concentrate more on what happens on the pitch than what goes on behind the scenes.
In an age when information overload isn’t just a catchphrase, media and fans are rapacious in their desire to know everything little thing about every little thing, and it’s something Wenger is keen not to get drawn into.
Quizzed at his press conference about whether or not he’d called the team together for ‘crisis talks’, the manager said, “I don’t talk about what happens inside. We live in a world where you don’t have to come into our sleeping room to know what happens.
“We inform you but don’t forget that your job is first to judge us on what we do on the football pitch and not what we do inside. I think it’s become a bit ridiculous now that every single moment of a football club has to be absolutely public.
“We have to stand up for bad performances but not for everything we do inside the club.”
But when asked about the emergence of a photograph from the dressing room at the training ground which showed the internal fines structure, the boss showed a little more sangfroid.
“You cannot keep anything inside anymore, it’s frustrating because I feel you have a right to privacy inside the dressing room and when that is not respected it’s disappointing.
“But in this case, I think it was not malicious, it is more innocent. The intention counts for me and I don’t think the intention was anything bad.”
He also found time to explain why it was Per Mertesacker who was tasked with collecting fines:
“The Germans do well economically and we respect that. They’re the only ones who make money in Europe and that’s why we’ve chosen a German!”
As frustrating as he is, he’s still a great man for a one-liner.