Arsene Wenger admits that he looks to politicians for inspiration when dealing with the media in his weekly press conferences and paid lip service to the ‘tension’ of such occasions.
Like all top flight managers the Frenchman is contractually obliged to answer questions from both broadcast and print press before each Premier League game while also required to face the cameras after matches.
Having arrived in England 17-years ago the boss is well-versed in the (dark) art of spin but despite hundreds of encounters with the media he admits he’s still very much on guard every time he speaks in public.
“I look at politicians when they are interviewed because it’s a game,” he told Arsenal’s official magazine.
“It’s similar to then managers are interviewed by the press. It’s a game where you are caught between two things: Deliver a message, but also don’t get caught out.
“You know that every sentence, could be dangerous for you, your club and your team. There is always a little tension there.”
As anyone who has watched Wenger’s press conferences can testify, hardly a week goes by when he’s not visibly pissed off by the media’s obsession with transfer speculation when the focus should be on the upcoming match. Indeed, the occasions have become increasingly theatrical, the boss determinedly coy on many topics but occasionally indulgent of his audience’s need for a headline.
Often it makes for entertaining viewing but it is very odd how managers, and this goes across the board, are now asked for their opinions on matters which really have nothing to do with them or their team. In the last few weeks alone Wenger has answered questions on the death of Nelson Mandela and Michael Schumacher’s accident. Naturally he answered with good grace, but should he even be facing such questions in the first place?