Sunday, August 30, 2009
That Took Some Bottle...
Wonders will never cease: I am about to write a fan story about Arsene Wenger. A thing I can hardly credit...
But yesterday, at the end of the United v Arsenal game, which United (of course) won (albeit scarcely deservedly), the fact of Rooney netting four in four was totally overshadowed by a man I normally detest doing something that totally impressed me.
Far into injury time, his captain scored an equaliser which was (rightly) adjudged offside. Wenger, furious and impassioned and unable to contain his frustration kicked a water bottle. A decent kick, too. Hardly a crime.
Er, actually, the ref took offence. And though the match was all but over, the ref sent themanager off. Always a little pointless as a gesture, but especially at 90 minutes + several, and with the final whistle about to blow. And for what? Genuine emotion at a football match? Harmlessly expressed? Rather skilfully expressed really!
Arsene couldn't believe it! What should he do? There's nowhere to go from the team dugouts at Old Trafford. The notion of being sent "to the stands" is ridiculous - there is absolutely no access. And in a fit of pique, rather athletic pique for a chap in his fifties, M. Wenger climbed the roof of the dugout and stood aloft, arms akimbo, as in a pantomime, as if to ask - "Is this where you want me to go?" - surrounded by baying hoards of United fans loving the late, late show.
That took some bottle.
And my long-held dislike of the man is slowly disappearing. It took some class too, and was a wholly appropriate response to a small-minded official who might have being keeping the letter of the rule-book but who totally lost the spirit of the game.
I can't believe it. Arsene Wenger - popular hero at Old Trafford. I think I'd better buy a lottery ticket whilst there is still some magic in the air.