Arsene Wenger’s secret attempt to see how long he can stay in charge of Arsenal without actually winning anything took a blow last month.
Through a combination of blind confidence in youth and a stubborn determination not to spend any money, Wenger has already made sure the Gunners will win absolutely bugger all this season. But suspicious Arsenal fans – and even skipper Robin van Persie – are beginning to cotton on to Wenger’s record attempt, which became even more obvious when the Gunners took on Man United last month.
Trailing 1-0, Arsenal wonderkind Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was playing out of his skin and set up van Persie for Arsenal’s equaliser in the second half.
Naturally concerned that Arsenal might push on to win the game, Wenger immediately substituted Oxlade-Chamberlain for Andrei Arseshavings.
Hilariously, the match cameras caught van Persie looking horrified at the decision and clearly shouts the words ‘oh no!’ It also prompted cries of ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’ from the Gunners fans.
But it proved to be a masterstroke – as far as Wenger’s trophyless run is concerned – as nine minutes later, the hapless Arseshavings was sold a dummy by Antonio Valencia, who then sent up the winner for United. And with that, any lingering hopes Arsenal fans had of winning the title disappeared.
“We lost the game just now and I do not have to explain to you what I do,” blathered Wenger.
“I have to stand up to the result and the subs. I’ve been 30 years a manager and made 50,000 subs and I have to justify every decision I make to you? I stand up for it.”
The Frenchman was then pushed on whether his decision cost Arsenal the game – as most Gunners fans felt.
“Why? If you expect me to blame an individual player, it will not happen,” he said before winking and mouthing the word ‘Arseshavings’.