Arsene Wenger is the gift that keeps on giving. He’s a giant of the Premier League, of world football, who has stood tall and strong against the winds of change for over two decades in charge of Arsenal Football Club, blud. But like all ancient insitutions, it’s all crumbling down slowly.
The signs of dilapidation (relatively speaking, in the context of challenging for titles) are everywhere. From jacket zippers to water bottles, from epic collapses to cheap excuses (wah, we ain’t go no monnnneysss), from the I-didn’t-see-its to the I-could’ve-signed-hims. It’s in the latter category (a rather big and ever expanding category) that Wenger pops back into our lives ahead of Saturday’s showdown at the Bridge between Chelsea and Arsenal.
“Have I looked to sign Kanté? Yes. When he was in France and when he was at Leicester. I cannot explain everything [about why he preferred Chelsea] but it is quite obvious when you look at where he has gone. Was it the money? I do not want to talk about that. Transfers are transfers – you cannot explain absolutely everything.”
-Arsene Wenger; source: Guardian
Just read that thing again. Read it and weep. From laughter.
That’s the manager of Arsenal, one of the biggest teams in the world, one of just nine teams who have a wage bill of over €200m (they rank seventh, ahead of Bayern Munich, according to page 92 of UEFA’s recent report). That’s Wenger insinuating that Kante only chose Chelsea because of the money. It wasn’t because of Conte (as Kante himself claims), or any other factor that led him to turn down both Manchester United and Arsenal and whatever untold millions China were willing to pay him. Presumably Kante also turned down Wenger for Leicester City because of the money the summer before?
Maybe Arsene’s just working on his banter since he’ll have to sit in the East Stand, surrounded by Chelsea supporters this weekend to serve out the third match of his four-match ban. If so, he’ll need to come up with something better than net spend.