IF Hans Cristian Anderson was around today and wrote about football rather than fairytales, he might well have made the observation that the Professor has no clothes on.
Today it seems a long time ago, and in some far off land, since Arsene Wenger was referred to in such academic terms.
Wenger has for many years been vastly over-rated, my tin hat is on for this one, which isn’t to say that in his prime he was not a top manager. Of course he was. Indeed, The Frenchman is y far the most influential figure in the history of Arsenal, he transformed how that was club was perceived, from being dour to the greatest show in town, and won everything bar the Champions League.
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He signed Thierry Henry. For that along he can be forgiven for almost anything.
But those who claimed him to be a messiah, a football manager out on his own whose intellect and forward-thinking transformed English football. Sorry, but asking Tony Adam to tone down the drinking a bit isn’t revolutionary. It's common sense.
The true greats of British football management, Jock Stein, Bob Paisley, Sir Alex Ferguson, Bill Shankly, Sir Matt Busby and Brian Clough are on a completely different level to Wenger.
Those great men kept on winning. They never stood still. Being second best way was utterly unacceptable. Does this sound like the Wenger of the past ten years to you?
The best, the very best, are champions. Not solid top four who when the going gets tough can be guaranteed to shrink.
London is the richest city in Europe. Arsenal has the biggest stadium. They have ludicrous amounts of money to spend on new players and their academy. The manager has the full support of his board and control over everything.
And from that almost unique position in modern football, finishing in the top four is deemed as success. Getting out the group stages of the Champions League, they are always one of the top two seeds, is apparently a good European run.
Doing okay for a bit and then start losing when it gets a bit cold and, maybe, win the FA Cup. That’s the Arsenal way now. This is Wenger’s fault. His stubbornness, the faith in players clearly not good enough to take the club to the next level and blindness to the defensive woes have done for him at last.
Had Celtic lost to Bayern Munich in Germany the way Arsenal did on Wednesday night – it was 5-1 going on a lot more – there would be understanding but criticism as well, which happened after their match in Barcelona.
And Brendan Rodgers works with a budget which at Arsenal is probably covered by the sales of beer at the Emirates Stadium.
“I feel for Arsene Wenger. It’s almost embarrassing. Outclassed, outplayed. They did it at a canter,” so said Martin Keown, one of his former players and not one to call for his old manager’s head.
“Wenger has to be seriously considering his future now because it’s embarrassing. I can’t ever say I’d like to see him go - this is his lowest point ever Arsenal manager. He looked particularly wounded. I feel for him - he almost needs to be protected from himself.
“This is 20 years of work here. He’s been magnificent for the club. This is a massive low point for him. This brings forward the change that looks likely at the end of the season.”
And this is what Alan Smith, an Arsenal legend himself, had to say; “Somebody like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain should have kicked on over the last few years but there hasn't been that demand for improvement in the way that there would be at other clubs.
"It's all a bit too nice. That's the overriding culture of the club and that has to change if they're to compete in the future."
Nail on head. That great Wenger side were full of men. This one, with a few exceptions are nice boys who to the disgust of Roy Keane wear gloves during games.
Since the incredible unbeaten season of 2003/04 it has seemed, to this observer at least, that doing just fine was passable at Arsenal. Play some nice football but don’t get too stressed out by actually having to win anything.
And repeat. And repeat.
Wenger is the vain Emperor who believes finishing above Tottenham makes him the lord of all he surveys. The Arsenal manager of some two decades and more has been exposed at last and even his most hardened supporters are backing off him less they get associated with such a painful demise.