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The Crying Game
Arsene Wenger’s whingeing over Alex Ferguson’s outspoken comments on Arsenal is merely the latest manifestation of a career-long behavioural pattern, which in France has earned him the nickname, The Cry Baby.
Tony Cascarino, 27 Jan 2005
The common wisdom is that Alex Ferguson has somehow provoked Arsene Wenger into losing his cool, but what a lot of people don’t realise is that one of his nicknames while managing in France was La Pleureuse, or The Cry Baby.
It was given to him by the then Marseilles chairman, Bernard Tapie, who got fed up with all the excuses Wenger used to proffer for Monaco only winning Le Championat once in eight seasons.
They were the nearly team to Marseilles, which resulted in regular complaints about the physical intimidation of his players, referees being bullied into making decisions and the other conspiracy theory stuff he’s been coming up with at Arsenal. Tapie’s standard reply was: “Oh, The Cry Baby’s speaking again!”
Yes, there were dodgy financial dealings, which eventually lead to Monsieur Tapie parting company with Marseilles, but what Wenger neglected to mention was the huge advantage Monaco had in respect of their players not having to pay French income-tax. Imagine if Marseilles had been the ones operating under a totally different set of rules to the rest of the league – he’d have gone on morning, noon and night about the injustice of it.
Should it come to a fistfight, I think Wenger will be Sugar Ray Leonard compared to Fergie’s Marvin Haggler –?he’ll dance around with his clever little jabs while Alex tries to land a haymaker. It’s definitely a bout I’d fork out twenty-five quid to see on Sky Box-Office!
More seriously, Marseilles’ way of dealing with Monaco is the same as Man U’s in relation to Arsenal. They bullied Monaco off the ball at every opportunity so that they couldn’t get their passing game going, or dominate as they usually did in midfield.
With Rooney, Smith and Heinze, United have three in-form players who can match anything Arsenal throw at them physically –?sometimes with added interest.
Prediction-wise, I think it’ll be more glory for Chelsea as they cancel each other out with a 1-1 draw.
Talking of Chelsea, Jose Mourinho was spot-on at the weekend with his comments about David Beckham and not needing “a Hollywood star”. I hate to dent poor David’s ego, but if Real unload him it’ll more likely be to a team like Spurs or Newcastle than Chelsea or Arsenal who, again, don’t have any shortcomings that Beckham would alleviate.