I was initially quite impressed after the stoke game that Wenger admitted that Stoke deserved to win.
On Monday, AW said that “I don’t approve or disapprove [of Stoke’s tactics]. They played the game they wanted and they played it very well. At the end of the day, they could express their strong points and we could not.”
Even then, that was tempered with a highly dubious excuse: "We did play the taller players but the wind is quite strong in the stadium, it is open on one side. That makes our game a little more difficult."
Yet by Tuesday, things were taking a turn for the worse: "Do you think Delap tried to play the ball when he tackled Walcott? Or that Shawcross tried to play the ball when he tackled Adebayor?" Frankly speaking Arsene, yes I did think they were trying to play the ball.
Tony Pullis, the Stoke manager, has now responded magnicently well: "I have tremendous respect for Mr Wenger, but as Mr Wenger is such a learned professional and on a great day in America electoral history, I would like to remind him of Abraham Lincoln's great quotation: 'You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time. But you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.'"
The theorists are already boiling up explanations that this is clever Wenger deflecting the issues from his players and onto himself. That may be correct and only AW knows the answer.
However, what is loud and clear on Wednesday afternoon is that Wenger has made himself look an idiot. If the players felt under pressure before, I struggle to think that reading these things in the papers makes them feel any better about life. Or did AW sit the players down on Monday and say "we all know you are to blame and not me, but I'm going to spout off some rubbish in the press so that they stop writing articles saying you are crap and say instead that I am an idiot, which will be much better for all of us..."
When added to the long list of "I believe in this team", "they are immature and will learn from mistakes" we have been fed, its all a bit too much. Even Fergie's rantings have died down recently. AW's initial reaction after Stoke was the right one - admit Stoke were better and move on to the next game. Its the search for justification after the events that has gone wrong.
I am 100% a fan of Wenger, but any previously held beliefs that he was the master of the jedi mind games are long mislaid. This week has seen a string of rubbish from him, which helps no-one. I humbly suggest that he needs to shut-up and instead get his team focused to deliver three points on the pitch tonight.
P.s. If anyone is interested to see a gorilla-man grow a goatee beard for charity for the whole of November (he must have lost his razor) then please sponsor K-Man. If he raises £50 then he has promised to publish a photo on the blog on December in his appalling hairy state. Its a great cause with a huge amount of non-shaving effort from K-Man, so go get your wallets and click here.