Having a Laugh

Ian Wright is recognized by most Gooners as an Arsenal legend, but he only played for Arsene Wenger for one season. For that reason, his prolific goal scoring record does deserve recognition coming under the more conservative football of previous regimes. After a dispute over playing time, Wenger promptly sold Ian Wright to West Ham and that pretty much ended his career.

Since his playing days have ended, he has become a peddler of comedy football DVD’s, columnist for The Sun, and occasional media pundit.

Occasionally, he entertains me. For an example, during the 2006 World Cup coverage by the BBC, they sent Ian Wright to a German modern art museum. Watching Ian Wright examine and analyze art pieces was hilarious. Perhaps his best moment was when he looked at a painted Volkswagen and claimed that “he liked it.”

The problem is, Ian Wright has stopped being a Gooner first and foremost and become a pundit instead. Sometimes, giving a voice to somebody who should not have one proves to be a major irritation. Obviously, I just choose to ignore these opinions, even though I read them all. In today’s Sun, he addressed the potential return of Jose Mourinho to the Premier League. He asked, “can you honestly tell me Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, and even Manchester City would not be tempted by the chance to get Mourinho this summer?”

Replace Wenger with Mourinho? Are you having a laugh?

If Mourinho is in such demand, why is Arsene Wenger the number one managerial candidate for both Real Madrid and Manchester City? Mourinho is a backup choice for those clubs.

Ian Wright publicly clamored for Arsenal to move for his adopted son Shaun. That transfer may have occurred had Wright-Phillips waited a bit longer, had more sense to reject Chelsea, and was actually an Arsenal level player. Instead, his career was stunted and only after he moved back to Manchester City did he find any semblance of form.

Ian Wright is frequently wrong.

In addition to his baffling Mourinho piece, he states that he “never expected Arsenal to be so close in this year’s title race.” He goes on to say that Arsenal cannot “afford any more slip-ups.” That completely ignores the idea that Chelsea and Manchester United could slip up as well. In this crazy Premier League season, it’s silly to assume anything.

The real difference this year is not solely down to the weakening of other top teams. Yes, Manchester United has suffered injuries and defense and lost the supreme flat track bully Ronaldo. Yes, Carlo Ancelotti may prove to be the second coming of Luiz Felipe Scolari. But those aren’t the only reasons.

Last year, Hull City showed up to the Emirates looking to win instead of park the bus and achieve a draw. This year, more teams are learning that Arsenal aren’t the only ones who are vulnerable to those type of tactics. Novel idea, isn’t it? You know, trying to actually win three points in every game (well except for that coward Mick McCarthy). Ironically, the most defensive team I’ve seen against Arsenal all year has been Chelsea.

So, today, Portsmouth, at Fratton Park, will attempt to win three points. I don’t feel that Portsmouth is a relegation team, but their results will tell you otherwise. They’ve played well enough, but never quite broken through at times. They’ve played better than Wolves, but they’re in a far worse position. Their team is a patchwork squad filled with other team’s rejects, only they’ve proven to be worthwhile players. Kevin-Prince Boateng and Frederic Piquionne can be dangerous players.

But the reality is this. They will be relegated. And we cannot afford to drop a single point against a team that will be relegated. Not if we want to be champions.

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