Arsene Wenger: Irritated Not Sexist


So I watched Arsene Wenger being interviewed by the BBC’s Jacqui Oatley after his Arsenal side were held at home by Hull City in a 2-2 draw. Wenger was obviously not in the best of moods, his side had failed to win after all. Yet after watching the post match chat I didn’t think much more of it.

But to my amazement The Guardian and The Metro ran stories claiming that Wenger was patronising, rude and possibly sexist (I believe that’s why the Guardian kept telling us that Oatley was a female reporter). Check-out Kirsten Schlewitz’s piece on SB Nation where she questions the blog in the Guardian her analysis of it is well written and gives a different twist to the tale.

The Metro’s story was just easy copy taken from Twitter comments. You can always find offended people on Twitter no matter the subject, you don’t always find insight or sensible conversation. I also dislike and mistrust any story that has Piers Morgan’s Twitter feed as a source.

My issue is this, was the interview abnormal?


Was he rude and patronising?

I think rude is a bit strong, more aloof. I also didn’t get the feeling he was being patronising. I think it was funny that he claimed that she misheard him right before he misheard her next question.

Football managers are often grumpy and irritated after squandering points. They then have to face the media and listen to questions that bring up their failings and demanding answers on why the team struggled. Now I obviously see why the journos ask their questions but common sense shows that football managers are not going to be happy answering them, especially straight after a disappointing result.

Analysing the interview, Jacqui loses Wenger on the question about Hull’s defending. She has quickly tried to condense Wenger’s previous answer and he feels she has then put words in his mouth. It clearly niggles him. I also didn’t like her question about fans questioning the lack of signing a defender or midfielder, for the simple reason that fans are never happy and some will never be happy. I’d have preferred it had she just asked ‘should you have signed another defender or defensive midfielder?‘. It’s also too easy to blame all defensive mistakes on those positions. Any player can switch off and cost their team points.

That said the interview wasn’t any different from any other post match exchange from most weekends.

Was Wenger being sexist? 

No! He would have been just as edgy with a male interviewer. As I’ve already said most managers have frosty or tense conversations with journos after difficult matches. Especially if they query that managers decisions or their team. Sir Alex Ferguson was notorious for it. Often being curt, criticising the interviewer and then giving them a patronising ‘well done’ at the end, if it went his way.

I agree with Kirsten’s conclusion that it seems that a lot of this debate has been sparked just because a female was involved rather than look at the whole situation without an angle. If they did that then they would have came up with the fact that we’ve all known for a while now, football managers can be easily annoyed and rude regardless of the journalists gender.

As a press we should be dealing with the more important aspects of football and not trying to make issues out of nothing just for hits!

2 Responses to “Arsene Wenger: Irritated Not Sexist”

  1. Another pro wenger blogger. Probably never seen an arsenal manager except wenger

  2. Pail – An article from earlier this year not favourable to Wenger –

    Truth is I call things as I see them, hence why this is a blog. I’ve been watching football since 1990, so George Graham was Arsenal boss back then.

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