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Excerpts from the diary of a Premier League Manager : Arsene Wenger

Saturday 30th January 2010

We’ve been working hard this morning on our final preparations for the game with Manchester United. I’ve told the team I want to play an attacking 4-3-3 formation after I read the scout report on Manchester United which said, as usual, “just play your usual game”. I think that is a wise move as doing what we have done in the last 200 games is precisely the thing United will think we won’t do, especially since we did it in the Champions League semi final last season and came unstuck! It’s foolproof!

I’ve also spoken to the press today about transfer targets. I told them I wanted a striker and looked at Marouane Chamakh and David Villa. The general feeling in the press was that had I actually bought something, other than just pressed my Gallic nose up against the shop window and left a double trail of snotty stains there, we might have a better chance tomorrow. Pah! What do they know! I have Andrei Arshavin! Nicklas Bendtner also is close to a recall, admittedly he has all the speed of an asthmatic sloth in a bag, but he thinks he is the next Marco Van Basten and I don’t like to diminish his misplaced confidence.

I had Stan Kroenke on the phone today. He said that if I wanted to buy a striker of top quality the money was there. I must admit I was tempted by Villa, so I phoned up Valencia and asked how much they wanted for a deal to be completed by Monday night. They said £40m. I made a counter offer of 50p and Alan Sunderland’s old permed wig. Strangely they wouldn’t let me speak with Villa and his agent. I wouldn’t mind but I was going to smash the pay structure at the club and offer him £50 a game and post game Mars Bar, with the promise of making it King Sized if he scored. I slammed the phone down and was so angry, I turned one bar of the heater in the office up. It was so hot in there, my P.A almost thawed.

Sunday 31st January 2010 (am)

We are ready to go. I spoke to the team this morning over croissants and coffee and told them what I wanted. Which was a win playing the best football ever seen on planet Earth. I told them to make sure that we don’t make the same mistakes as we did last season in the Champions League. I told them we must take our chances and that if we get a chance, we must take it. Cesc came up to me and said “Boss, are we going to play with a striker at any point?” and I laughed and said “We have Arshavin!”, Cesc didn’t look too happy, but he shrugged his shoulders and walked off muttering something about “having someone to take the chances.”

Sunday 21st January 2010 (pm)

Well. I am not sure what went wrong to be honest. After the game I had a right go at the players. I told Arshavin that when I pay an inordinate amount of money for a 6ft4 inch targetman with a goal rate of 2 goals every game, I expect him to do better. It was only then Pat Rice told me that he was actually a Pixie, about 5ft 3 inches wet through, designed womens clothes and played more as an attacking midfielder. This was news to me, in my minds eye he was the second incarnation of Niall Quinn, only better and less diplomatic. I’ve sacked my guide dog as I believe he is a Tottenham fan and is giving me misinformation.

I spoke to the press and blamed the loss on the goalkeeper, the defence, the offense, the referee, the linesman, the man in the crowd with the really sexy girlfriend who made Rooney and Nani want to show off, Pat Rice, Lionel Blair, Gordon Ramsey, the entire crew of Dancing on Ice, Geoff Shreeves and the artist formerly known as Prince.

Desperate times call for desperate measures so I’ve decided on a radical new idea. I’m going to try and play a striker in my next game. I emailed Valencia and doubled my offer for Villa. £100 a game, a Mars Bar and a bag of Monster Munch after the game, plus he can take back all Tony Adam’s empties to the glass bank and get 5p a bottle. At that rate, he’ll be rich beyond his dreams by June.

Fingers crossed I hear back before 5pm Monday.

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Article title: Excerpts from the diary of a Premier League Manager : Arsene Wenger

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