I wonder if Arsene Wenger’s head-on approach is the best way to deal with the current situation between Arsenal and the FA.
Let’s see – you are dealing with an organisation that has it’s head so far up its ass that they can’t admit their own mistakes or do what’s right for football half the time (the other half they get it right, but poor them, it goes unnoticed). Now a lot of managers are that as well, but that’s not the point. The FA is inept and instead of doing the right thing tries first to protect its own reputation and that of the officials.
So will taking the FA on help Wenger or the Arsenal players? No. At best, it will get him and Arsenal into more trouble.
At worst, it will put unnecessary pressure on every linesman and referee who gives a decision against Arsenal in the future.
Wenger wants things to be fair – then in that case he should do two things:
1) He should find a way to make the FA listen – and that can only happen when you make the FA think that it’s THEIR brilliant idea instead of some manager telling them what to do. Come on, don’t tell me that Wenger has never studied psychology or mastered the art of negotiations. Maybe Arsenal should put him through training?
2) He should realise that fair means fair for everyone – and stop blaming everything else in the world when it is his players, and his team, that fail to get the job done on the pitch. Because, you know, that would be unfair.
Warnock and Pearce talk sense
In comparison, Stuart Pearce and Neil Warnock have talked some sense about bringing referees to the clubs’ training grounds and having them get more involved with the players and to help referee training matches on occasion.
What will that accomplish? For starters, it will help the refs learn more about the teams and the players, which can help greatly when you have to give a decision instantly on the pitch. Second, it will allow players to clarify things with refs over fouls – easier to do in a low-pressure environment than it is in a live match.
The FA will probably fear that the refs will get harassed or that they will become too partial to the players. That’s rubbish. They could also complain that there are too few refs and that it’s too demanding a task. Nonsense again. You can rotate refs, and you can put refs in contact with players in pre-season or during international breaks.
There’s a lot that the FA can do to improve the situation between players and match officials.
Are they willing to?
Or are they as headstrong and stubborn as Arsene Wenger and other hardassed managers?