The target of anything in life should be to do it so well that it becomes an art. This is not Socrates, Sun Tzu or Plato. This is Arsene Wenger. A true pioneer of football, with philosophical incisiveness to match the greats, watching a side managed by the Frenchman is truly poetry in motion. As the legacy-maker said himself, “Football is an art, like dancing is an art – but only when it’s well done does it become an art”. Watching an Arsene Wenger side isn’t simply an Arsenal’s fans ritual every weekend afternoon, rather it is a joy, watching the greats of the game weave their magic on pitches across the country. From Henry to Ozil, Arsene Wenger is the facilitator of beauty, allowing 11 players to display their art to a mesmerised global audience on a weekly basis. A true blessing to the game.
If Arsene Wenger is Picasso, Jose Mourinho is Jeremy Nichol. The Portuguese man has won it all, all over the world, on the biggest stages. Yet something bothers the 53 year old.’ The envious die not once, but as often as the envied win applause’. From here derives the source of tension. The source of a feud that has captivated world football for the last 14 years. A clash of cultures, a clash of personalities, a clash of mass proportions. Despite all the “clash” titles you are likely to see in the lead up to battle of the titans, there only lay one instigator.
Whether it be the infamous “specialist in failure” dig, or the rash verbal assault on the Frenchman, referring to him as a “voyeur“, the supposed ‘Special One’ certainly feels inferior to a man he has won more trophies than. Going as far as to say he’d love to “break” Wenger’s face, the Portuguese born manager cannot handle it, he refuses to accept it. What is ‘it’ you may ask? A legacy. Something that transcends personal accolades, a legacy is an unattainable fantasy to most, only the greats can truly change the course of history forever, whatever field this may be in. Johan Cruyff, Brian Clough, Sir Alex Ferguson. They weren’t just winners, they were revolutionists, streaks ahead of those around them. Arsene Wenger is in this bracket. Not only can his name be mentioned amongst the greats, the journey his has endured throughout his Arsenal tenure to arrive in this egalitarian place is a tormenting one. Years of success, including the famous “Invincibles” and two double winning seasons, followed what is truly Arsene Wenger’s best years on the Arsenal touchline. Spending £9 million net in 10 years, the Frenchman sustained Champions League football at a club continually losing its best players year on year, before then developing a crop of young players into elite superstars. Betrayal then followed on a scale of mass proportions, whether this be Fabregas, Van Persie or Nasri, they all failed to see the vision of the revolutionary.
After enduring 10 years of media hatred, and Jose related ambushes, he saw the light, which he knew he’d always find, but those around him continually doubted. Mesut Ozil, the light. The genius had savaged around, tirelessly exhausting his resources, season after season of torment ravaging him, and now he could craft his art. Alexis, Cech, Mustafi and Xhaka followed, a new 11 players were being given a canvas to display their art.
Now, Jose Mourinho. Two time champions league winner and 8 time title winner. Admirable accolades? Yes. Legacy? Nonexistent. £619 million has been spent, several clubs left on the brink of collapse, just ask Chelsea fans. Mourinho is a tactician, yes that is true. An innovator? Certainly not. Failing to spend more than 3 years at any single club was surely emphasise this point. If you want a big point away from home, sure give Jose a call. Want a footballing identity and a manager with a legacy ingrained in football history? I think you already know who I’m going to advise you to call.
So, Saturday afternoon we see the two giants of the football spectrum go head to head. Not only are there 3 points on the line, there is pride. The beginner of Jose’s downfall back in August 2015, the Portuguese man will be out seeking for revenge. Regardless of result, remember one thing. A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him, and by now, Arsene Wenger has built a fortress.