Arsene Wenger’s comments about pundits brainwashing people have been doing the rounds this morning, often with headlines that tie them into his future or his increasingly shaky relationship with some Arsenal fans.
However, he does appear to have been talking much more generally about the way punditry can affect the conclusions people draw from games.
He cited a re-watching of the incredible, but somewhat cheaty, 6-1 Barcelona enjoyed over PSG last week in the Champions League.
“For example last night I watched the last 20 minutes of Paris Saint-Germain against Barcelona again,” he said.
“It’s interesting once you see all the conclusions that come out of the game. The same people that speak after the game said with 10 minutes to go that Paris Saint-Germain were absolutely outstanding and 10 minutes later they were absolutely rubbish.
“It’s always interesting to take a distance, because people keep your eye and brainwash you with what you think is right. I think it’s always very interesting.
“You cannot live in an isolated world, because when you are a football player, even if you don’t read, people tell you what people say. Like in your job as well [journalists], when you write an article people say ‘that’s rubbish’, ‘that’s great’ or ‘that’s not great’.
“You cannot live in a world where you cannot be influenced by everything. Sometimes it confirms what people say. Sometimes it doesn’t. It’s down to me to take the right distance.
“You don’t necessarily always need to agree with everybody. I managed about 2,000 games – I might know a little bit.”
So, nothing about Arsenal fans being brainwashed and nothing really to tie to his own future. Just, you know, a manager talking about football.
What a world.