Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is a man of many qualities. His steely disposition notwithstanding, the Frenchman who earned the nickname Le Professeur for his encyclopedic understanding of football is also a great interview, capable of spewing nuggets of wisdom and bouts of insanity, sometimes all at once.
Recently, Wenger was interviewed by the Guardian regarding Arsenal’s rather listless involvement in the always feverish and cantankerous transfer campaign season in football. True to his nature, Wenger was non-plussed by his side’s quiet off-season, opting to throw the “be-patient-we’re-working-on-something” card to assure the Arsenal faithful at Ashburton Grove.
“You have to understand that there is still a long way to go,” Wenger told the Guardian in his usual non-plussed baritone. “The transfer market starts for me now and a lot of activity will happen between now and 2 September. It starts now. It is like a poker game. People hold their cards as long as possible and see what is happening out there. In the end, they go for decisions.”
Notice that Wenger compared the transfer season to poker, a comparison that actually makes a lot of sense considering the unpredictable nature of the transfer market, especially with the deadline drawing closer and closer.
You can look no further than the saga involving Tottenham superstar Gareth Bale’s long-rumored – and record-breaking – transfer to Real Madrid. Everybody and their momma knows that Bale is headed to La Liga; it’s just a matter of how much Tottenham can squeeze out of Madrid (the current figure is at 86 million euros) before it sends its best player packing.
So yeah, Wenger, made a very valid point comparing the transfer market to poker. But in true Arsene fashion, he followed that pearl of a quote with a retort that ought to leave Gunners fans scratching their heads.
When asked if he was any good at poker, Wenger was candid in his reply.
Good luck with the season, Arsenal fans.