A valiant attempt to not do a press interview

Barry Glendenning
The Guardian
<span class="element-image__caption">Tight-lipped: Arsène Wenger is saying nothing about his future.</span> <span class="element-image__credit">Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA</span>
Tight-lipped: Arsène Wenger is saying nothing about his future. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA


When the ladies and gentlemen of the Fourth Estate convened to fire interrogatory projectiles Arsène Wenger’s way this morning, it’s a fair bet none of them were expecting him to make an announcement on his Arsenal future. Nevertheless, just a day after the confirmation of one irreversible high-profile and potentially disastrous exit that has long divided opinion, it would have been a dereliction of journalistic duty not to enquire if there was any news of another on the way. And so it came to pass that Arsenal’s manager was peppered with questions about whether or not he’ll be staying at the club once his contract expires this summer, most of which he batted away by saying that while he’s “clear” on what he wants to do, he is not yet ready to reveal his plans.

So far, so meh and just another day in the meandering soap opera of life at the Arsenal … until Sky Sports News got wind of the sensational story that Something Nobody Expected To Happen Hadn’t Happened and began to trumpet it as “BREAKING NEWS”. Now while the Fiver appreciates we’re in the tail end of an international break, a time when decent football tittle-tattle is notoriously thin on the ground, we can’t help but feel that of all the Arsenal-related unexpected things not to happen they could have seized upon, Wenger saying he would not be making an announcement about his future was almost certainly the most boring, not least when they could have reported the “BREAKING NEWS” that the statues of Dennis Bergkamp, Tony Adams and Thierry Henry outside the Emirates had sensationally not come to life and subsequently not been seen jumping the turnstile at Holloway Road station before not boarding a Piccadilly Line tube.

On what has turned out to be a particularly busy day of not much going on at Arsenal, Sky Sports News subsequently doorstepped Sir Chips Keswick outside a hotel to enquire about Wenger’s future, only to be exclusively told by the Arsenal chairman: “I never do press interviews and I’m not about to start now.” In his subsequent valiant attempt to not do a press interview, Sir Chips did exclusively concede that “football is a very uncertain game”, admitted Arsenal’s season had “started well but it’s become rather disappointing” and refused to state whether Wenger is the right man for the job by refusing to state whether Wenger is the right man for the job. Where once no news was considered good news, who better than occasionally Sky to elevate it to the status of exclusive and breaking news?


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<span class="element-image__caption">Neymar and Barça sitting in a tree. S. I. G. N. I. N. G.</span> <span class="element-image__credit">Photograph: David Ramos/Getty Images</span>
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