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Never Play Poker With Arsene Wenger


Arsene Wenger is renowned for saying a lot in press conferences without telling the world’s media a thing. He is the master at diverting focus by telling the odd porky for the benefit of Arsenal Football Club and it has been said many a time before that Le Boss would make an astute Poker player. Now, thanks to his trust in youth and integration of German efficiency, Wenger perhaps has his safest hand since The Invincibles.

The Flop: Perfecting the Poker Face

Over the years Wenger has had to perfect his poker face – like any other poker player – to play down transfer rumours or support under fire players. Often times, players overlook this facet, especially when playing in poker tournaments. However, online gaming giant, PartyPoker describes this aspect of poker as an integral part of the game that a player needs to master when playing live events. Now though, this charade does not have to come out everytime, the Arsenal manager is regularly put on the spotlight; thanks largely to his German recruits.

The Turn: Proper Pairing

Last September, Arsenal drew a huge card on the transfer window, after the blockbuster deal to acquire Mesut Özil was pushed through. For Germans, seeing one of their most beloved players hit the pitch and reunite with fellow national teammates, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski, is the closest thing to forming a royal flush on the river.

In an interview with Deutscher Fussball-Bund, Podolski boldly claimed that Özil is a “perfect fit” for the North London-based club. He added: “I’ve known Mesut Özil for a long time now, I love to play with him and I think he loves to play with me. We complement each other quite well.” With the season past the halfway mark, the German Gunners have so far proved to be a match made in football heaven, as they – in their own special way – boost the club’s chances in claiming their first silverware for eight years.

Gooners have been waiting long enough for another title run, and with Arsenal leading the Premier League table, now, as the cards lie on the table, the pressure shifts – as it has always been – to Wenger.

The River: Delayed Gratification

With the way things are going, it seems like Wenger has been playing his cards right. However, with a dynamic and promising season full of surprises, Wenger has to consistently pull out all the stops to continue the Gunners’ early success. So far this season he has shown a tactical shrewdness that many naysayers used to beat him over the head with.

Can Arsenal continue to surprise, or will they fall away as they have done on more than one occasion since last being crowned Champions? The signing of Özil sent a clear message to the rest of Europe: Arsenal are flush with cash and are happy to spend it, but will that bring success and win them the game when the stakes are high? Time will tell and as the transfer window closes, we will learn more. One thing is certain, we will certainly see Wenger’s Poker face before seasons end.