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A book worth adding to your Arsenal library
on 7 November 2012
Another sub-title for this book could be "The Alternative to Financial Doping" because this is essentially the essence of the Wenger Code: good management, financial prudence, nurturing young talent, excellent training and fitness, strict diets and state-of-the-art medical facilities.
In the early years of his Arsenal career the Wenger Code brought Arsene Wenger almost instant success because his ideas and methods were years ahead of his counterparts in English football. Alas the other teams quickly copied Wenger's methods and some leap-frogged Arsenal with the arrival of sugar-daddy owners from Russia, America and the Middle East.
Wenger and Arsenal are constantly reminded that they haven't won any silverware for seven seasons but the playing field is not even at the top of the Premier League and Arsenal and the Wenger Code are struggling to compete with the financially doped clubs that don't need to balance their books.
As an Arsenal fan I knew all of the above before I bought this book but I wanted to hear an alternative view on where Arsenal have been recently and where they are headed. Richard Evans does a good job of answering these points and looks at Arsenal's recent failings in some detail.
Any fan that has followed Arsenal over the last couple of seasons will be aware of how close they came to success and seeing it analysed in print doesn't make it any less painful. However it does help to have the reasons for these failing explained, especially when bad luck and dodgy refereeing play a major part in the plot.
Evans is clearly pro-Wenger but not blind to Arsene faults. He believes, like Wenger, that Arsenal are very close to success. We may find that hard to see after some of their recent performances but there's still a long way to go this season before we'll know if the Wenger Code can triumph again.
This is a good read for Arsenal fans but also for those with a passing interest in the game (Spurs fans, for example!).