Sunday, 19 February 2017

The key question for Arsenal: what happens to Wenger's duvet coat?

In all the articles on the Wenger succession at Arsenal one crucial question has been missed. What happens to Arsene Wenger’s duvet coat? You know the coat, the padded winter number that Arsene has terrible trouble zipping up, the one that stretches down to his calves. As someone once quipped, he resembles a particularly well-insulated boiler. Arsene looks eminently capable of spending a night alone in the French Alps with just his coat as a bivvy-bag.

If the duvet coat is to go to Arsene's successor then he has to be a very tall gaffer indeed, a man in the Jurgen Klopp or Peter Crouch mould. The coat would simply envelop diminutive bosses like Antonio Conte so the Gunners’ board should immediately being a height requirement into their planning. They can probably rule out Big Sam on the grounds of busted seams.

Other clubs have made similar mistakes. Part of the problem with the botched departure of Alex Ferguson from Manchester United was that David Moyes was not handed Fergie’s black Crombie, worn in his latter-days over a black zipped-up polo-neck, the one that made him look like an elderly Glaswegian bouncer as he squared up to Roberto Mancini.

Wenger’s duvet coat has proved so vital to Arsenal in winning the Wenger Cup (fourth place) over the last decade that it might even be given its own role after his retirement. Perhaps with advances in technology, some sort of Wenger-bot could be created to fit the duvet coat. It could sleep at the training ground and appear in the directors' box, occasionally kicking a water bottle and telling journalists that in England we are always one game away from a crisis. As indeed are Arsenal, unless they identify a plan for the duvet coat.

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