With all the goodbyes on Sunday, one slipped under the radar. John Nicholson says we won't miss Michael Owen because, for the last few years anyway, he hasn't really been here...
Being sniffy about the Europa League is ridiculous. All football is inherently pointless and this competition is no more pointless than any other. Well done Rafa and Chelsea...
Should Arsenal get rid of Arsene Wenger?
Of course they should.
There are any number of football reasons to get rid of the man in the long silly coat; buying Gervinho for nearly £11m alone should certainly be a sacking offence, as should populating the club with players who seem to suffer from some sort of bi-polar football disorder - one game very high and the next very, very low.
Spending over £100m in 18 months and actually getting worse would also normally be a sacking offence, as would be receiving over £7.5m in wages to preside over the whole mediocre affair, especially whilst demanding the fans pay more and more money to watch a greater degree of mediocrity. When you see it laid out like that, it's incredible and senseless that he's still employed.
So, all these are good, logical reasons to get rid. We know that longevity of management does not deliver more trophies in the modern era despite all the propaganda pushed by the managers and reflexive supporters who always 'need more time'. Manchester United is just the purple-nosed exception that proves the rule. In fact, Arsenal are doing a good job in proving that having a man in the job for too long is destructive. The club atrophies and becomes stuck in the past, forever trying to twist itself into an old familiar shape with ever-decreasing success.
Even the idea that battling for the phoney trophy of fourth place is now the peak of their ambition lost all meaning with the dawn of a new even-more-ludicrously-cash-rich TV deal on the horizon. The paltry few million you get from the seven or eight games Arsenal play each season before being knocked out is as nothing to the riches this new TV deal brings. So Arsenal don't even need the Champions League for the money anymore - they'd only spend it on another Gervinho anyway - and apparently they can't be bothered to compete properly for the cups either. It's like they're trying to cut their own throat with a blunt knife. Obviously, in an existential sense, nothing matters, so perhaps Wenger is intent on proving this with his football team in some sort of homage to Albert Camus.
Three or four years is plenty of time for a manager to improve the club or win something and then please feel free to sod off with a giant golden goodbye. No need to hang around stinking the place up. 17 years is taking the pish. This is partly for football reasons but more importantly because frankly everyone gets bored of seeing the same man saying the same old tut every week. Football at the top level is a soap opera of fun. It's not real life, it's not important, it's an insane world. It's not serious sport any more, so much so that if you re-watch Sky's old Dream Team programme it now looks like a documentary. Art isn't imitating life anymore; instead, life has lived up to art.
This is the league's selling point in the 21st century, so with that in mind, being boring is the very worst thing you can become as a high-profile manager and currently the only interesting thing about Wenger is his ludicrous, malfunctioning coat. Seeing him struggling with its zip every game, looking down, puzzled at the two-metre long construct of metal and fabric, seems emblematic of his tenure, as though he too is so bored by events that only the zip now holds his interest. On top of this, he looks miserable most of the time, in actual physical pain on occasions. This is harshing all our buzz.
He's been there so long now that even the parody Twitter accounts can no longer parody him effectively because he does that himself so effortlessly. Everything he says he has said before. Everything response has been heard before. Everyone knows what he'll say before he even says it. It's all utterly worn out and he looks worn out by it. You can be bad or you can be good but worse than either is to be boring.
To think that those voting in next year's elections will have been born the year he took over is a wearying thought to all of us who are over 30 and surely no-one, not even his biggest fans, want to see him droning on and on any more do they? It's torture for him and for us and anyway, I'm still convinced George Graham was a better and more revolutionary Arsenal manager.
You can follow Johnny on Twitter at https://twitter.com/JohnnyTheNic
@varicoseregent who mentioned anything about Fergie? No doubt he's one of the best managers of all time. You're flying off on a Man United tangent. Yes, we all know Cole and Henry won the Champions League elsewhere. Again, not my point. Maybe you should read my reply and process it before you reply next time.- kireca