‘Brainwashed’ Arsene Wenger ‘making most stupid statements’ at World Cup says Norway boss

Date published: Thursday 15th December 2022 9:23 - Will Ford

Arsene Wenger at the 2022 World Cup draw

Arsene Wenger has made some daft comments since becoming FIFA’s head of¬†global football development in 2019 and Norway manager Stale Solbakken believes “the smartest man in the world” has been “brainwashed”.

Wenger was given the nickname Le Professeur during his time as Arsenal manager and was widely regarded as one of football’s great thinkers.

But Solbakken reckons he is now “making the most stupid statements” in his role for the global governing body.

Speaking to Norwegian channel TV 2, Solbakken said: “It shudders to see that the smartest man in the world, Arsene Wenger, who has been looked up to over the years, has somehow been brainwashed and is now making the most stupid statements.

“It’s scary with all the people we’ve looked up to in the football world for years.

“There’s a polarisation going on right now, and I’m afraid it’s going to get worse.”

Wenger is (or was) in favour of a World Cup every two years, for which he has been criticised, and also took a dig at Germany and Denmark in the group stage of the World Cup, who were outspoken beforehand about human rights issues in Qatar,

“You know when you go to a World Cup, you know you can’t lose the first game,” Wenger said. “The teams who have the experience to perform in tournaments like France and England played well in the first game.”

“The teams who were mentally ready, with a mindset to focus on competition, and not the political demonstrations.”

Denmark ended up bottom of Group D having scored just one goal and Germany failed to qualify for the knockout stages having suffered a shock 2-1 defeat to Japan.

Norway, who didn’t qualify for the World Cup, have been among the most outspoken nations against the tournament in Qatar.

Solbakken has previously claimed football did not to enough to prevent the tournament being played in Qatar amid migrant worker deaths and human rights issues.

The Norwegian players also wore protest T-shirts ahead of one of their qualifying games earlier this year.

READ MORE: France sub completes set as every squad number scores a World Cup goal in Qatar

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