When Wenger attempted to point out that a second rate, no good club like Villa would no longer be able to lift a European trophy like in the good old days™ a shareholder piped up with a sick burn.
“At least they won it,” the unknown yet certain to have been side eyed and smirking swirling- a-snifter-of-brandy modern day patrician likely murmured, the nearest assembled silently chuckling to their neighbors.
(As a brief aside: how awful and toxic of an organizational structure is this? I’m not sure how things *should work* in these arrangements so I can’t claim to be offering necessarily constructive criticism, but allowing your manager of 21 years to go out and get dragged by entitled “shareholders” eager to throw his career failures back in his face in sarcastic and unrelated interruptions only to then veto their suggestion to shit-can your son by way of your 97 per cent vote has to be one of the worst ways, right? Who wins here? Certainly not the “shareholders” with their input purely acceptable only for spectacle. Certainly not the scapegoat Wenger who, aside from his tenure with the club, as an employee and a person, just deserves better than this. And certainly not the owner’s son who has to deal with the pall of the vote and being saved by pops’ “I’m the boss here” lifeline. We just can’t keep dealing with the phrase “My father will hear of this.” We just can’t. Maybe this is a wound too fresh for my broken American spirit.)
To the search engine optimization-ed crowd who might come this way through tags like Arsène Wenger, Arsenal and Kroenke (and for my ability to get my own haughty jokes in) I’d like to point out a few things:
1. It is more likely that Aston Villa win their competition this year than Arsenal. Currently I’m finding Gunner odds to win the Prem at 33/1 and Villa’s at 14/1 and that seems accurate for the early going of both leagues. So if we’re twice as likely to win our league, and we do, that would be a good way for this club to show that we’re not second rate, that we belong in that top flight not just in England but in Europe, and that the last few years have been a blip in our history.
2. That said, the recent history has been awful and if we as Villa fans are reveling in a bitter Arsenal fan lording a 35 year old victory over a legendary manager who may be on his way out of an increasingly discouraging and maybe toxic situation, that says a lot about us and I’m in that boat, too. I had a “get our name out your mouth” moment when I heard what Wenger said at first, but that’s bitterness on my part and we need to start seeing our own club perform. Our dad’s generation can have their memory and we need to see our own.
3. Finally, if Arsène or anyone else needs reminded, we’ve already won a European trophy this season regarded for both its prestige as well as its mass.