Why didn’t they ask Glen Hoddle? by Snowden
Hello Lord Jon. Thank you for your compliments and encouragement. We shared some thoughts on the Mohamed Elneny article in the Players from Africa Series. I said that I don’t read the articles about transfers and players Arsenal should or shouldn’t buy. It did cross my mind then that it is easy to be negative, but what about being positive and writing something?
The problem was what? I read the piece on Kroenke and his ownership of American clubs and I thought maybe I could write about my understanding of ‘the hands off approach’ of the Arsenal Boardroom.
About my love of Arsenal
I was born at the northern end of Tower Hamlets. A 10-minute walk from Hackney Wick. My dad had no interest in sport. My mates would get the 236 bus from Hackney Wick to Leyton and to Brisbane Road and we cheered on the O’s. In the old Division 3. I still do cheer on the O’s. All this is now a fog memory. One day I got the 236 going in the other direction and at Highbury added my name to that great book of ‘Arsenal, Proud To Say That Name’. Looking back I think I was more impressed by the stadium then I was with the actual football.
One football season I did manage to escape the club’s iron grip on me. However, it was back to normal at the start of the next season which saw me patrolling my the High St looking for a shop with a teletext and the result of the game up north somewhere. Life returned to normal.
I despaired when at a game at some of the comments made by fellow Gooners especially the negative comments. We don’t know why we see what we see, so how can we have an opinion? I learnt to think ‘Long Term’. Like all fans I have my opinions, but they are only opinions based on limited knowledge.
My liking for history naturally includes all matters Arsenal. Not just at Arsenal but anywhere that might have even thinnest link to Arsenal I am interested in it. I look for Arsenal connections. Here’s probably my best find.
The date is 16 May 1987. The Cup Final day. Coventry v THFC (For the benefit of the unenlightened.) The Horrible Football Club. They lost. Hooray! Something was to happen after the game that for me didn’t make sense.
At the time there was no internet. In the English media it was hard to find news of Europe never mind football in the second grade football land of France.
In the quiet no football, cricket season, trailing his FA Cup losers medal THFC’s most skilful and loved player Glen Hoddle slinked off to France! And to play for Club de football Monaco! I knew Monaco had a Prince but a football club!
To my little brain this didn’t make sense and I was determined to find out why it made sense to Glen Hoddle.
So it was I came to know the name Arsene Wenger, King of Monaco FC and whether he knew it or not, for having nicked Glen Hoddle from THFC already an Arsenal fan as far as this Arsenal fan was concerned.
Fast forward. Bruce Rioch was shown the door marked ‘do one’ as they say and the Arsenal board with one exception (DD) were sleep walking again.
Then suddenly (as with all rumours) the media was full of ‘three candidates for the new manager of Arsenal and I saw the name Arsène Wenger.
The message of the stadium at Arsène Wenger last game was ‘Merci Arsene.’ And rightly so. I think that somewhere in that emotional-filled afternoon there should have been a word of appreciation to Glen Hoddle, for it was Glen Hoddle who knew Arsene Wenger first.
In answer to the media’s question ‘Arsène who?’ Glen knew and thanks to him – so do we.