Once labelled a “specialist in failure” by Jose Mourinho, Wenger yesterday rebranded himself as a “specialist in masochism” – pointing to his years of “sacrifice” as Arsenal coach.
Judging by Wenger’s latest round of ludicrous comments, I can only conclude that he is not a specialist in masochism but a specialist in narcissism. On the subject of management, he remarked, "Basically you get 90 per-cent aggravation and 10 per-cent job satisfaction and you have to give everything in your life for that. I believe as well it allowed me to get to the next level as a human being, to develop my strengths in what makes a human being great as well.”
Next-level human? Seems strange coming from an (alleged) adulterer who physically manhandles match officials and other managers, and has been repeatedly banned by the FA and UEFA for verbal abuse.
The only thing that's next-level is Wenger’s narcissism. The man’s delusion knows no bounds: "To get the best out of people, that is absolutely fantastic. And of course you have disappointments, with people, with results. But it is as well a fantastic opportunity in life to go for what is really great in human beings, to get yourself to the next level always, to improve, to invent yourself, to push your limits further up and not to have an average life.”
How many players has Wenger improved in the last decade to justify that absurd claim? What is this mythical “next level” he keeps speaking of? Where’s the personal improvement - the reinvention? What limits has he surpassed recently?
These comments epitomise Wenger’s delusions of grandeur. A legend in his own mind, he is also a classic manipulative narcissist.
Author Shahida Arabi goes into some depth on what she calls the “malignant narcissist” in her book POWER: Surviving and Thriving After Narcissistic Abuse. The following extracts appear to be a frighteningly accurate portrayal of Wenger, and how Arsenal fans have become the victims of his personality disorder:
Projection: “One sure sign of toxicity is when a person is chronically unwilling to see his or her own shortcomings and uses everything in their power to avoid being held accountable for them. This is known as projection. Projection is a defense mechanism used to displace responsibility of one’s negative behavior and traits by attributing them to someone else. It ultimately acts as a digression that avoids ownership and accountability. Rather than acknowledge their own flaws, imperfections and wrongdoings, malignant narcissists prefer that their victims take responsibility for their behavior and feel ashamed of themselves. Narcissistic abusers love to play the “blameshifting game.” Objectives of the game: they win, you lose, and you or the world at large is blamed for everything that’s wrong with them.”
Blanket statements and generalizations: “Malignant narcissists aren’t always intellectual masterminds – many of them are intellectually lazy. Rather than taking the time to carefully consider a different perspective, they generalize anything and everything you say, making blanket statements that don’t acknowledge the nuances in your argument or take into account the multiple perspectives you’ve paid homage to. If you bring up to a narcissistic abuser that their behavior is unacceptable for example, they will often make blanket generalizations about your hypersensitivity or make a generalization such as, “You are never satisfied,” rather than addressing the real issues at hand.”
Changing the subject to evade accountability: "This type of tactic is what I like to call the “What about me?” syndrome. It is a literal digression from the actual topic that works to redirect attention to a different issue altogether. Narcissists don’t want you to be on the topic of holding them accountable for anything, so they will reroute discussions to benefit them."
Covert and overt threats: “Narcissistic abusers and otherwise toxic people feel very threatened when their excessive sense of entitlement, false sense of superiority and grandiose sense of self are challenged in any way. Rather than tackle disagreements or compromises maturely, they set out to divert you from your right to have your own identity and perspective by attempting to instil fear in you about the consequences of disagreeing or complying with their demands. To them, any challenge results in an ultimatum and “do this or I’ll do that” becomes their daily mantra.”
Condescending sarcasm and patronizing tone: “Sarcasm can be a fun mode of communication when both parties are engaged, but narcissists use it chronically as a way to manipulate you and degrade you. Forget that the toxic person constantly has temper tantrums every time their big bad ego is faced with realistic feedback – the victim is the hypersensitive one, apparently.”
In an attempt to end the living nightmare that any normal, sane and rational Arsenal fan is going through at present, the Online Gooner has organised an anti-Wenger protest. You can join them just after 6pm on 7th March 2017 outside Highbury’s old East Stand, from where they “intend to walk together to the Armoury at the new stadium and make the point, as loudly as possible, that Arsène Wenger should not be offered a new contract and that he should leave at the end of this season.”
I’ll be doing my best to attend this event.
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