I want to be very clear, I will not be talking about Kendall Jenner or all that drama about the significance of the commercial. I’m just talking about this peculiar little detail, cool? Bet.
So ‘Wenger Out’, what does that mean?
Arsene Wenger, the ‘Wenger’ in question, is the legendary manager of Arsenal, one of England’s biggest sports teams. In his 20+ years there, he had world-class soccer stars at the tops of their game, a bunch of trophies including 3 Premier League championships, and he managed a team that went undefeated…in SOCCER. 38 matches straight, the first such run in England’s history. Mind you, the Premier League is to international soccer as the NBA is to international basketball: the best. La Liga has an argument, Serie A has some big clubs, but winning a league title in England has always meant something more.
Anyway, much of Wenger’s success occurred in the first 10 years of his time at Arsenal. The only way to follow up an undefeated domestic season is to win a big international trophy. As England’s top dogs following the 2003-04 season, Arsenal was expected to accomplish something in the Champions League, a tournament of the best club teams across Europe.
Long story short, they haven’t done shit in the Champions League, and they haven’t won a Premier League title since that fabulous undefeated season 13 years ago. Wenger’s impact is undeniable, but his lack of recent results is just as apparent. Though he isn’t everything wrong with Arsenal, fans are desperate for change. Removing Wenger would be a symbolic and operational fresh start to many fans.
Though many are respectful about their wishes for Wenger to leave, some fans of the Gunners are livid about their club’s recent performances and directing all of that frustration at Wenger, making his hot seat hotter.
A comparable American sports story would be Kobe’s stubborn exit from the Los Angeles Lakers. The old guard, as mighty as it was, just had to go. However, the Lakers’ woes and Kobe’s departure didn’t inspire as many different parts of the globe to erupt. Protests calling for Wenger’s removal have erupted as far north as Vancouver and as far south as parts of New Zealand, with dozens of international cities in between including fucking WRESTLEMANIA in Orlando.
A ‘Wenger out’ sign at #Wrestlemania – Credit to Arsene, in his worst Arsenal season he’s become a global phenomenon pic.twitter.com/wpre01mNgg
— Alex Richards (@AA_Richards) April 2, 2017
I don’t know if the spread of this catastrophe is more amazing or hilarious, but the weight English football has on the world is crazy.
I don’t know if Wenger’s story is so big internationally that American media finally acknowledged it, or if the makers of this ad were more globally aware than most Americans. Actually, I can’t assume the makers of this ad were Americans. Maybe that would explain why it missed the mark so badly. But the fact that this seemingly unrelated story made it into a commercial about global peace and social justice is a good laugh at poor Arsenal fans, and a silver lining in an otherwise ugly moment in pop culture.
Football, the non-American kind, is on the rise in the States. Peep game and look out.