FOR fear of inflicting even further damage on Arsene Wenger’s bruised ego, there really is only one talking point in British sport this week.
No, not Sogelau Tuvalu’s sloth-like effort in the 100m heats at Daegu.
But Manchester United’s eight-goal demolition of Arsenal in their Premier League meeting at Old Trafford.
A contest which, for those of us with no particular loyalties towards either team, made for compulsive viewing.
But, if you happened to hail from the red and white half of North London, it should really have carried an X certificate or at least been postponed until after the watershed.
Events on Sunday afternoon not only revealed that, irrespective of how much their rivals from across the city spend, Sir Alex Ferguson’s side once again look like the team to beat this season but also much about how those working within the business are perceived.
Radio phone-in shows were predictably swamped with calls from irate Gooners calling for the Frenchman to be sacked after presiding not only over this embarrassing debacle but six trophyless years as well.
A tad harsh when you consider Wenger’s achievements since arriving in the capital include the small matter of three titles and four FA Cups.
But, as even Fergie felt compelled to point out, nowadays you are only as good as your last result.
“It is quite a cynical world,” he said. “Supporters are far less easy to please than they were 20 years ago.”
That, in case you are in any doubt, was not supposed to be a compliment.
The Scot (don’t you just wish the Beeb had requested Mike Phelan for their post-match interview?) is living proof that football is not an exact science having waited nearly four before delivering his first piece of English silverware.
Not to mention that, for all their power and influence, managers are still employees of their respective clubs.
Something those expecting Fergie to stand shoulder to shoulder with the anti-Glazer brigade fail to grasp.
Although, it must be pointedout, he continues to suggest the Americans are, despite what others might claim, are a force for good in M16.
Wenger loyalists do their subject of their affections a great disservice by asking: “Who else would do the job?”
When that is the only argument for retaining a manager’s services it probably is time to move on.
And, in any case, it is possible to compile a much more compelling case than that.