Why Arsene Wenger Would Get the Best out of Luis Suarez
Wenger is the studious professor, all intellect and astute analysis. Suarez is a footballer who plays on instinct, intuition and aggression.
However, according to John Cross of The Mirror, Arsenal are preparing to smash their transfer record with a £40 million move for the Uruguayan striker. Cross suggests that "Wenger has identified Suarez as his No.1 target and Arsenal are determined to show they mean business by testing Liverpool’s resolve and their transfer clause."
It’s a move that is bound to divide the Arsenal fans.
Some supporters would be delighted to see a player of Suarez’s undoubted calibre arrive. Others would be concerned about blowing much of the club’s vaunted transfer war chest on a player dogged by controversy and with a stated intention to leave English football in the near future.
However, if there’s one manager in the Premier League who can tame Suarez, it’s Arse Wenger.
Should Arsenal sign Luis Suarez?
In the wake of Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, Wenger stands alone as the most experienced and esteemed of all Premier League managers. His achievements have earned the respect of all professional players, Suarez included.
Wenger has helped reform controversial characters in the past. He oversaw the transition of Tony Adams from addict to archetypal Arsenal hero. He also brought the best out of Dennis Bergkamp and Patrick Vieira, players who shared Suarez’s tendency for explosions of violent temper.
None of these players offended on the same scale as Suarez, but by including them in his team, Wenger showed his willingness to embrace the darker arts to bring victory to his team.
Wenger is also notorious for his staunch defence of his players. He frequently claims to have missed controversial incidents, declining to comment on his players' indiscretions. Such a rigid public relations policy could help protect Suarez from a media onslaught in the wake of any further controversies.
While the Frenchman could prove a mentor to Suarez off the field, Suarez and Wenger’s closest understanding will surely be on the training ground and football pitch.
The pair share a belief in attacking, enterprising football. Last season, Arsenal played with a traditional target man in Olivier Giroud. Suarez fits the mould of a more typical Wenger forward: quick, mobile and versatile.
Suarez’s intelligent movement and willingness to drop in to wide positions is reminiscent of the great Thierry Henry. While Suarez’s finishing currently lacks Henry’s clinical edge, it’s worth remembering that Henry arrived at Arsenal as a gangly winger. It was Wenger who produced an act of football alchemy, transforming him into a masterful goalscorer.
Wenger and Suarez would be football’s odd couple. However, that’s not to say they wouldn’t be a success. If the wily old Frenchman is pursuing the Liverpool forward, it’s because he believes he can coax the best out of him and, in turn, push Arsenal toward glory.
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