Is Madrid the Real Deal for Arséne?

Today’s headlines have Arséne Wenger talking tantalisingly about Real Madrid as moving to the Bernabeu was actually not that reprehensible after all.

That’s the same Real Madrid that get rid of managers roughly every 18 months and often a lot sooner than that.

The same club where coming second in what is essentially a two-team championship (Valenica, Sevilla, Athletico and Villareal are hardly in the same league as the top four sides in England) is seen as a disaster.

Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis said something very pertinent the other day when he met the AST, something that I’d forgotten over the last few years.

One of the great aspects of our manager is that, come what may, he refuses to criticise his players in public.

Yes, Emmanuel Eboue was once brought up for diving, and the world’s greatest player, AKA Nic Bendtner was told off for being out late and not being drunk with his trousers down recently.

That’s why, in case any of you are in any doubt, Wenger allows himself to be mocked for not seeing so many controversial incidents.

But his comments on Friday about the abuse he has had this season suggested that even Arséne Wenger does not have a skin of reptilian thickness.

For those of you who didn’t see them, Wenger said: “You sit here, you are in the last four in Europe, and every day you feel you have killed someone. It is unbelievable. If you do not take a distance with it, you think: 'What kind of world do we live in?'”

Some who claim Wenger moans too much may suggest he should be quiet and just get on with it – when you play with the big boys, you’re going to get shot at every so often.

Of course, we all have things we think Wenger has done wrong this season, be it team selections or recruitments, unaware of what goes on behind the scenes because of Arsenal’s excellent privacy policy.

But those of you who have suggested he should leave after four whole years without a trophy (just two finals and a few semi finals and qualifying for the Champions League every season) need to wake up and smell the coffee.

And the manager’s comments this reason are a little reminder that even Arséne Wenger is not to be taken for granted.

It may also be a reminder to the board that, if the Mail on Sunday's figure of just £13m for transfers this summer is true, Wenger wants more money and is fed up of taking the flack for the constraints the club have put him under.

Remember, Wenger has never broken a contract in his life, has refused offers from Real, Bayern Munich and probably a number of others where he would have huge transfer budgets to play with.

But why would Wenger want to leave Arsenal, where he has more control than any other manager at any other club in the world – including RedNose Fergie – despite the responsibilities Gazidis will take from him over the next few months.

Wenger has accused Real of lacking class in the past, he knows no manager has a long shelf life at Real and he has unfinished business at Arsenal in the next couple of seasons.

But I suspect he couldn't resist reminding the club and the fans, however enigmatically, that he needs some love as well.