It’s a question that’s been brought up in the past on numerous occasions, usually by angry, or jealous, rivals looking for something to use against the London club.
But Arsene Wenger has been banging on about it himself lately. It first came up a little while ago, leading to a rather heated discussion of the merits and definition of “English values” and now we’re seeing more quotes via Tribal Football (which isn’t the most reliable site, but the quotes merely elaborate on what Arsene has already said),
“At first I was regarded as an intruder in the British world of football.”
“Now I send out teams without an Englishman in them. In the Premiership nowadays the coaches are foreign, the owners are foreign.”
“However the great miracle, I feel, is we have succeeded in keeping Arsenal as a club with wholly English values.”
“Those foreign players who come here have to adjust to Arsenal and its Englishness, not the other way around.”
Arsene’s main point seems to be that the players and coaches don’t maintain a club’s “English values”, but the owners. But what does that really mean? He says foreign signings have to adjust to Arsenal and its Englishness, not the other way around, but in what sense?
They have to speak English? That’s debatable.
They have to play football the English way? Nope, doesn’t seem right either without the long balls.
This isn’t a dig at Arsene or his club. Just like with Rooney and diving, this wouldn’t even be a topic of conversation had Wenger not brought it up. Nor is it a statement that a club needs to be English or that Arsenal are at fault for playing foreigners. We’re simply pointing out that as long as Arsene hasn’t clarified his definition of “English values” to allow us to decide whether Arsenal truly have them or not, all we have to go by are our own observations of the London club and to be honest we’re just struggling a little bit to get on the same page. What then are “Italian values”, “Spanish values”? Do Manchester United demonstrate “American values”?
So if anyone has any insight or ideas as to what Arsene sees as “English values” at Arsenal – other than the owner’s passport – let us know.