What we learned this week: The Wenger-for-President campaign is in full swing

The economy is set to be a divisive issue among Arsenal voters but an appealing choice of running mate could boost the Frenchman's chances while Real Madrid need your help
By George Ankers

The Wenger/Bould '12 campaign is under way

It's election season in The Greatest Country In The World – so, not to be outdone, The Greatest Bank Balance In World Football are getting in on the act themselves as the campaign to re-elect Arsene Wenger gets into full swing.

The 16-term Commander-in-Chief of the Gunners looks like the favourite to secure his party's nomination once again but faces a tough challenge from the opposition candidate, Anyone Else, who is championed by a sizeable portion of the voting public.

Wenger, who was backed by Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis on Thursday, is expected to run on a familiar platform that emphasises his best-known strengths; he's tough on the economy with vast experience but has a progressive youth employment policy and scores high in the polls for "core values".

The opposition, however, who utilise guerrilla marketing tactics to promote the anti-establishment slogan "#wengerout", feel that they have legitimate grounds to finally topple the long-serving head of state.

What Man Utd learned this week...
Buy Robin van Persie. Watch him outstrip Wayne Rooney early on. Actually gloat about Rooney's injury as a chance to learn humility while the Dutchman excels. Van Persie then gets injured on international duty. Again. Manchester United need to learn to read the fine print; their purchase was marked 'fragile' and now so is their front line.
"He may be careful with the economy but Wenger's record in trade deals with neighbouring nations raises a lot of questions," concerned voter Dee Luded, from Finsbury Park, told WWLTW. "Our place in the world hierarchy has declined noticeably under his administration."

Wenger himself has played down suggestions that he will run for yet another term but couldn't help slipping in the bumper-sticker-friendly soundbite: "I am an Arsenal man." Political commentators suggest that his reticence is merely an attempt to freshen up the appeal of an uncontroversial candidate - or "mind games", as it is known in the corridors of power.

Depending on how the Premier League primaries pan out, it's not yet clear how close a race it will be between Wenger and Anyone Else. However, in picking Steve Bould, who will appeal to the party’s base, as his running mate, the Frenchman has made himself the bookies' favourite.


Photo of the week

"But we're third in the world! How was this even possible?"

Real Madrid need your help: The WWLTW Appeal

There was some harrowing news from Spain this week when Goal.com learned that Real Madrid would be willing to sell Cristiano Ronaldo for a mere £160 million [€200m] if his unendingly vague "unhappiness" situation at the club cannot be resolved.

That might seem like a lot of money but, with the Portuguese perma-pouter's release clause set four times larger, it would actually be a worrying sign of poverty at the Spanish giants.

With the possibility very real that a prized asset could be let go for such piddling small change, WWLTW implores to you, dear reader, to step in and do your bit.

This column, being a good samaritan, is launching the WWLTW Appeal. To help put this clearly fragile club into a stable-enough state to be able to get rid of Ronaldo for a minimum acceptable £800m, it will be searching for footballing treasures to sell at auction for a useful profit.

What we will learn this weekend...
Some (the Football Association) will be learning it for the first time, others (literally everyone else) will be learning it all over again. The inevitable fiasco when QPR and Chelsea line up to shake hands will be proof, if further proof were needed, that pre-match niceties are a very silly idea. The FA may well adopt Anton Ferdinand's lead in opting for a pre-match punch-up instead - winning team kicks off 1-0 up!
With our fundraising target £800m and our earnings so far just £0, the first piece that WWLTW is flogging for justice is this vintage pair of Stewart Downing Shooting Boots. They're brand new, never been used. We'll call it £45, yeah?

One week in, then, we're only £799,999,955 away from our target. Any donations that you can make to spare the dignity of this once-proud mega-rich enormoclub would be greatly appreciated. Please help.

England's new generation has failed

Well, so much for that. WWLTW can only apologise for previously calling for Roy Hodgson to reinvigorate a tired, complacent England team with young blood.

This column has long been an advocate of jettisoning the deadwood and picking a team of new players who are more likely to be involved and effective in World Cup 2014 but now accepts that this was totally wrong.

After Tom Cleverley's horrendous miss from close range it was obvious that a 1-1 home draw with serial tournament qualifiers and generally handy side Ukraine is too much of a short-term loss to take. The future is now but the past is nower.

This new generation is clearly completely incapable – witness the game-changing Danny Welbeck's poor finish from six yards – and Hodgson has no choice but to drop the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, too, who is guilty by association.

If Peter Crouch, Michael Owen, David Beckham, Sol Campbell and Bobby Charlton are not all in the Three Lions’ next squad, WWLTW will call for a riot. Quite simply, there's no time for patience when your next game is San Marino at home.

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