Motivation, by A Wenger

Remember when one of Arsene’s motivational letters to his team was found in a hotel, discarded by a careless player? (Reported here in the Guardian.) I immediately wrote this which was printed in The Gooner issue 189. 

Around the same time, interim Newcastle manager Joe Kinnear lost it completely in a press conference – so I had a quick go at him as well. 

Got up at 6:30am to find the milkman once again had not left the right order and ignored as usual my specific request for the strawberry Petit Filous. I kick over the bottles in frustration and have to tell my wife that I didn’t see them. Then I leave the milkman a note: “We must focus on our communication. Be demanding with yourself. When you deliver to my home you must believe in your identity as a milkman and I know you will show the desire to succeed.” This will I am sure produce a positive result tomorrow.

It is international break, so I spend the day at home. After breakfast I play chess with my daughter. Before we start I give her a pep talk and a note that says: “You must display a positive attitude on and off the board. Be demanding with yourself. Be fresh and prepared to win. Have an unshakeable belief that the opposing pawns can be overcome.” This succeeds I think too well because I am forced to concede after only 15 moves.

Later my wife sends me to the shop for a loaf of bread and some replacement milk. I have prepared an inspiring note for the girl who works behind the counter: “Show the desire to win in all that you do. Have belief that you can achieve your target. Stay grounded and humble as a person and a corner shop assistant.” “Medium sliced, and three pints of semi-skimmed, Mr Wenger?” she replies, turning the paper over. “Yes, of course it is important always to come back with the three pints,” I say.

At 8:00pm we go out for dinner. I admire always in the past the way that the maître d’ and the head waiter focussed on the goal of seating me at my preferred table. However, the note I left last time instead of a tip does not seem to have helped: “Enjoy and contribute to all that is special about being in a team – don’t take it for granted. The team becomes stronger by displaying a positive attitude and everyone making the right decisions for the team.” Tonight for some reason we are seated in a corner between the kitchen door and the air conditioner.

10:30pm I go to bed. It is Saturday so I make love to my wife. As foreplay I have typed a letter to give her: “We must maintain excellent relationships within the marriage to allow a robustness to the team dynamic. Focus on the gratitude and vitally important benefits that this teamwork brings to our lives. We can maximise the opportunities that await a strong and united team. Always want more, always give more.” This has the desired effect and I have to remember my own advice to “Focus on being mentally stronger and always keep going until the end.” We sink into mutual exhaustion by 10:53.

Funnily enough, Joe Kinnear’s diary also came into my possession . . .   

I arrive home from my first Newcastle press conference and it’s fair to say I am not in the best of moods. “How did it go, love?” asks the wife. “You can f*** off, you’ve been f***ing against me from the start,” I say. “You’re just like the f***ing rest of them.” “Oh dear love, you haven’t been getting cross with the press, have you?” she says. “F***ing typical that a c*** like you would f***ing take their f***ing side!” I shout, f***ing losing my f***ing rag a-f***ing-gain. “Have you had your medication?” she inquires. “F*** off!” I shout.

In the evening the wife had organised a little drinks party to celebrate my appointment at Newcastle. First I f***ing knew about it was when a f***ing bunch of tw*ts arrived at me f***ing door! “Congratulations, Joe,” said my brother-in-law. “You’ve never f***ing like me have you, you f***er!” I said. “I’m f***ing fed f***ing up of f***ers like f***ing you! You f***ing f***er! What the f*** gives f***ing you the f***ing right to f***ing critif***ingcise! I’m f***ing f***ing f***ing f*** f***ing . . . lost for f***ing words!”

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