It’s all flown a bit under the radar in amongst all the ‘ALEXIS SANCHEZ!!! IS STAYING AT ARSENAL!!! ATOM AND HUMBER ARE SIGNING HIS FIVE SEASON EXTENSION THEMSELVES!!!’ kerfuffle, but Arsene Wenger has dipped into politics. A bit.
Giving some cagey-but-not-really-that-cagey comments this week on the French presidential election, Wenger posited that centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron ‘does not look to have football vibes in him.’
So…obviously, that begged the question. Who does? Who doesn’t? Who transcends football to a greater plain?
9. Emmanuel Macron (France)
Let’s start, then, from the start. The man who Arsene Wenger said “does not look to have football vibes in him.”
…Yeah, that’s actually pretty hard to argue with. The man looks about as sporting as a piece of office furniture. But like, office furniture that has the raised eyebrow and wink of a sex pest.
Football vibe: 1/10. The Middlesbrough of Football Vibe levels
8. Marine Le Pen (France)
There’s something about Marine Le Pen, isn’t there? Not the rampant, populist fascism or the implicit support of her virulent far-right ideology from the vast majority of the even faintly right-leaning media outlets around Europe.
No, it’s the hair constantly tucked behind the ears. That’s very much a French footballer thing, isn’t it? Christophe Dugarry, Philippe Mexes, Emmanuel Petit…
Those players, of course, were all classy presences on the field. That’s probably where the similarity ends.
Football vibe: 5/10. Sunderland levels – kind of popular despite being relentlessly despicable.
7. Angela Merkel (Germany)
German people have the football vibe. All of them. Every single one. Even the goths in Berlin sex clubs always give the faint impression they could – if they really wanted to – imagine that a football was your dangling knackers and bang one into the top corner from 25 yards out, on the angle.
Angela Merkel isn’t a goth (probably) and hasn’t been spotted in any Berlin sex clubs (to my knowledge), but she’s got that steel in her that gives the impression of someone who’d get quietly asked not to frequent the director’s box at the Emirates because she was shouting too much.
Football vibe: 8/10. Fierce.
6. Jeremy Corbyn (UK)
Jeremy Corbyn is Arsene Wenger. He’s Arsene Wenger but English. Arsene Wenger but beardy. Arsene Wenger, but actually has the support of the majority of the people in his sector of north London.
There is no way – absolutely no way – that Big JC (not that one) doesn’t watch ArsenalFanTV at least once a week. As a fellow wearer of seriously questionable tracksuits, it’s even odds that 90min’s own Troopz is his favourite.
Bet he hates Kroenke and Gazidis, too. Mr Corbyn gets it.
Football vibe: 9/10. On the terraces.
5. Theresa May (UK)
Theresa May does not understand football. She doesn’t acknowledge the concept – not through ignorance, not through lack of empathy with the football-going working classes, but because she’s a corpse being Weekend At Bernie’s’d through a chaotic term in government by…who?
It can’t be Boris Johnson, he wouldn’t have been able to resist jumping out and shouting manufactured nonsense within the first day of the venture. Michael Gove, perhaps? He does have the uncanny, slightly shiny, vacant face of the creepy guy with a shed full of marionettes.
Football vibe: -17/10
4. Vladimir Putin (Russia)
VLADIMIR PUTIN IS A GOOD MAN. VLADIMIR PUTIN KNOWS ABOUT FOOTBALL, AND IS A COMFORTABLY STRONG, POWERFUL, RESPECTED HETEROSEXUAL WORLD LEADER.
RUSSIA IS STRONG. RUSSIA HAS A WIDE AND OPEN MEDIA.
Сила! FORWARD RUSSIA!
Футбол Вибрация: 11/10
3. Antonio Costa (Portugal)
His name sounds a bit like a cross between Antonio Conte and Diego Costa, doesn’t it? Very Chelsea.
Football vibe: 6/10. Someone email me and teach me about Portuguese politics so I can flesh out this entry a bit.
2. Donald Trump (USA)
Donald Trump has absolutely never heard of football. If he had, he’d hate it – too many foreigners, y’see.
On the other hand…he does give the general impression of being someone who’d buy a football club as a vanity project; the Francesco Becchetti, Massimo Cellino, Berlusconi type who takes the club and runs it into the ground while insisting that none of the problems are his fault in any way, shape or form.
He won’t be doing that at a football club though. Because he’s got an entire country to do it with instead. Small mercies.
Football vibe: 4/10. Build that five-man wall.
1. Rodrigo Duterte (Philippines)
Rodrigo Duterte thinks football is for cowards. Possibly the single most dangerous individual leading a nation – even including the obvious – in the world today. 18-man squads? He’s up for them – but only of the ‘death squad’ kind.
Trivia: Trying to find a couple of choice historical quotes for this piece (like the time he claimed to have taken a criminal up in a helicopter and…pushed him out to his death) came up with this from TUESDAY. THIS TUESDAY.
“Make me mad. Get me a terrorist. Give me salt and vinegar. I will eat his liver.”