When you lose 2 games (Arsenal 2, Hull 0)

From the frothing frenzy of Arsenal Fan TV to the calm and eloquence of  a Wenger post-match interview.

A game in which Arsenal were “resilient and focused”. They “played a little bit nervous” although it was “not easy playing against a good side.”

The opening goal was a handball? “Maybe, I didn’t see it.”

Instead, Wenger uses the interview to frame the supposed crisis surrounding the club and his position as manager.

wenger

The cause of the crisis?

“When you lose 2 games at this club there is an edgy atmosphere.”

“You fight for confidence when you have lost 2 games.”

“It is so dangerous when you lose 2 games on the trot.”

It’s a wonderful example of Syncrisis. The reframing of an argument by redefining it.

The argument is not about Wenger, the “specialist in failure” to use Mourinho’s spiteful jibe,  and the 13 years since Arsenal last won the title.

Not about an argument that has led every back page and every sports show since Hazard turned Koscielny and Coquelin inside out.

And not about an argument enflamed by Ian Wright sharing his own assessment of an assumed private conversation with Wenger in which he sensed he might have had enough. Apparently he had been hurt by the lack of support, said Ian Wright, one his iconic players, who went on to explain why he felt Wenger should leave at the end of the season….

No, the argument is about the loss of 2 games.

Some-one tell Arsenal Fan TV.

Leadership communication lesson

Syncrisis is Greek for ‘alternative judgement’. Wenger speaks many languages, but Greek is not one of them. Wenger understands however that we are surrounded by argument. As a leader you must use this to your advantage. Always choose your strongest arguments and minimise your weakest arguments. Get this wrong and you will not be a leader for very long.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Author: Andrew Ball

Andrew Ball works for Deloitte, the world's largest professional services firm, specialising in leadership communications. He watches as much sport as his wife and three children will allow.

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