Eleven reasons why legend-to-be football manager Arsene Wenger appears very much like legendary French film comic genius Jacques Tati:
1. Because JT and AW had and have been doing the same job.
2. Because JT’s early films evoke a world of unspoiled leisure: a France where gangly postmen deliver the mail on bicycles, where kids are always up to mischief, and where there is at least the illusion of community. Isn’t this a world AW experiences nowadays on the edge of a picturesque village called London Colney?
3. Because AW on the sideline often looks like the Mr. Bean of English football. Rowan Atkinson once noted that Tati’s characters had been a source of inspiration for the creation of the ‘British Mr. Bean’.
4. JT, just like AW, was never the type to chase after or flatter the audience.
5. Because JT’s famous movie My Uncle, like Arsenal, was seen in Britain as more annoying than funny.
6. In 1978, JT began filming a documentary on the Corsican football team, Forca Bastia, which he never completed - something which AW has been doing from 1996.
7. JT was an actor too, but nowhere near as good as a film director. AW did play football but not many were aware of that.
8. JT had recurring themes – the leisure class, modernization, children at play, mass entertainment – and his compositions seemed mathematically calculated yet somehow spontaneous and vibrant. Has AW been doing the same?
9. Because JT once built an entire glass and steel futuristic mini-city nicknamed Tativille, for the movie which took years to make and left him mired in debt. AW recently saw The Emirates finished too.
10. JT’s Playtime film, the epic of the modern world - just like the Arsenal side nowadays - happened to be the most thoroughgoing realization of mise-en-scene principles: everything is always in focus, and every square inch crackles with action.
11. Because JT was a victim of the future, which is what AW has yet to become.