Waugh Cited in Arsenal Manager Crisis

The ongoing crisis in the status of Arsene Wenger as manager of the Arsenal FC has resulted in a quote from Waugh in the Guardian. This appears in a posting of Marina Hyde on the Guardian’s Sportblog  considering this long pending matter:

Perhaps all unfathomable matters in Britain warrant some sort of comparison to the Royal Family, the latter having been the most enduringly unfathomable part of national life for so long. Wenger is very much at royal-comparison stage now, with his departure endlessly spoken of as a moment of “abdication”. But do consider Evelyn Waugh’s amusing diary entry on the original abdication crisis, a period that has been hammed-up more in retrospect than it was at the time. “The Simpson crisis has been a great delight to everyone,” Waugh wrote. “At Maidie’s nursing home they report a pronounced turn for the better in all adult patients. There can seldom have been an event that has caused so much general delight and so little pain.” (Diaries, p. 415)

The quote is from a diary entry dated 4-8 December 1936 a few days before the abdication was finally signed on 10 December and Edward VIII’s farewell speech delivered the next day. Waugh was commenting on the crisis leading up to the abdication rather than the act itself, which makes the quote perfectly applicable to the Wenger situation.

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