Do you know about 606? If you’re not British and don’t, you really should. It’s a BBC 5 Live call-in radio program about English football that usually airs moments after the main raft of matches on any given weekend.
Like most call-in sports programs, it’s (mostly) unscripted dialogue between hosts, usually some combination of Jason Mohammed, Kelly Cates, Ian Wright, and Robbie Savage, and football fans. And, like most call-in shows, the callers are mostly football fans raving on with either ubiquitous praise for the team, or abject rage. This being England, a typical show is usually 80% Liverpool, Arsenal, and United fans bitching about their clubs after a loss, 10% lower or non-league fans, and 5% lunatic ravings of Robbie Savage.
Every so often you get a Spurs fan.
Sports call-in programs are usually bad, and 606 is no exception. However, I confess to being a regular listener via podcast. I love it. It’s the unvarnished id of the English football fan. It’s pure, distilled, uncut fandom and is a wonderful window into the mind of the “average” football fan.
So imagine my delight when I found this on the BBC’s website. This is a clip from an obviously distressed Arsenal fan, Nick, laying the blame of Arsenal’s 3-1 loss to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge squarely at the feet of Arsene Wenger, and then suggesting that Arsenal should consider firing Wenger, and hiring Mauricio Pochettino from Spurs.
I guess a bad loss and a three point gap behind your rivals will do that to you. Have a listen. (Here’s the direct link if the embed doesn’t work for you.)
Now, if you’re being generous, and despite the fact that this is an Arsenal fan let’s be generous for a split second, you can say that he’s not actually advocating hiring Pochettino. Instead, he could be taking the much more reasonable position that Arsenal should consider bringing in a manager like Pochettino: a transformative, disciplined manager with a proven record of youth development and who has the ability to inspire loyalty among his players. That’s a perfectly reasonable opinion to have after 21 years of Arsene Wenger.
But then again, this is 606. That kind of nuance rarely exists on that program. So on the off chance that he’s not an uncharacteristically woke Arsenal supporter, let me speak directly to Nick about his idea to poach Pochettino: