AT least Dick Turpin had the decency to wear a mask.
This was a stick-up all right, with Arsene Wenger sticking up for himself after Arsenal fans put a gun to his head on Wednesday night.
It was as if the maulings over the years — the 8-2 at Manchester United, the 6-0 at Chelsea, the 4-0 in Milan, the 3-1 at home to Monaco — had never happened.
Just give Wenger all your money, all £8million a year of it.
A good night’s kip, along with a hint of spring in the air, appeared to have worked wonders for the 67-year-old Frenchman.
He looked like a man ready to go again.
In front of him yesterday, just as he expected, was a large throng of people who think he will walk the plank, should walk the plank, or a toxic blend of both.
Wenger, on the run since Wednesday’s savaging inside the Allianz Arena, was defiant.He declared: “You do not stay somewhere for 20 years to then walk out after a defeat like that.”
Losing 5-1 to Bayern Munich has cast a shadow over the club, a huge dark cloud that will not leave until the second leg is out of the way on March 7, 17 tortuous days away.
The external pressure at Arsenal is borderline intolerable these days and yet, you have to hand it to Wenger, this was a bravura performance.
He could easily have let this get right under his skin — it has in the past — but he made a conscious decision to keep his cool.
It was very different to Wednesday night, when he was so angry his fists were shaking on the table as he answered questions about their drubbing in Munich.
Nearly 36 hours on and he was relaxed, composed and personable.
During Sir Alex Ferguson’s time at Manchester United he would have swatted reporters’ tape recorders from the table before shouting “Go away and write your s***e!” and storming out.
Wenger is too dignified, too rarefied, for that.
Still, the message from Arsenal’s stubborn manager was very much the same.
He added: “I know the media likes this kind of press conference but what is important for us is to focus on our next game and let everybody judge and criticise.
“We have to deal with that, the media and focus on our job.
“We can analyse with clarity and take care of what is in front of us and the things we can influence.
“We cannot influence the last result but we can influence the result against Bayern Munich at home.”
Bayern away in 2017 and the manner of Arsenal’s capitulation will stalk Wenger forever.
From here on in, whether he stays for three more months or three more years, the 5-1 defeat is guaranteed to get a gratuitous mention.
He has ridden out storms like this before and he will be wise to ignore the rantings of social media when it comes to the final decision on his future.
ArsenalFanTV is amusing to watch at times but it is largely the same fellas being wheeled out time after time to give Wenger a good kicking.
Others, such as those forking out £90,000 a season for a hospitality box at the Emirates, would prefer the stability of Champions League football each year under Wenger.
It keeps the clients sweet, that is for sure.
For the past six years, since Silent Stan Kroenke upped his shareholding to 63 per cent, Wenger has been keeping the money men happy.