£25m. That’s roughly the difference between the cost of the Juventus XI last night and Arsenal’s best XI. That includes the £75m spent on Gonzalo Higuain.
£25m is marginal in these days of grotesque football wealth.
But that’s not the point. Barcelona’s starting line-up probably cost more than Juve’s, which just goes to show that money isn’t everything in football.
The Italians blew Barcelona away in Turin, keeping a clean sheet thanks to Buffon’s fine save from Iniesta. Last night, La Vecchia Signora were disciplined and tactically astute. Barcelona enjoyed plenty of possession but were forced wide or to shoot from distance, most of which finished high and wide.
That’s discipline; it’s belief in the manager and his work. It’s everything we are not.
We used to be. Now, we prefer the aesthetic; the perfect goal giving us the perfect win. Above all else, we must win trophies the right way or not at all. Thank god for the FA Cup.
Look at the 2006 Champions League run. The record for consecutive clean sheets and longest run without conceding still stand a decade on. When Arsenal set records, they are built to last. But that was a side which was disciplined defensively, a platform which allowed a flourishing attack.
Not any more. The cut and thrust of Europe is beyond him. The freakish hold over us Bayern Munich isn’t the point; I genuinely cannot see us going to any of the elite clubs and keeping clean sheets. A decade ago, Juventus and Real Madrid couldn’t score against us in four matches. Arsène will never return to those days; it’s the antithesis of the man now.
You Can’t Do Nothing Unless It’s In The Pocket
Oh, and if you thought Stan Kroenke couldn’t get more reprehensible, according to the Independent he donated $1m to Donald Trump’s Inauguration Fund in January.
Movers and shakers, greasing the palms of the powerful in an open display of seeking power and influence. A morally bankrupt and thoroughly vile man. I can’t print what I think of Trump though; it’s a family blog.
Is there some sort of season ticket deadline approaching?
Agent Cross has been recalled to the PR department, along with covert operatives at The Heil, who claim Arsène is about to (a) change his mind on 3-4-3, with (b) Virgil Van Dijk a summer target, and Arsenal are ready to go toe-to-toe with Chelsea to get him. We’ve found our WAR CHEST people!
It’s a shame we’ve got Dick Van Dyke as a defensive coach.
Hmmmm. The same manager who mocked his CEO about being a “catalyst for change” yet we’re expected to believe that he has changed his footballing beliefs after 90 minutes against the Premier League’s most lacklustre attack, who scored against us?
Elsewhere, there are two new additions to the ‘almost signed’ XI this week, with claims that the French media ‘knew’ Arsène was “offered” N’Golo Kante and Thomas Lamar in a combined €15m deal when they were at Caen together two years ago.
Arsenal’s transfer team didn’t take the interest any further because they had some top notch Spice and were in a catatonic state in Meeting Room 4 at Highbury House.
You may think me cynical but the timing of these two ‘stories’ is awfully convenient.
Look, it’s a slow news day. The FA Cup semi-final is this weekend; the dreary Premier League form is pushed to one side for ninety minutes, where we can dare to believe. Or a penalty shootout that we watch from behind our fingers.
Forget the claims about the season ticket holders revolting by not taking their allocation. Tickets went to red member for Wigan in 2014 as well, and that was our first semi-final in what, six or seven years? Perhaps we’re due a shaft of light in these dark times.