Well that was a fun night, no sooner had Wenger berated Spain for betraying their philosophy, football fans were watching one of the most accomplished big stage performances in history. A quite incredible display from the greatest international team of all time. The Spaniards tore Italy apart with sublime passing, fantastic finishing and an unbelievable workrate. An absolutely top class game.
“They’ve betrayed their philosophy. Originally they wanted possession in order to attack; now it’s a way not to lose.”
That’s an interesting comment from Arsene Wenger which really sums up why he hasn’t perhaps been as successful as he could have been in his career. Putting philosophy before winning is a costly mindset. Sometimes you have to look at what your philosophy entails from a resource point of view and make a judgement call. There are too many cases and points that highlight when we’ve gone horribly wrong by hoping beautiful football will take us through regardless of personnel on offer. I think the most prominent example was United away last year. With a weak team lacking in confidence and experience, Wenger sent them out to play football. We were absolutely punished for that and we suffered the hangover as a result.
Del Bosque didn’t have David Vila. He didn’t trust Torres and certainly didn’t trust Llorente. So he sacrificed playing a striker and opted to use possession to see out games. It worked. The football may have got a touch boring. But seriously, are we now honestly proposing that football can be so good it becomes boring? A ridiculous assertion. They did what they needed to do. They made the final, they put on a show and bagged their 3rd consecutive international trophy.
A few things about the game. Watching Cesc made me sad. However, at the same time, it made me proud that I’ve had the pleasure of watching him grow at Arsenal for all those seasons. For me, he’s the best midfielder in the world. He has big game mentality. He can score goals. He assists. He is the perfect midfielder. It’s absolutely gutting that Wenger didn’t use his talent to better effect when he had him. All this hatred for him is well over the top. Sure he’ll never be an Arsenal legend. Sure the way Cesc pushed to get a move left a bitter taste in the mouth. But face up to it. The best want to play with the best and Arsene didn’t offer that to the Spaniard, so he left. Not for money. But for footballing reasons. It wasn’t Cesc’s fault we negotiated one of the poorest transfer fees of recent times.
On that subject. Jordi Alba was sensational last night. He’s an amazing left back. Full of pace and trickery and now a Barca player. For £11million! What a joke eh? How do they get such good deals for these players? I know he had a bit of Barca DNA going on, but I’m not sure why that means clubs have to bend over on price. C.Ronaldo only wanted to go to one club… United landed the biggest transfer fee of all time for him. Whatever the issue was, they’ve relanded themselves a talent!
Another point about the game was the willingness of the Italians and the Spanish to shoot on site. Neither side tried to pass it into the net. If a space was carved out, someone would take responsibilty and have a crack on goal. We need to start building that into our game. We’re often far too predictacble at the edge of the box. With two banks of 4 shielding a keeper, threading the ball becomes quite easy to deal with. I’m hoping that Giroud and Podolski will liven us up in that department.
On the transfer front, there are rumours abound that Walcott will go to Chelsea if John Terry leaves. Firstly, there is no chance Terry will ever leave Chelsea. He has a grip on that club like no other. I also can’t believe Theo would ever have the guts to make a demand like that. Whatever terms he’s insisting on, it’s apparent that people are making noises on his behalf. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him move. A pal of mine reckons Spurs have put an offer to him that is awaiting his acceptance. It’s 3rd hand info I can’t verify and not from a source I know… but interesting if true.
The last kind of rumour going about is the one about Hugo Lloris. Lyon had said he can go for the right price… beleived to be £16million. I have no idea why anyone thinks we’d be in for a keeper that young for that price. He’s a good shot stopper but he’s very suspect with balls into the box. He could be a very expensive disaster and as disappointing as Chezzer has been at times… he doesn’t need a £16million player competiting with him. All he needs is an old experienced pro to guide him and keep him grounded.
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That’s all I have time for today… see you in the comments.