I’m really struggling with Lionel Messi winning ANOTHER Balon d’Or.
Love the man. He won things. Is the greatest of all time.
But the best player in the world because he won a World Cup? Please. We have to be closing the chapter on him and Cristiano.
Haaland won the treble. As did a whole group of City players who are stars but don’t get the star treatment. All of those players outshone Messi this season. Rafa Honigstein suggested Jude Bellingham. He earned a move to Madrid, he’s been incredible all season, he nearly won a Bundesliga for Dortmund. He has been categorically better than Lionel Messi.
I think my bigger issue here is the total domination of Cristiano and Messi on the award. Or, more to the point, that the hardware always goes to Spanish teams.
When was the last time a Premier League player won the award?
Michael Owen. 2001.
Since 2008, the trophy has only fallen out of the hands of Lio or CR7 twice. The award needs to get better. The Premier League is the most dominant league in the world, but apparently, it can’t muster votes for the best player in the world. Thierry Henry NEVER winning it will go down in history as a crime against the beautiful game.
Votes going to a country that doesn’t have a competitive league absolutely kills me. I can’t have it that Pedri, Gavi, and Camavinga takeover next year. England needs to be the destination going forward.
Next year, some thoughts.
- Bukayo Saka
- Martin Odegaard
- Gabriel Martinelli
- Declan Rice
- Benny Blanco
Don’t deviate, voters. Don’t you dare!
Bukayo Saka has SLAMMED fans concerned about his burnout.
“My focus is not really there [on talk of burning out]. I always want to be on the pitch, to give my best, and if I’m injured and I have to be forced to be out, then of course I will sit out.
“But as long I’m there and I’m ready to play, I am always going to give my best and tell them that I want to play.”
Now, this is exactly what you’d expect a young player to say. The job of the manager is to play it safe with a body still developing. Maybe, just maybe, Mikel will change his tune after quickly breaking Gabriel Jesus after his return from minor surgery. Availability is a key attribute of top players, but there is a science that goes into that. I was talking to a world-class sports surgeon this weekend and he said ‘there are only so many miles on the clock, and if you burn them too early, you pay a price.’ Arsenal burned Jack Wilshere early and he never recovered. Bukayo has been treated far better and certainly had a better fitness build growing through our ranks. We just have to hope Mikel listens to his specialists – because it doesn’t seem that way this season.
Aaron Ramsdale has been linked with Chelsea this January and all I can say is: Accept he’ll leave. Accept he might go somewhere you DO NOT like. Chelsea currently rolls deep with Robert Sanchez and I’m not sure that’s a future they want. Aaron is young, he’s great with the ball at his feet, and he might suit a club battling back to the top with a young crew. I don’t want to see him leave, I’m a big fan, but Chelsea will give us £50m because they overpay for everyone.
Anyway, just putting that on your radar. The club needs to raise funds for another striker. So keep your eye on Aaron.
Ok, how about this… we had David Seaman on The AOP podcast and he was brilliant. Matt Kandela took the interview and it was a fascinating listen. He talks about some items I didn’t know about, like a major club that tried to sign him before Arsenal. He voiced his thoughts on the work that Arsenal coaching staff are putting in. He also spoke about the ever-changing game. What a TOP guy. So happy he decided to chat with us.
You can listen to the hour special here. Get on it. You’ll love it!