Diego Simeone has shown Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger how to buld a successful squad. Also: excitement of Rashford and Fosu-Mensah.
Simeone’s achievements embarrass Wenger
So Atletico Madrid are through to the CL semis, at Barcelona’s expense. Not only is Simeone’s squad worth half of Barca’s, it worth some £50million less than ours.
Arsenal £330m; Atletico £272m; Spurs £235m; Leicester £95m.
So it won’t come as a surprise to most of us, but it’s quite clear that there are managers out there who can do Wenger’s job better and with less money.
I’ve said it before and no doubt will say it again, but it cannot be stressed enough how much of an advantage it is to be given time to build a squad and Wenger has had more time than any other manager of any other top European club.
I don’t watch many of Wenger’s press conferences, but has any journalist made this point to him recently? Have any of them pointed out that his favourite excuse about money is now clearly null and void? I’d love to see it and I’d love it even more to hear his response.
How much respect would Wenger get back from us fans if he actually held his hands up and admitted he’s failed? No blaming the players, or injuries, or match officials, or mean bullies in the opposition teams – just a good long look in the mirror.
I know we’re not getting rid of him for another season, but damn he’d get my support for his last one if he finally showed some humility and accepted that our annual failings are 90% down to him and him alone – and then did something about it!
That goal by Rashford was incredible. Robbie Fowler level of centre forward play that. Not to put pressure on the lad but when you see an 18-year-old taking a goal like that it’s difficult not to want for him to repeat it.
Surprisingly good performance yesterday evening. Fosu-Mensah is also looking like a beast for an 18-year-old.
Kid looked like a gladiator yesterday as a teenager amongst men. We need more young, physically strong, fast, and talented players like him in our squad. I hope his injury is not a serious one because he is a player we need right now. He covered almost the whole field at times and make quality tackles everywhere. I hope we bring in more talent like him in the summer window.
De Gea > Neuer
Neuer was poor again yesterday; conceding a poor first goal yesterday. On the other end of the spectrum, De Gea was excellent again and pulled off the save of the season in my eyes (the save with his feet just before the West Ham goal). Has the time come where De Gea has now overtaken Neuer?
Young Player award omissions
Not sure why Barkley managed to get on the other list. Rashford has done more than him to warrant being on there (please note I wouldn’t have Rashford on. Maybe Martial though). Where is Dier on that list? Has Coutinho really stood out that much? Bellerin should be on the list. Lukaku shouldn’t.
Champions League revamp
Before Tuesday night’s Man City game (well done to them btw), the various broadcasters and journos were bemoaning the current format in that there are too many meaningless games, and concerned UEFA are going to find ways to make it more remunerative but even more boring.
Therefore, you will all be delighted to know that I have the solution! Instead of 32 teams in 8 groups of 4, with the top two going into the round of 16, you have 48 teams in 16 groups of 3 with the top two going into a knockout round of 32. The games in a group of three will be more meaningful due to concentration and lesser numbers, and we will have an extra knockout round to watch. All clubs other than the third in each group have the same number of games as now (although under the current system they may not have made it to the group stage in any event), and there will be more supporters either attending or watching on TV, as it will be more meaningful and exciting!
I guess they would need to re-organise the qualification rounds and seedings, but I dont see that being beyond the whit of man. Can someone tell me if there is something blindingly obvious I have missed, as if there isnt, this seems a good solution to the problem of making the CL a more exciting and vibrant competition, with no obvious loss of revenue to the various parties involved.
Lallana out, Gotze in
Lallana should be sold this summer if we get Gotze. Too inconsistent, too lightweight, and I think one of the only reasons Klopp likes him is because of his work rate. Not enough for me. Sell him, pay what you have to for Gotze (no haggling please, just for once…). Gotze and the two Brazilians, backed up by Origi, Ings, Sturridge and the striker we will sign in the summer, and that looks pretty good to me.