Platini Misses The Point Again

Michel Platini is once more offering a charm offensive, seeking to make himself Monsieur Popular in his native country and with other bleeding hearts on the continent. Not so much charm directed at Arsenal, definitely offensive. According a Daily Telegraph, the erstwhile chief of UEFA has once more hit out at Arsene Wenger’s ignorance of passports when stockpiling talented youngsters in the Academy.

Problematically for Platini, he keeps rattling on about Cesc:

“You have talent in England – it’s up to you not to buy always the best 13-14 young players in Europe,” said Platini, nodding at mention of Arsène Wenger’s recruitment of Cesc Fàbregas from Barcelona’s academy.

Is it not time he took his head out of the sand and looked at the behaviour of suitors at all levels of the game? Barcelona’s manipulation of the media is open for all to see, frequently from the upper echelons of the Camp Nou, spreading downwards like a viral infection throughout the club.

There is an element of truth in what Platini says, protection and help needed by the youngsters preventing their exploitation yet in choosing Arsenal he misses the point somewhat. The Academy is bringing through significant numbers of English players at the same time, a distinctly different proposition to the public perception created by his ill-informed nonsense:

I am not in favour of the Arsenal system. The more English youth players you have in your team, the better it is for your football and popularity of your game. Perhaps, in the future with Fifa rules on the transfer of minors, you have to work with English youth. Why can’t the English play for Arsenal? They have to come to France to play.

Sorry who goes to France to play? The English? If he is aware of the numerous English players at French clubs, he had better be on the case of those in La Ligue whipping the cream of English talent. Unfortunately for Platini, the youngsters at Arsenal are very well paid. Extraordinarily so by comparison to those at other Premier League clubs. Exploitation? It appears to happen only when agents get their claws into players and their contracts, taking 20% for doing a job that a solicitor or accountant would do for a fraction of the cost.

Erroneously, Platini does not note the progress of Gibbs, Wilshere and others through the junior international ranks, citing only those brought into the club. The question he rightly raises though is whether or not English clubs have an obligation to nuture English talent. They do in some respects but they have a greater responsibility to themselves.

There is a balance to be struck. If football loses popularity, it is not going to be because of England. The clubs are doing a fine job of pricing themselves out of the leisure market through the cost of tickets. Exorbitant wages have to be paid for somehow and whilst broadcast revenues contribute, the supporter pays through the pocket. UEFA and FIFA would do better to direct their energies into making a global salary cap work and having the balls to punish the clubs which breach those rules harshly, no matter their status in the game. Too often privilege is bought though reputation.

Platini believes that bringing through English talent will make the game more popular here. He can start the process by ordering the FA to remove their protectionist policy on geography. As Wenger says, he can sign someone from Africa but not from Salford. Ludicrous and exposing the amateur nature of administration in a professional sport. Little wonder that club owners and executives rail constantly against the governing bodies and their collective ineptitude.

The suitability of the myriad of governing bodies controlling the amateur and professional games is exposed time and again. Surely the time has come for administrators to split the two bodies, allowing each to flourish within their own environments. Decisions taken at the highest levels, such as extra officials, have little relevance to those on Hackney Marshes; they have enough trouble getting officials as it is, let alone an extra couple each week.

The best service Platini, Blatter, Scudamore and co can do is to remain silent on subjects about which they have clearly not thought through. Unfortunately, their ego’s prevent them from doing so. In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on November 3, 2009, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 127 Comments.

  1. Forget Platini, he is just a cheap opportunist.

    If we win our next two games we could be through the group stages with two games to spare, meaning extra chances to see our superb Carling Cup side, and possibly in a position where winning our game in hand would put us top of the league.

  2. Though his model where the fans own clubs a la barca i might say make a triffle piece of sense…or is that the Swiss guy?

  3. I am not in favour of the Arsenal system. The more English youth players you have in your team, the better it is for your football and popularity of your game.

    Popular where? That is the big question. Football is a global game now.

    Manchester UTD even bought Park partly because of hush when saying this the Asian Market…

  4. kroenke starting to scare me.

    He looks like a villian off James Bond.

    You cant be up to any good with a face like that.

    Everything is going so well for Arsenal, cant he just bog off?

  5. Sadly, you can’t just forget him because the man is the head of European football. And that is highly disturbing. I also did a piece on these ridiculous quotes today. The man is an absolute lunatic and his knowledge of what goes on at Arsenal and in England is scant.

    The best service Platini and Blatter can provide to the game is to leave it, immediately. He has a problem with us buying Fabregas at 15 from Barca but has no problem with them buying Messi from Argentine when he was 13. The contradictions and hypocrisies are endless with this idiot.

  6. Platini is in fact the current chief of UEFA, so is presumably not “erstwhile.” Perhaps you meant “ersatz.”

  7. And, oh yeah, by the way… great piece, YW!

  8. Yogi,
    i wonder why no one has reminded him the amount of french speaking African’s ply their trade in France. Do you honestly believe he is interested in the English game or rather to reduce the dominance of the premier league?
    let us not be fooled with the popular crap. He moved away from france at an early age as well. so why deny others that chance

  9. Poliziano

    Very possibly I did – I think I was wishing he was formerly though.

    With hindsight, a better description might have been ‘Pillock-in-chief’.


  10. Platini has to explain how it was ok for him to play for Juve when there was no EU, no globalisation but it’s a disaster that Diaby plays for Arsenal.

    He’ probably think that Piedmont is almost France,knowing the mentality of that kind of Frenchman.

    It’s nonsense. It’s a global game. Players come from everywhere, and where the kids come from just follows that fact.

  11. Isn’t it about time that the major clubs around Europe just broke away from UEFA and organised their own rules and administation. Without the clubs UEFA and Platini will just exist in a vacuum. Surely UEFA need the clubs more than the other way round so time for them to flex their muscles and put Platini in his place!

  12. Good Blog YW on an important topic.

    I would have thought that the introduction of different nationalities and coaching methods, if anything, has helped to catapult the English game into the upper echelons of the club hierarchy (as evidenced by the number of english clubs that get to the latter stages of the CL) let alone helped young English players to develop. Its no fluke that Capello has done so well with the national side given his experience. And your point is even more reinforced when you consider that the teams that really get to the latter stages most consistently are the ones who have spent billions beyond their turnover repayment capabilities who have polluted the game with money distorting whatever semblance of values remained in the game.

    In this context, to have a pop at a man who has championed club values and steadfastly upheld them – it just incredible. Wenger has been a shining light in this regard.

    The basic right to be able to ply your trade/talents overseas in a manner that opens up possibilities for both club and player is good for the game, the fans and the development of national talent.

    To somehow not understand that – just further highlights the poverty of the administrators who are devoid of any real vision as to how the game should progress. Issues like protecting players who actually play the game as it should be played, respect for referees, introducing the use of video evidence – y’know the stuff thats screaming to be addressed – are way up the list than trying to introduce a glorified restraint of trade.

    That said – poaching Cesc has gotta be one of the most beautiful pieces of piracy your ever likely to see…!! Im glad to see they’re still smarting and If he ever goes back – I hope Laporta pays thru his nose..!!

  13. Platini is a ‘nationalist’ at a time when football is already a global sport. The genie is out of the bottle and it is amusing to watch him trying to push it back in.

    He is also obsessed with Arsene Wenger.

    UEFA are a bloated quango in the last throes of their pointless existence.

  14. …. Only now are Arsenal starting to reap the rewards of their Academy, 10 years after Wenger first began to concentrate on the youth system.

    In 1999 Jack Wilshere, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Henri Lansbury were all on the verge of joining the Academy, becoming the first few to benefit from Wenger’s vision for youth development.

    Liam Brady, a man who knows all about the tradition and the expectations of Arsenal was brought in to oversee them.

    Now, 10 frustrating years later, the Gunners are finally seeing the reward for their hard work.

  15. I only recently learned what a ‘Quango’ is…UEFA typify it.


    All I see i this talk is jelousy because as right pointed out, i cant see the same complain about Barca’s youth set up or even Ajax for that matter. All they all dutch there? i thought Tommy V is Belgaian and came from there?

    Would be nice in all the 4 in the CL qualify for the semi… He will surely have a fit!

  17. Is the Barcelona tapping up Afobe story true?

  18. “The question he rightly raises though is whether or not English clubs have an obligation to nuture English talent. They do in some respects but they have a greater responsibility to themselves.”

    Considering (arguably) the best 3 teams of the last 3 decades- Milan in the late 80s/early 90s, Utd in the 90s, Barca now- were made up of a large homegrown contingent, I’d say that these two things should go hand in hand. Creating a mentality of love for the club combined with a team tactic philosphy from the get-go can be extremely important for higher level success.

  19. ‘Why can’t the English play for Arsenal?’

    Errm…Didn’t he run down his contract at Saint-Étienne and bugger off to Italy without a backwards glance, when Juve were the biggest wage payers in the world.

    So please tell me Michel what first attracted you to Italian football?

  20. clichy fractures bones in lower back…

  21. Why are those arguably the best 3 teams?

  22. So, reducing the number of foreigners will increase Arsenal’s popularity, will it? How does he account for the fact that we get 60,000+ people attend every home game, even at the exorbitant ticket prices we have. We get 60,000+ people come to watch our kids in the Mickey Mouse Cup, even when we don’t see any British kids (except for Gibbs, Eastmond, Ramsey, Watt, Gilbert and Randall – who apparently don’t exist, according to Platini).

    I remember Dave Whelan at Wigan criticising Arsenal for its foreign players but then, when you watch a Wigan home match on TV, you see swathes of empty seats in the stadium. And look now, Wigan has Martinez as manager and a host of foreign players in the team.

    The EPL is still far and away the most popular league in Europe and has become much more so, since the influx of foreign players and the dramatic raising of standards that came with it.

  23. Plus most clubs English Clubs are now being owned by Americans, Russians, Arabs etc… shouldn’t he then also make ownership to be purely English???

    The world is becoming a global village. deal with it!

    Trust me, by now Cesc is more English than an English Passport Holder who resides in The Americas…

    Does being head of UEFA mean the same thing as Dim Wit?

  24. some times I suspect Platini, is he crazy or has he a purpose to reduce the lovely premier leag?

  25. news man

    “clichy fractures bones in lower back…”

    source please

  26. what the hell’s his problem?! “I’m not in favour of the Arsenal system” How can the head of a non-partisan, independent footballing authority say that?!

    It’s like the head of the UN pointing to the President of France and going, “that, I don’t like it…I’m not in favour of Sarkozy”.

    So wait, is he advocating that Chelski, United and Citeh’s systems are better than ours? As far as I know Spain has benefited enormously from having Torres, Reina and Cesc play there. What’s his bloody problem with Arsenal?

    He’s a big, fat, stupid, ugly joke. I can’t believe we have someone so thick running UEFA.

  27. So many people wish their clubs were like Arsenal!!The platinum twat should just bugger off!!!

    I thought we had numerous English players coming though the academy!!

  28. Kitchen sink is that news legit? That sucks bad Gibbsy has been doing well so i don’t think we will suffer much.

  29. Please let that not be true about Clichy.

    Good post YW.
    To the eminently sensible remarks above, can I add that if I were the parent of a hugely talented 14-year-old tennis player, I would have no qualms about sending him or her to the Bollettieri Academy in Florida, or to a top tennis school in Spain. Why is football different?

    It’s just Platini’s usual thinly disguised envious attack on Wenger and the EPL in the form of another ignorant rant. Roll on the European superleague!

    Very good point about the need to separate the professional and amateur administration of the game, YW. But I have to say, I doubt if a salary cap would reduce ticket prices overall – most clubs would maintain prices and see it as more profit.

  30. also, what’s with Ebou wanting to go to PSG? I thought he wanted a new contract with us? Now he wants a change next summer? Why did he have to talk about this right now…couldn’t this have waited, May 2010?

  31. wow he’s SUCH A DICKHEAD

    you just can’t win with him- or rather WE just can’t win with him. he’s a hypocrite but what he says isn’t a lack of understanding it’s a careful presentation of only half the facts in order to sell his agenda. why on earth are he and blatter in power in football? what exactly are they doing for the game which is good? fuck all.

  32. Fu** now gael is out for several weeks with the dreaded back nack. At least gibbs and possibly traore will get a dabble.

  33. The Clichy injury is bad but we have Gibbs to come in.The nightmare scenario is if Gallas or TV get injury.Be afraid be very afraid

  34. It’s a blow to lose anyone but we have fantastic cover at full back and huge experience at CB so do not be afraid at all CG

  35. Platini’s aganda is quite simple…he wishes to legislate the resurgence of French Football. He has always wanted that. But even that’s just the cover story.

    What’s really behind this is a bit more distasteful.
    Platini, [and in truth the French in general,] resent the meddling of other European clubs. Arsenal and others are violating an unspoken rule: Each European nation has the right to exploit, without interference, its protectorates and ex-colonies. The French clubs reserve the right to bring players from all over French Africa…pay them very poorly and abuse them for their skill/talent. The last say four or five world cups have showcased foreign, especially African, talent on a completely new level. The pereption of African players as ill-suited to the disciplined style of European football has also changed. The globalization of the game is ruining that colonial supply line. Foreign players are much more savvy these days, and the whole world is becoming aware of their quality. The sandbox is getting full. Of course Platini will never acknowledge the nastily colonialist/nationalist bent to his agenda. There is a new vein of gold in the old french colonies and the rest of Europe has the nerve to mine it…The legislation Platini puts forward is as simple as you stick to yours we’ll stick to ours. Do you imagine that Platini’s rules will demand that African players only play in the African leagues? Ha!

  36. Bad news about Clichy, on a more positive note Rosicky and Nasri is back

  37. @ axis @ 3:36pm

    That’s certainly food for thought. Do you have French connections, as it were?

  38. Hey Fungun…not French. African.

  39. According to some people, everyone has a colonialist agenda.

    It would hardly be a surprise if Platini wanted to improve French football. I expect most chiefs of UEFA would look to improve football in their own countries. Since France is producing some of the best footballers in the world, it is reasonable for a Frenchman to hope that club football in France will be successful. The problem with Platini is that he evidently dislikes Arsenal in particular. If this dislike influences his policies, he needs to be replaced as soon as possible. Let’s hope the next madman who heads UEFA dosn’t hate Arsenal.

  40. You have to go to Nancy to find the root of Michel’s problem.

  41. It all goes back to when he was a Nancy boy.

  42. Axis. Neo-colonialist tendancies transend all disciplines in life whether it be interests in energy and minerals, business or sports.

    In an eera when imperial power is becoming as extinct as Betamax formats, the remaining protagonists will look for any reason to legitimize their existence.

    UEFA is one classic case where they more often than not, have to find a way of legitimizing their existence. Global football will not collapse if and when UEFA crumble, and that’s a scary thought for the powers to be at UEFA and possibly FIFA. If FIFA were a country, they would occupy one of the top 3 positions of countries straddling the worldwide corruption index.

    Platini’s rants are nothing to do with Arsenal, well maybe something to do with his disdain for Wenger, but nothing to do with football. It’s a pathetic attempt at self preservation. Laws against the restriction of trade will never allow for his dilusional vision of keeping a leash on clubs. Clubs will take him to the cleaners, literally.

    The least he can do for the good of football is fire his researcher for not providing him with factual information before he opens his mouth.

  43. The Clichy stress fracture seems to be a recurrence of the one he suffered at the end of last season, and again Arsenal are keeping it quiet. The way they handled it last time was frankly bizarre, with nobody knowing what was wrong with him (except for Myles Palmer, who broke the story of the stress fracture; I despise Palmer, but credit where credit is due).

    There could be more to this than meets the eye; I hope there isn’t, but if Clichy is sold at the end of the season it will seemingly be due to Arsenal’s medical team having identified a persistent problem with the lower back.

  44. Poliziano, thanks for the IE7pro tip.

  45. Such was Platini’s experience during his time as a Nancy boy that the word “arse” sends a cruel shiver down his spine to this very day – hence his hatred of Arsene Wenger and Arsenal.

  46. Darius,
    In your eagerness to write an essay on every topic discussed on here, you seem to have overlooked that UEFA is not a colonial power.

  47. Clichy doesn’t have a back injury. It’s all a cover up. The truth is, neo-colonialist tendencies have been detected in Clichy’s game. These tendencies are not visible to the naked eye, but Wenger was able to spot them in the detailed statistical analyses that he studies after every match. The problem with neo-colonialist tendencies is that they transcend all disciplines on the football pitch. Once they have become established in a player, they can be difficult to remove.

  48. PZ. UEFA is an increasingly irrelevant power hungry body with imperialistic tendancies. What the power hungry freaks are doing to football is not any different from colonialism and its characteristics.

    Platini can’t pull the stunt some fuckers did in 1884 by meeting up in Berlin and saying “you know what – let’s go chop up and divide them fuckers down south”. He’s had to find another way to legitimize the power he craves.

  49. Darius this is all very confusing to me is it because Hamid Kharzai want to take over Arsenal,

  50. Solgooner. As they say, don’t go chasing waterfalls.

  51. Frank

    Are you sure he wasn’t a Hardy Boy that Nancy Drew?


  52. Darius is that an Afghan saying

  53. UEFA and thus Michel Platini are a minor irritation. An irrelevance. Here today, gone tomorrow.

    It seems that M.Platini, when he was a Nancy boy, loved a practical joke…or even an impractical joke. One of his favourite tricks when playing away was to let off firecrackers and lie down and pretend to be dead in the hosts’ town square. What a missed opportunity for someone to top the fucker. Maybe overload the firecracker with something more powerful. Bits of the little toad all over the square.

  54. YW.

    Thanks for the response, axis.

    In a bit of a mood today, are you, Pz?

  55. Oh dear oh dear oh dear, YW.

  56. Sorry to hear about Clichy. He had his best game in months against Spurs, although Gibbs is about as good as a replacement as you could hope to have available. Now all we need is to bring back Flamini as a back-up for Gibbs and we’re all set (sorry, I need to stop the Flamini digs).

  57. Hey PZ, hey Darius…Your points are well taken.

    I agree with what you’ve said, but it’s a funny situation with football that I think bears examination. Exploiting the colonies for materials like gold has had a differnet dynamic than exploiting the people. Africa’s people had been cast aside by the colonial powers as backward, never to properly catch up with the superiority of their European masters. The same was true for it’s football – considered undisciplined and deeply lacking in tactics or technique. African football has languished for the last thirty years with barely a footnote in the occaisonal world cup appearance, those places usually soaked up by Eygypt and the other North African nations, thought of as Arabs by the way, such that sub-saharan Africa remained virtually invisible on the world football scene. Fast-forward through the last twenty years and the explosion of African teams represented in the world game and their explosive success. The result? A similar explosion of African players making it to the big leagues. Forget foreign…how many players on each of the big teams are African these days? That’s huge. I remeber when there was no more then two in the entire Prem…now even died-in-the-wool English teams like Fulham field three or four…The transformation is massive. Every team in every league has made it their business to try and mine this previously unexploited vein of gold.

    Platini’s legislation is founded in a simple fact. The French have done a piss-poor job of maximizing their advantage. France SHOULD have the overwhelming advantage in terms of bringing African players to the Continent. Many of the best footballing countries in Africa are ex-french colonies, they speak french. Look at Spain their hatred of Africans is so deep they don’t even try to get African players.

    The problem? France is getting beaten to the punch by the English, the Germans and others who have a slightly less racist history…heck even the Italians are in on the act – and that’s saying a lot!! They hate the Africans almost as much as the Spanish.

    France is basically having their pocket picked for what they once threw away…and they’re pissed about it.

  58. crafty you think Arsenal will sell clichy at the end of the season.. lol (don’t read too much into that knob head Piles)

  59. Well initially I typed that he was a Nancy Boy that Hardy Drew…

  60. Interesting thesis, axis, but was the French World Cup winning squad not dominated by players of African origin? Including several of sub-Saharan origin.

  61. “In a bit of a mood today, are you, Pz?”

    As always, FunGunner.

  62. fat cats with fat heads.

  63. UEFA is not an imperial power, and Michel the Conqueror is not an imperialist. I find it irritating that Platini being a prick is used as an excuse to introduce topics a la mode like imperialism. All organisations – perhaps all people – try to acquire power to some extent, but that is not imperialism. I don’t see a problem with there being a governing body for European football – a kind of middle-manager between FIFA and the football associations. Middle-managers might be despised, but they are usually considered necessary. Since the alternative to UEFA would be in many cases to deal directly with Sepp Blatter, I’m not sure the removal of UEFA is to be desired.

  64. zidane should have palyed for algeria,france would have never won the world cup

  65. F**K Platini, it seems people in Africa have been inspired by the Arsenal to even greater heights!

    Well, it seems a little higher, with less stringent planning laws, but still a nice homage to TNHOF.
    Not the final venue, but SF’s and QF’s will be played in Cape Town.

  66. PZ. Your points are well taken.

    I guess this conundrum about agendas in football can be viewed in different ways. I’m just suggesting that we shouldn’t under-estimate the role football plays in shaping ideology around the world.

    Axis. Interesting points you have there my friend. Speaking of an explosion of African talent onto the world stage, I will never forget the image of a one Roger Miller dancing at the corner flag after scoring the goal that led Cameroon into the quarter finals of the 1990 world cup. Whatever happened of Roger Milla. True legend that man was.

  67. Finsbury I like that stadium, my friend linked me with a shot she took of it, all in lights at night.. I’ll be there next year in the dark of night it emanates a light which almost looks holy.. Arsenal aren’t the only Stadium to have a similar shape though.

  68. I agree with you about ‘imperialism’, but I don’t see a need for FIFA or UEFA. I do see the need to organise fixtures, to train referees and make them available, I also see the need to establish a set of agreed rules and standards. But it is arguable whether the FA, UEFA and FIFA are the best way to fulfil these functions. It seems to me that the administrative function should be stripped down, de-politicised and brought closer to clubs, players and supporters. It is certainly not the job of administrators to set the direction of football or to hinder its natural development/evolution.

  69. I should say that I agree with PZ regarding ‘imperialism’.

  70. In my opinion he went right down hill after ‘King of the Road’, Darius.

  71. KS- Lucky you, I’m sure that will be a good trip!

    Interestingly four of the English cricket (sorry) squad touring SA, were born in SA.

    The library in Dalston, London, not far from Highbury was named after CLR James, the West Indian philosopher. His most famous work was on the colonial relationships that affected the West Indies cricket team, the identities of the separate Caribbean Islands and their relationship with England/Britain & with the governing bodies of the sport.
    The allegations of colonialism as recently as the 1980’s within the governing bodies of the sport was the main factor behind the debate that led to the introduction of video technology, and more stringent vetting of officials in international cricket.

    Can UEFA be compared to the MCC/ICC? Don’t think so, but evidence for what Axis was articulating has been compiled in such erudite manner many decades ago.

    Beyond the Boundary, widely considered to be the best book on sport ever written!

  72. KS- Lucky you, I’m sure that will be a good trip!

    Interestingly four of the English cricket (sorry) squad touring SA, were born in SA.

    The library in Dalston, London, not far from Highbury was named after CLR James, the West Indian philosopher. His most famous work was on the colonial relationships that affected the West Indies cricket team, the identities of the separate Caribbean Islands and their relationship with England/Britain & with the governing bodies of the sport.
    The allegations of colonialism as recently as the 1980’s within the governing bodies of the sport was the main factor behind the debate that led to the introduction of video technology, and more stringent vetting of officials in international cricket.

    Can UEFA be compared to the MCC/ICC? Don’t think so, but evidence for what Axis was articulating has been compiled in such erudite manner many decades ago.

    ‘Beyond the Boundary’, widely considered to be the best book on sport ever written, sorry, couldn’t post a link.

  73. @Frank

    You’re correct about France’s World Cup squad.

    Their current world cup squad almost all play outside of France. I think they do well at the world cup level as far as retaining their nationals, it is at the club level whee they suffer, hence the proposed legislation.

    @Darius…good question regarding Roger Milla. Don’t know what happened to him – he was something to watch though.

  74. I just tried to recommend a link for the book Beyond the Boundary by the West Indian philosopher CLR James, who has a library named after him in Dalston not far from Highbury, London. Considered one of the finest books regarding sport, I can only recommend it.
    The main topic of his thesis, is the post WWII relationship between the Caribbean and Britain, and where sport fitted into that relationship.

  75. I saw an interview earlier last month with a 57 year old Roger Milla helping football schools in Africa. That particular project was about getting young British coaches into Africa to train the young talents how to play football like they do here..

    A true legend.. isn’t he still the oldest man to score in a world cup? and what dancer..

  76. KS- lucky you, I’m sure you’ll have a good trip.

    Tried to post a link but am in mod again, recommending the book Beyond the Boundary by the West Indian philosopher CLR James. ( Has a library named after him not far from Highbury ).
    An erudite ramble through the topics of sport, racism and colonialism.

  77. I don’t agree with Platini but his arguments make some sense in certain cases.

    Why do we bring in average players like Denilson, Diaby, Song, Senderos, Eboue when their level of skills are abound in the lower division and can be developed as well. I mean what is so special about these players that we need to recruit them from abroad when they have no special skills.

    Yes, there are exceptional cases like Fabregas, Merida, Coquelin, SAzczesny, but do we really need to bring in Denilsons, Senderoses and the Eboues?

  78. Only Fab,

    Yes, we do – you do them a dis-service.

    Hopefully Clichy will recover quickly although Gibbs will benefit which can`t be bad. We`ve also got Traore , TV & Silvestre who can play there. Or rather Traore & TV.

    Nice to see Rosicky back in the squad too

  79. I see the racist is back with his claptrap – a perfect specimen of who Platini appeals to.

  80. Only Fabregas…

    Even for the sake of insane arguments, if you consider that Denilson, Diaby etc., can be replaced by the equivalent English player, the cost of the English player will be at least treble the cost of Denilson or Diaby….so from a business point of view, Denilson and Diaby still better value for the money.

  81. Only Fabregas-So Denilson, Diaby, Song, Senderos and Eboue are average players? All of these players have been chosen by their countries except for Denilson who happens to have a tough time getting into the Brazil national squad ahead of Lucas of all people. These countries are all decent competitors on the world stage (Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Switzerland and France), so it makes your comment look rather ridiculous.

    Senderos was an important part of a team that went without conceding a goal in the Champions League until the final against Barcelona (and when we were reduced to 10 men).

    Diaby has the ability to turn a game on its head, and while inconsistent, he’s highly thought of by Arsene and that’s good enough for me.

    Eboue is looking great this season, and is a great attacking option at right-back late in games or if Sagna’s injured.

    Denilson and Song are superb defensive midfielders with good vision and neat control.

    I hope you are joking, but I think you aren’t. I’m sure you would rather see an Arsenal midfield with Sidwell, Bentley and Jerome Thomas, but I think most of us wouldn’t.

    The only argument that makes sense is the one made by Wenger, that the club has a responsibility to its fans and shareholders to put out the best available team to win matches. It doesn’t not have a responsibility to the national team, particularly when the national team usually often sends back players injured to their employers.

  82. Real shame about Gael; what a genuinely lovely man.
    How small he looked compared to the legendary Van Nistelroy baiter!

    Come back soon, brother ~ and keep those friendships!

    ~ And on that note, interesting how every player has genuine friendships in the squad. Ahem, this season that is…

  83. Denilson and Diaboical can be replaced by Rambo who cost only £5m

    I am i the only Gooner not too upset by Clichy’s injury.To me Gibbs is a better player and now he is going to get games watch him earn a world cup place in South Africa

  84. la gooner

    Senderdross is not average he is not that good.

  85. Arsene Rose – what a selfish, shitty mindset.
    Yes, let Gibbs have games…but to not be upset by one of our best players getting seriously injured. That stinks, man.

  86. Anger management time…. time to meditate and cogitate…afterall, it’s just a GAME.

    Only Fabregas / Cesc 4 / Cesc is God…

    using the Name in vain, children.

  87. Got that right PBoy….

  88. And i was just about to say that its time for Gibbs to shine..and for him to take the oppotunity with both hands and nail down a first team spot but i dont think i will bother pissing any one off now.

  89. I spelt oppotunity wrong there.

  90. Thanks G4E – and, yes, agree with the newly passionate Passenal. And that freaky Italian, Pz.

    CSKA – embarrassing the ‘champions’….lovely!

  91. DukeGoonem, there’s nothing wrong with Gibbs taking his opportunity, that’s the nature of the game. But I think PB is right, Gael has earned some respect and sympathy for his current plight. It’s the least a supporter and a human being should do.

  92. Spot on G4E, Passenal & Ponyboy.

    Gibbs WILL shine but Clichy is still very much first choice.

    It`s testament to the youth set up that AW can bring in someone so seamlessly.

    I don`t think Liam Brady & Steve Bould get the recognition they deserve at times

  93. Probably because most ‘fans’ think they run pubs, PW.

  94. Get well soon Gael.

    Not only an outstanding player but a model proffesional and a lovley person who is fiercly loyal to Arsenal football club.

    Attributes that are in very short supply in the modern game.

    That said, I suppose considering the timing and the run of games coming up it will be good for gibbs to get a run out. Im sure he’ll be fantastic.

  95. Asianfansince97

    “Manchester UTD even bought Park partly because of hush when saying this the Asian Market…”

    Nah, no need for the hush hush, it’s obvious that he (they) did. MU can fill half their squad with Asian players they still won’t look interesting to me look-wise or anything-wise though.

    Having that said… Would be wonderful if from somewhere in (eastern) Asia soon emerge one or two young, truly gifted players with mad super skills attitude stamina etc and then they decide to play for The Arsenal since Wenger really wants them to. That would indeed make me rather happy in that certain Asian way, I suppose.

    MU-CSKA’s situation looks fine so far, likewise with AM-Chelsea. What’s far more important though is Arsenal’s matches tomorrow and on Saturday (too close btw). Crosses fingers toes etc we’ll win them (and no more injuries).

  96. Just checked the scores on the CL and Manure and Chelski are both trailing. Ha ha.

    Well said, Deano @ 9:06pm
    Agree with every word of that! Gibbs is going to be just fine. Apart from his talent, he has also impressed by his willingness to work and learn.

  97. Passenal…I admire your efforts to speak rationally even when it falls on deaf ears.

  98. Watching the games tonight I’m quite optimistic we can go all the way if we have any luck with injuries. Manure have such strength in depth their defence looks really solid like planks of wood losing 3-1. Bayern they look like they’ll be out. Chelsea losing so far. Milan and Madrid really don’t know what defending is, by the way Kaka made an embarrassing dive against his former team.

  99. Drogbreath has saved their blushes…

  100. Hey Poliziano, do you know how to install flash player for IE without admin login? 🙂

  101. Agree Pz…the “pundits” expected two obvious wins…but Alan Green’s pre-pubescent delight is truly disgusting.
    If there any serial killers out there, mulling over a possible (male) target…
    Oh man…there are so many!

    Hansen first against the wall, though…or Lawrenson ?
    Nah, the Green fucker.

    btw: Have a friend in Iran, who tells me if she wears any green colour at all, she will be arrested [ tortured /raped etc]

  102. Drogba hasn’t found his match so far but I beleive there is one man on a mission to destroy the Drogs and that man is Vermanator.

  103. Sorry carried away on a tide of disappointment…

  104. G4E,
    I didn’t know anything like that was possible. Having searched on google, I’ve found that it is at least possible to install flash for Firefox without admin permissions.

    If you don’t have Firefox installed, you can use Firefox portable (as the article suggests), which can run from a USB memory stick.

  105. yes loose cannon.

    yes that is his mission. He has reached us, travelling through time and space.

    His mission to destroy one didier drogbreath.

    Bringing balance and harmony to the premier league, no, the world, the universe.

    He is the verminator.

  106. Thanks Poliziano, I think I came to the same conclusion having searched around all day 🙂

    My old computer crashed at work, and the new one is not allowing me to upgrade the flash player to the latest version…life sucks 🙂

  107. I’ve just heard Graham Taylor asserting on 5 live that we are “not strong enough” in midfield.

    Beggars belief, doesn’t it?

  108. “Diaboical can be replaced by Rambo who cost only £5m”

    See, don’t do that…why insult your own player that way? It just feels wierd to me to even think about that. Really silly honestly to say you like some players and then trash others.

    I’ll get scolded and be told to “lighten up” for saying this but there’s a fine line between debating intelligently whether a player is good vs. outright insulting him like that. tut tut

  109. Another nick for Dogbreath: Drop-bra

  110. haha not funny at all luke.

  111. So manure came back into the game and are now thru to the nxt round!

    Quick recovery to clichy!I hope he gets better quick.Good luck to Gibbs in his new role in the 1st team.What’s wrong with our physios? We seem to be getting plenty of back injuries since last season. Somebody better do something about it. We can’t afford to lose any more players!!!

    2-0 is the score tonight.

  112. @ FL

    A plus side to the Injuries is that players get a rest and we will be getting “new signings” when crunch time comes. Re the same: Did you see the pictures of Walcot and the under 18 chile?

    Score is just about right, so that for the later stages we can play Merida, Ramsey, & Wilshere…

  113. Come on


  114. Not really Arsenal-related, but if anyone’s bored, here’s an idea of where Abramovich’s 52k went the other day. Same restaurant, but this is someone else’s bill.

  115. Wenger is worried about Gibbs playing all the games while Clichy injured what about Traore he can do a bit job for us in that position he played quite well at Portsmouth, although as a winger but I think he has the quality to help out. There is also Silvestre.

  116. How did you find that Big Al? Not only is the bill itself and all that it implies truly depressing, the existence of the very site makes my view of what passes for life for many people a little more tarnished.

    It’s a sad world.

    On a more cheerful note I am racking off my final barrel of cider this morning. 30 gallons safely tucked away against the chill of winter at a total cost of about 30 pence.

    That’s living.

  117. Hi CB,

    The link was skyped to me – honest!

    The site looks like it collects whatever’s “hot” right now on the internet, which I suppose doesn’t make you feel any better.

    As for the meal, well, 5 days later, it’s most likely at a sewage treatment plant.

  118. A fool and his money are soon parted.

  119. Most of the rich are not fools… But they part with some hard money

  120. An Eduardo hattrick will do just fine…

  121. I certainly am worried about the Kroenke situation.

    The current situation is as close to ideal as possible. Nobody owns the club outright.

    I suspect that Kroenke would understand that this is true, even from a business perspective. I suspect there will be no takeover.

    It’s the best way to safeguard the value of his investment. A sustainable company is worth more than one that’s not. And we’re all seeing how hard it is to exit from an investment in a football club (Gillet & Hicks).

    There’s certainly the fear that Kroenke would try to acquire the club through debt he dumps on Arsenal’s balance sheet.

    Hopefully, Arsenal’s board will be looking to avoid that and would take measures to prevent it.

    As an Arsenal fan, I can only say I don’t like the single owner model. Having witnessed my beloved club grow from one of the world’s 15 biggest clubs, into one of the world’s 5 biggest, without the sponsorship of a benefactor, it will be a huge step back to tying the fate of the club to the whims and fortunes of a single person.

    I am worried but hopeful.

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