There is little down that at the top of world football there are some complete idiots. At the very peak you have Sepp Blatter, a man with more faux pas than Boris Johnson, and whose ideas are often the ridicule of the media and blogs everywhere.
On the European stage, you have Michel Platini, who is a more intelligent man than Blatter, but who seems to have an ulterior motive for everything he says and does. Elected by promising the world to the smaller nations, who clearly outnumber the elite, he has long criticised the English game, and Wenger in particular, usually for the lack of homegrown players in the team.
Recently, he has been attacking the artificial financial might of Chelsea, and even the earned muscle of United, but he couldn’t keep off his favourite subject for long, and has now returned to Wenger, in an interview first translated on Young Guns, and later picked up by the mainstream media, in which the subject of video technology came up:
“Me, I only want to talk about football, he (Wenger) only cares about business. We must shut up with Wenger and everything. [As for video technology] It would make me happy that Arsene Wenger never sees it.“
The original article is well worth reading, as his initial angle is a scathing attack on Wenger for being proud of the club’s business results, an extraordinary act of hypocrisy given how much he apparently despises those clubs who spend lavishly (excluding Real Madrid, who he supported in their quest for Cristiano Ronaldo this summer – how convenient).
Even when asked about Cluj’s win over Roma in the Champions League last week, he couldn’t resist another pop:
“That is what makes football so great. It is what people like Wenger do not want, little clubs beating the big clubs, because they want their business.”
Other than the fact that Wenger doesn’t want smaller clubs beating his club, quite correct for a manager, I doubt he has any problem with the smaller teams triumphing. In fact, as a football romantic, he probably thoroughly enjoys it.
This is all very bizarre, but if Platini wanted to discredit Wenger, then he failed miserably, mainly due to timing. First, Wenger is currently being lauded by the press for his ability to create a competitive team in a Premiership overloaded with riches. Top of the league, he is again proving the critics wrong.
Secondly, even his usual attack on the foreign nature of the team is less relevant today than on most other days, with the current on song player being an Englishman, Walcott, and nine other British players appearing in tonight’s Carling Cup squad.
One thing is clear, that Platini seems to have a serious problem with Arsene Wenger, but by having a constant dig in this way just makes him look like an spiteful idiot, especially when Wenger’s reply is so succinct:
“I am stunned by the aggressive content of Platini’s words. I am a supporter of good management of clubs, for financial equilibrium, and Uefa must equally support this idea. I am fighting for the future of the game and of football.”
“I don’t see why Uefa should take umbrage at ideas that are different from their own.”
Arsene 1 Michel 0.
But it should still cause great concern that a man like Platini has managed to get into a position of power with such a chip on his shoulder.