After 16 successful years at Arsenal, Arsene Wenger has earned the right to leave the club when he feels it is time to move on. Whether Arsenal’s fans and its board will now give him that time is another question. Pressure is building on the Frenchman and the 5-2 win against the 10 men of Spurs painted over a lot of cracks in his side.
There are many in the English media who dismiss the Europa Cup as a Mickey Mouse competition. The last 32 of this year’s competition will feature the likes of Tottenham, Chelsea, Liverpool, Inter Milan, Atletico Madrid, Lyon, Lazio, Bayer Leverkusen, Ajax, and Benfica. That is an impressive list of accomplished clubs and not quite the second rate cup it is made out to be.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers recently asked, if Gareth Bale was Uruguayan, would he come in for more criticism when supposedly diving to win fouls. Funny thing Brendan, I have asked similar questions in the past. If Steven Gerrard wasn’t English would he come in for more criticism when he dives to win penalties, or would he be considered world class?
Yes, Celtic can outspend almost every team combined in Scottish football, but it is still refreshing to see them qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League while oligarch clubs Man City and Chelsea were eliminated. The fact that City and Chelsea are the reigning English and European champions respectively adds to the satisfaction. A big spending club will most likely win the cup, but Celtic have shown that astute scouting and shrewd purchases can help them compete with the big spending clubs.
Player for player Manchester City have a better squad and team than Manchester United. Therefore, it is impressive that United now lead City by six points courtesy of their 3-2 win at the Etihad Stadium. Roberto Mancini is coming in for a lot of criticism about his team selection and tactics in the Manchester derby. However, one thing that has been overlooked is the lack of local born players in the City team. United had more players in their squad who grew up United fans and who you could say play for the shirt. How many City players can claim the same?