Who would have thought, Bayern Munich vs Chelsea in the Champions League final… Everyone thought it would be a Real Madrid vs Barcelona final, but perhaps that was their downfall. It’s weird. I’m British. Chelsea are an English club, so shouldn’t be obvious who I support? Well, I ain’t supporting Chelsea, that’s for sure. Hell no, I don’t want Chelsea to become the first London club to win the Champions League… definitely not.
It looks like I’ll throw away my country loyalty and become German for the day. Ribery, Robben, Schweinstiger… I’m in. Send me a shirt.
So right now, the emergence of Di Matteo has re-energized Chelsea and it looks like it is having a similar effect to when Guardiola took over at Barcelona a few years back. The enthusiasm shown by the management rubs off on the players. I look at my beloved Arsenal and wonder where the raw enthusiasm is. We had a lot more fire in our belly when Thierry was around, that’s for sure – but then again, it makes me think, do players need these types of people, or moments to lift them. Especially with the Arsenal – our players are at a certain level, and what Arsene does, and does well is make players better than they are. In reality, would Walcott get ahead of Ozil, Ronaldo, Robben, Ribery, etc, etc? If not, how would a team like us ever get past the “big boys”.
It’s strange to see Chelsea in the Champions League final, especially considering how badly their form has been. But as much as you hate Chelsea, one thing you can’t deny is the quality of players is there. Not exactly dynamic or exciting, but there are a group of players who can play. Pre-madonna’s maybe, but they do have ability. And with ability, you can achieve anything.
Looking at our squad, we have a few key players who we’ve missed this season in Wilshere and Diaby, and unfortunately for us, we never got going after the summer exodus. If I were Arsene, I would be trying my darn best to sort it out this summer. To look at the players that we need and recruit early. One thing United do and do well is buy early, embed in their team and train, so by the time the season starts, they have a solid team who all know each other. Sounds simple, doesn’t it?
But down at the Grove, we always seem to start the season without the right players, without the right signings, without half a team due to injury or to pre-season tournaments. And this Summer sounds like it could similar with the Olympics and Euros… I’d really like us to buy early, train early and have a group of players fit and raring to go come August the 8th.
We’ve got a good spine in Szcznesy, Vermaelen, Wilshere & Van Persie and great players in Sagna, Koscielny and Areta – but we are are missing the world class winger, the world class central midfielder and a real partner for Vermaelen. We are missing the strength in depth that allows us to rest players. Our current XI is good, could be better, but it’s good, but if we lose Van Persie or Vermaelen, then the people coming in are not good enough.
Szcznesy spoke about the rest of the season and the ambition for next:
“When you play for this Club you want to win trophies. This Club deserves trophies and we didn’t get any this year so it’s always disappointing. I think the quality is there. We all know it – we have the quality to fight for trophies in Europe and this country. It’s just consistency that has been a bit of a problem for us this year. But the team’s getting more experienced and hopefully we’ve got the experience to win trophies next year. I think if you look over the last couple of months we’re probably one of the best teams in the Premier League. So we’ve got three games to go and we need to win all three and we’ll finish third.”
We will be back in action on Saturday and Stoke away is probably the hardest game we’ve had for a while (strange I say that considering the recent two results), but we will really really really need to be on top of our game if we want to get the three points on the weekend. The team news should be out tomorrow, let’s see who’s fit and available…