According to the Sun (that great vanguard of truth and taste) Ray Wilkins of CSKA said exciting things about Arsenal’s cup win against Wigan.
Things like “You enter a competition to win the competition. Why go into it if you’re not concerned whether you win it? Playing a young or weakened team undermines the value of the competition. And we have not and will not do that. We want to win it, big time.”
Which means he’s going to be a bit upset at losing to Burnley, who we also beat with a young side a year or two back in the FA Cup, I think.
On the other hand Chelsea won’t mind the fact that a coin was lobbed into the crowd by one of their players. In 2002 a Liverpool player called “Carragher” did the same sort of thing when the Insolvents were playing at Highbury. There was quite a demand that, since a fan who did this would be banned for life from the ground, so should the player.
But no, the “Carragher” was sent off, got a police warning, was fined £40k and told not to do it again.
Seems like it is all getting a bit softer these days – after all the EPL doesn’t fancy being sued by the might of Russia. No sending off, and no sign of a fine or anything else.
What we do see is that after 10 years of careful nurturing of talent, combined with world-wide scouting, Arsenal have produced a youth team that can defeat an EPL team, with Liverpool Insolvency and CSKA Fulham have used the time to buy anything that moves.
Their buy-buy-buy policy has resulted in a second team (not a youth team) that in each case doesn’t really look as if it wants to play much.
If ever there was a week that shows the worth of the approach of the Lord Wenger, it is this. I know we are behind in the league – obviously I look at the league table – but knowing what the youth team is up to gives me a really warm feeling.
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