Wenger.Jason Cowley, author of that memorable book about Arsenal and the end of the old First Division, ‘The Last Game’, has penned a pertinent take on the current dilemma for manager Arsene Wenger.
Starved of funds for reinforcements and with his best players Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri wanting to leave, the Frenchman’s dream of an Ajax on the Thames looks to have stalled perhaps for good.
With no trophies for six seasons and prospects of a title Togel Singapore challenge or Champions League success slim, Gunners supporters are increasingly questioning the status of their semi-iconic coach, who revolutionised English football’s approach to management and took Arsenal from their historic Highbury home to a new stadium at Ashburton Grove.
All a far cry from ’96 when Wenger left Nagoya Grampus Eight for London full of high-minded dreams of transforming a club and country’s soccer culture.
Writing in the Evening Standard, Cowley opines,
“It’s obvious, too, that what he once offered when he arrived in London in 1996 and what gave him such a competitive advantage – knowledge of sports science, new ideas about diet and the use of technologies such as Prozone to monitor and improve players’ performances, and so on – is now routine.
Wenger the continental sophisticate once seemed like a very progressive and modern figure, part-boffin, part-romantic visionary. Now, more than ever, he is beginning to resemble a man out of time, one who has stayed too long in the same job and who is forced to look on, perplexed and anguished, as the game changes around him, and in ways he does not like and over which he has no control. This new season could test him to the very limit”
Premier League 2011/12 opening fixtures:
Sat 13th Aug – Blackburn v Wolves, Fulham v Aston Villa, Liverpool v Sunderland, QPR v Bolton, Tottenham v Everton, Wigan v Norwich, Newcastle v Arsenal.
Sun 14th Aug – Stoke v Chelsea, West Brom v Man Utd
Mon 15th Aug – Man City v Swansea
*ITALIAN STADIA LIKE PIZZERIAS? How times change. In Italia ’90 we all marveled at Italy’s football grounds like Milan’s fortress-like San Siro, Turin’s caverous Stadio delle Alpi, Bari’s space-age San Nicola and Genoa’s wonderfully quirky Luigi Ferraris, wishing we could have such soccer cathedrals at home.
Fast forward twenty years and the designs have stagnated and fallen below the quality of those in England, Germany and Spain.
Now with a slew of new grounds in France on the way in the build-up to Euro 2016, Italy is having to question its model of municipally-owned arena (also the norm in the USA), while other nations let their clubs own theirs.
“It’s like theatres and restaurants,” said AC Milan’s vice-president Adriano Galliani told Gazzetta dello Sport. “There are beautiful theatres and ugly ones, there are luxury restaurants and pizzerias. But without stadiums we can’t do anything and without a new law we can’t construct new stadiums.”
* Brazilian legend Zico, who has coached Japan and Kashima Antlers amongst others, is set to ink a deal to coach Iraq.
*Former US coach Bob Bradley is in talks to become the national team coach of Egypt.
*Carlos Tevez is back in Manchester having failed to tie-up a transfer elsewhere and will be training with his supposed replacement and compatriot Sergio Aguero.
*Barcelona B starlet Thiago Alcantara, who shone in this summer’s Euro U21 Championship in Denmark, is in Spain’s senior squad for their friendly with Italy in Bari on Wednesday.
*”We are not touching now the Qatar World Cup” was Sepp Blatter’s enigmatic response to a question about the timing of the 2022 competition. As it stands, it will take place in June in arenas air-conditioned to avoid the 40C heat.
*Tottenham Hotspur’s ticket office was trashed in the violence which has engulfed parts of London for the past two nights. The trouble began with a police shooting of an armed man in Tottenham. The club is asking fans to use the internet instead.
The London 2012 Olympic football will be called ‘The Albert’ after the Cockney rhyming slang for ball – ‘Albert Hall’.
*The UEFA Champions League playoff draw has been made: Arsenal v Udinese, Bayern Munich v Zurich, Lyon v Rubin Kazan, Villareal v Odense.