Monday, May 17, 2010

Mourinho disses the Arsenal

"Arsenal won it in an incredible way [2003-04] and after that they thought they could win in a different way. They cannot win it in a different way. Either they go back to where they were or they don’t do it."

- Jose Mourinho, winning it in the regular way

Jose Mourinho's won the double in Italy, and is on track to win the treble. Inter have won the Serie A for three or four years running. Mourinho has now won stuff in three different leagues, and come the end of the month, he may've won two Champions Leagues with two different clubs.

So I suppose Jose Mourinho's got a reason to be a bit smug.

If it was anyone else saying something like that, I'd agree. Arsenal can't do it with a paper-thin squad, a shit 'keeper, and no tactical discipline at all. Arsenal can't do it with a cavalier attitude towards defence. Arsenal can't do it with a crap medical staff. But most of all, Arsenal can't do it if we keep selling players without replacing them with similar quality, and then fob off our lack of ambition by saying stuff like "qualifying for the Champions League is a trophy".

However, since it's Jose Mourinho saying this stuff, I've got to disagree. I kind of wish that Wenger will shelve the cheque-book, resign Almunia and Fabianski on mega-long contracts, and try to win the Premier League next season with a 2-4-4 formation. And I kind of sympathise with Wenger for his stubbornness. If Mourinho was taking pot-shots at me, I'd be wanting to prove him wrong as well.

The thing about the Wenger era is that it's been a series of "almost-there" seasons, punctuated by a couple of teams of supernova-bright brilliance that outshone every trophy in the world. The late 90s side, the early 00s side... these were team of such transcendent beauty that it doesn't matter that they didn't rule the Premier League like they should've. We had three perfect seasons.

Mourinho has had many trophies and many seasons of success. He's won the Champions League, he's won league titles, he's knocked the Greatest Side In The World out of Europe, and he's odds-on to win the treble this season. But how many perfect seasons have he had? And would he trade it all in for a season managing the Invincibles?

Well, no. And if you're honest with yourself, you'd take the groaning shelves of shiny trophies over a perfect season as well. But still, Wenger doesn't see it that way. He's after one last perfect season before he retires. And you don't get to make a perfect season by playing football the regular way.

So on the 341st last day of my 20s, I went to work, came home, had dinner, wrote in the blog. Quite tired at the moment. Maybe watch some TV and then go to bed. Thinking about resigning tomorrow.

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