Premier League Redux: Manager Semi-Admissions, Arteta's Finger, Liverpool's 'Cash Cow'

19 April 2010

1) While I appreciate the comments from Arsene Wenger and Carlo Ancelotti with regards to their teams, if you aren’t going to go all the way with those comments, don’t bother with them at all.
Two men who have no problem with deflecting blame away from their team and individual players are the managers of Arsenal and Chelsea. After this weekend’s matches, they let themselves go a little bit in actually having some choice words about things involving the clubs they manage. Wenger took a shot at the Gunners lack of focus and concentration: Ancelotti actually had agreed with the premise that John Terry lost control.
However, instead of saying what they really thought on the matter, both managers reserved full judgment. What got to me about Wenger’s comment is he only passed it off as something that just happened during the Wigan game. The thing that had my head scratching about Ancelotti’s comments on Terry is this hasn’t been the first time John Terry has lost control all season.

Arsenal have been plagued with major lapses all season long. From keeper blunders that make the sins David James have committed look small, to the innocence of youth mixed with a stubborn manager who is more set in his ways than most retired men, Arsenal have done an exceptional job teasing fans across the world that they had a chance at winning the title. However, at every single opportunity when it was within their grasp, Arseanl have slipped on their own success and have now fallen out of title contention. Why Wenger couldn’t just say that their lack of focus in critical times this season has cost them the title is crazy to me. Why Wenger can’t admit that he’s got changes to make to this squad this summer is just baffling to me.

As for Carlo Ancelotti, why is it difficult for him to admit that John Terry hasn’t exactly been himself this season? His back is starting to give out again, he’s been even more moodier with officials when things don’t go his way, and do we have to mention his off the pitch issues again? Ancelotti needs to be the one who stands up and says that he expects his captain to show a little more dignity and respect on the pitch. He shouldn’t be trying to give Terry any more excuses to justify his actions.

If managers are not going to give their complete and honest opinion about their team, and only give the very odd ‘half truth’ about the clubs they manage, why bother opening your mouth at all? At least when they hide behind their no comments or dodging questions, you tip your hand more than by just passing off something as a temporary thing.

2) Mikel Arteta’s apology comes to late for one too take it seriously.
The one glaring highlight of an entertaining 3-2 Everton victory over Blackburn Rovers isn’t the crazy final twenty minutes that saw multiple twists. Instead, it was one incident in the first half that saw Mikel Arteta over react to a foul by Morten Gamst Pedersen by poking the Blackburn player three times, the final poke going into Pedersen’s eye.

What’s even more embarrassing is the fact Andre Marriner didn’t even bother sending the Everton player off. Despite the numerous attempts Arteta needed to even get his finger into the eye, he was only given a yellow card. What’s even sadder to me is it took Arteta until Monday to apologize for his actions.

The fact the apology wasn’t issued immediately after the match, or at worst during Match of the Day in the UK, makes me wonder if he’s only trying to save face with his manager and nothing else. Considering a player cannot have any further action taken if they have been booked for an incident, that’s the only thing I can come up with. I simply can’t take apologies from people who are only trying to save face in regards to incidents. Sometimes knowing right from wrong and taking action in the proper time frame needs to take precedent over doing it at all. Waiting all weekend to do so is just something that shouldn’t have happened.

3) While Liverpool got three points on Monday, it seems that Tom Hicks thinks the club is nothing more than a cash grab.
The biggest story heading into the weekend ended up not being the Manchester Derby, but the fact that Liverpool are now on the market. What could be more surprising is that Tom Hicks honestly believes that the club can be sold for 800 million pounds.

I personally have to believe that Tom Hicks was sipping from the sauce if he seriously thinks that is going to happen. Let’s just look at a couple of things here: One, the club is still saddled with alot of debt that needs to be paid off. Secondly, if it wasn’t for the fact Hicks and Gilette got a six month extension from RBS on their loan payment only if the club was put for sale, Liverpool could have very well been in trouble at the end of next month. Thirdly, the economy globally right now isn’t looking like it is going to be on the upswing anytime soon. That begs the question; who’s going to have not only 800 million to buy the club, but then have the money to pay off the debt?

At this point, Hicks better lower his expectation quickly. With the knowledge Liverpool aren’t going to make the Champions League next season, my best guess is Liverpool will at most be sold for 550 million pounds. If the club is sold for 800 million, it will be, to me, one of the most shocking things in football.

Nominee Two for ‘Most Obvious Headline Everyone Knew’
This one comes from the Daily Mail and it makes me wonder if the writer had a look at what I wrote last week. The headline: “ROB DRAPER: Barcelona’s promise not to sign Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas is worthless“. Thanks for telling the whole world something we knew when we saw the promises last week!

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Johnathan Starling, the self proclaimed 'most brutally honest man on the net, dishes out his own unique brand of opinions, and analysis on the Premier League, Bundesliga, and all things US Soccer.

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