Luck Plays A Part Again – Thoughts Post Champions League Final
The morning after the Champions League final is a much brighter day than it might have been. Last Sunday’s fortuitous winner by Koscielny and the diving tackle by Gibbs in the win at West Brom means it is our old enemy that is once again relegated to Thursday night football.
For all of Mourinho’s specialness, it came down to the luck of Roberto Di Matteo to get Chelsea to that coveted prize. Not that they care or should, but neutrals will surely remember this Chelsea team as the luckliest winners of a Champions League medal.
Even after six years, Ashley Cole felt the need to ‘justify’ his transfer across London in the post-match celebrations. When you consider Nasri did the same a week ago, it suggests to me that these players are actually justifying the moves to themselves – moves made purely for personal gain. Now that there’s accompanying silverware, it gives them a platform to loud-mouth their achievement and divert attention from their original motives.
Chelsea’s win throws up the prospect of Roman reaching into his pockets once more. After relatively low activity in the transfer market between 2006 and 2010, the Russian has again been throwing money around these last couple of seasons. Victory in Munich will bolster his belief that the only way he can win trophies is by buying them.
Manchester City currently command the attention of the world’s football mercenaries but I wouldn’t be surprised if Chelsea competed heavily with them in the summer over potential targets. Was Eden Hazard in Munich last night? The boy’s been demurely batting eyelids at every hunk club over the past two months so I wouldn’t be surprised if he turned up in a short skirt at Roman’s after-party last night.
Still, the Blues have a formidable overhauling job in front of them. I also believe they may find luck running against them next season, football tends to even things out in the cruelest of ways.
The obvious pleasure point from an Arsenal perspective is the misery it heaps on Spurs. Modric, Bale and Van der Vaart are all likely to leave. It also punctures their plans to attract quality players – would Jan Vertonghen still be keen on moving to Shite Hart Lane? If Arsenal retain an interest in the Belgian our chances of landing him just improved dramatically.
Talking of transfers, Yann M’Vila is likely to announce his future destination after tonight’s final Ligue 1 game. The heat has died down on rumours linking him to Arsenal, so I expect him to end up at Inter Milan. There’s not many other players we’re linked with at the moment – which usually means Arsene is tracking some hitherto unknown gem hidden in the lower leagues of the world.
In closing, I really appreciated this tweet from Bacary Sagna post-Chelsea’s victory:
Looking at them just wanna make me celebrate something with my team as well..—
Bacary Sagna (@Sagnaofficial) May 19, 2012
The significant part for me was the inclusion of the words “with my team”. It shows an ambition to achieve something together – he’s not just seeking trophies, he’s seeking team glory.
While an Eden Hazard may provide entertainment for a short period, we need players like Sagna at Arsenal. Players who are proud to be at the club, who want to win and lose together. When the trophy eventually comes, as it undoubtedly will, the feeling will be much sweeter for having the likes of the Frenchman among the winners.
So Robin van Persie, are you going to do a Hazard or Sagna on us this summer? Answer on the back of a postcard please – and pronto.