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Wenger Speaks Sense As Platini Loses his Mind

Is Michel Platini for real? Or is this different from the rather good player that strolled the park many years ago?

Yesterday he made a statement backing Real Madrid over the Ronaldo saga. Now, I don’t have any problem with UEFA over not taking action against Real; there is hardly any substantial evidence to back United’s complaint. But when Platini goes as far as to encourage Madrid, then it gets a little bit worrying.

This is what he said to reporters in Vienna:

“Every club in the world would like to have Ronaldo. It’s part of the system we have today. Players move from club to club and I can understand why Real Madrid want him. They had [Alfredo] di Stefano and [Ferenc] Puskas in the past, and as Ronaldo is considered one of the best or the best player in the world it’s normal. If the club has the finances they can do it, if they don’t have the money they can’t.”

Like Alfred di Stefano? Are you fuckin’ kidding me? There was a lot that was shady about the purchase of di Stefano — one that, to this day, brings out the worst in Madrid and Barca fans — so surely he’s not going to use that as an example to justify the Ronaldo interest?

What is this love affair between footballing governing body presidents and cretins? Can Platini come across as sounding any more retarded? Not taking action is ok, but speaking about the whole Ronaldo saga in a tone that condones or even encourages Real’s actions is sad to say the least.

Wenger, meanwhile, speaks sense on the whole Ronaldo saga:

“I think Ronaldo will stay at United because I cannot see the club making the kind of statements they have made if they have no assurance from Ronaldo that he will stay. Once a club of their stature say he will stay, he has to stay. If he doesn’t stay you look weak, weaker than if you said nothing at all.

It is not right what Real Madrid do, I agree. And there comes a point when somebody needs to make a stand against them. United have come out strongly at the moment and said ‘No’, and I give them credit for that. Maybe as well they know that the desire doesn’t really come from the player himself. It could be from another environment, from a club that has tapped him up. But it is not something that usually happens between big clubs. It’s not something you do.”

Indeed, and it is a rare occasion where I actually agree with what Arsene says. The Arsenal manager has problems of his own, having to deal with the possible departure of Adebayor. However, it’s all well and good making a stand but will it be easy for Fergie to get Ronaldo motivated on a daily basis, if he does stay? We shall have to wait and see.

Today, I believe, Fergie returns to work and would spend the good part of this week listening to messages on his answering machine. Hopefully by Tuesday we’ll get to see the rumour mills chugging along, linking us with the next wunderkind from Haiti. (We need these stories, don’t we? Otherwise what will we talk about? Actual facts? Bleh! Who talks about facts these days anyway?)

In other news, tickets for the Aberdeen game on July 12 will go on sale [phone lines provided in link].

The Telegraph gives a preview on what to expect from United in the 08/09 season.

Finally, a word on the Euros. It was thoroughly exciting, as a tournament and rewarded teams that attempted to play football. Which is why, barring Austria and Switzerland, every team seemed capable of beating the other because they backed themselves and had a go. Which explains the success of teams like Turkey and Russia. In a way it was fitting that the team that played a good brand of football won the cup, and a team like France and Italy that showed mostly disjointed displays were unceremoniously dumped out of the competition. I just wonder what, Michael Ballack, “the nearly man of contemporary football” must be thinking now.

Anyway, nothing else to report for the day. Till tomorrow, over to you.