Yesterday, I reported back on Avram Grant’s pearls of wisdom regarding which team from the top, claiming Chelsea were better than United and Arsenal. The logic behind this was a little cloudy though, surprisingly. He seemed to think that despite losing out to United in the league and European Cup, two months later, Chelsea are a better team. Are Deco and Scolari really that good, Avram? The mind boggles.
Grant saved his high praise until after he left the club and maybe that crazy German, Jens Lehmann, got wind of this. So, not wanting to be outdone, he’s championed his former team, claiming that Arsenal are “far ahead” of United and Chelsea.
“It was good to play for Arsenal,” Lehmann said. “Technically and football-wise, they are far ahead of Manchester United and Chelsea. Every player who leaves the club seems to do less well but I hope to be different in my final season. Arsenal’s young players have grown in maturity from last season. But it is difficult to say about their title chances as the competition is tight.”
Let’s all have a wank over Arsenal’s beautiful football, shall we? There is no denying that on their day, Arsenal are capable of playing a game which is very kind on the eye, however, over the past 4 years, these days have become too few and far between.
“Arsenal kept the ball and had a lot of possession, but they were never really threatening. Football is about scoring goals and winning games,” said Owen Hargreaves after United’s 2-2 at the Emirates. “I do not think they had a clear-cut chance created in the first half, apart from the header by Gallas, and that was a set piece. Defensively, we did a good job and tried to control their so-called beautiful football. Both of our goals were from really beautiful pieces of play and theirs were a bit more scrappy.”
If Arsenal were far ahead of United and Chelsea ‘football-wise’, then they wouldn’t have won just one trophy (on penalties, after being played off the park) in four years, compared to the combined total of nine that Chelsea and United have won in that time.
There can be no denying that United play devastating attacking football, which can be seen by the fact we’ve scored the highest amount of goals in the Premiership over the past 3 seasons. Importantly though, United play this attacking, enjoyable football frequently enough to make a success out of it. What use is playing brilliantly if you can’t maintain it over the course of a season and then actually win something because of it?
I anticipate Chris Eagles to come out claiming we are the best any day now…