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Discussion Starter #1
25 March 2006
ARSENAL CAN CASH IN ON THE FRAIL OLD LADY OF ITALY
Interview John Cross
ARSENE WENGER should be no more worried about Juventus than he was about Real Madrid as the Old Lady of Italian football is not a thing of great beauty. In fact, you could say the whole of Serie A has seen better days.

A decade or so ago it was the biggest pull in Europe because of the money. And, not surprisingly, top players like Gabriel Batistuta, Paul Gascoigne and Zinedine Zidane graced the Italian league.

Now Spain and England can match or better the wages and Italy is no longer the place to go. Ronaldinho and Samuel Eto'o adorn La Liga and Thierry Henry and Didier Drogba light up the Premiership.

In the land of style and elegance Italian football has become unattractive for supporters and players.

The stadiums are not full, Middlesbrough's experiences in Rome show they still have a problem with hooliganism, while the weakness of the Italian economy mean the top clubs do not have the buying power of old.

Patrick Vieira and Luis Figo went there past their prime while, arguably, Andrei Shevchenko and Adriano are now Serie A's only world-class imports.

Football goes through cycles and Spain and England now offer better entertainment. In fact, Juventus are top of a very average Serie A. Looking at the other Champions League quarter-finals next week, I even take French champions Lyon to get past AC Milan.


I have seen a lot of Juventus over the past eight or nine months and they just do not seem to carry the same threat as they used to.


You have to remember that in the last round Werder Bremen scored four goals against them and should have gone through. If their goalkeeper had not done a somersault and gifted them that late goal, Juve would be already out. Some might say their name is therefore on the cup.


They are not one of the awesome Italian teams of old and I think Arsenal can beat them.


Arsene Wenger has almost stumbled on this 4-5-1 system in Europe with Henry up front, Alexander Hleb on the right, Jose Antonio Reyes on the left and Freddie Ljungberg breaking down the centre.


He has been a revelation in that role. And there is a lot more pace in their side than Juventus.


The Italians are very physical with Vieira and Emerson in the centre of midfield.


Selling the Frenchman at 29 was good business for Arsenal. I have friends in Italy who watch Juventus regularly and they say he is either brilliant or very average.


He no longer seems to have the consistency he had at Arsenal. I think Vieira will be surprised by the Arsenal team he plays against. It is not the team he left, or thought he was leaving. Just like Liverpool last year, I have got a sneaky feeling Arsenal can go all the way.


Henry has been a different player in recent months. Whatever issues he had in the first half of the season, they are not there now. I reckon he will be the difference between the sides.


As for his future, I think he will wait and see. He knows he can go to Barcelona or Real Madrid or even Chelsea. And he will go if Arsenal do not qualify for the Champions League next season. He has given so much and is at the age where he will want to move on.


I do not think Henry would want to return to Italy. I think moving to Madrid or Barca would appeal. He speaks French, English and Italian and Spanish would give him the full set.

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Ok I suppose you can say whatever you like about Serie A in some ways but there is no way you can criticise the top 3 clubs and say they are over-rated. Firstly I would like anyone here to look at their teams on paper and tell me whether these are not possibly the strongest in Europe. Secondly if you want to look at the stats, 3 times in the last 4 years, these 3 teams have been at least to the QF of the CL.

Now as I said, Serie A may or may not be weaker but these 3 teams definitely are not and especially Juve who have won all their games but like 6 all season in Serie A. I dont care what anyone says to me but the EPL is hardly anything to right home about either at the moment.

Anyway my post I do not want to head in that direction, basically I just feel that unlike this article, you have to pay more respect to the above teams as they have done well in the CL consitently over the last few years and it doesnt matter about what league you play in if you do that.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Exactly... this article is pure crap. Drogba couldnt light up a cigarette.

Now I will just say that even though Ibrahimovic doesnt score often enough, he is so much better than Drogba and this article is based on someone who doesnt watch Serie A at all to figure Drogba is better than any forwards of Serie A. Toni, Trezeguet, Zlatan, Gilardino, Shevchenko, Inzaghi are all far more effective than him and I havent even looked at the smaller teams strikers.
 

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John Cross has a funny way to look at football.

Sheva and Adriano, the only world class imports?

How many in the world could match KaKa or Ibrahimovic or Camoransi . (not character, of course)
 

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Thierry Henry and Didier Drogba light up the Premiership.

Drogba lighting up the premiership.... someone tell me he's kidding :scared:

I do think Arsenal can beat Juve though :)
 

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chapter closed.....juventus will march on...
 

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John Cross writes for the Mirror, by far the worst sports section in any tabloid in Britain today.

Martin Lipton, Oliver Holt, John Cross, three bigger tossers it would be hard to find in football writing and the Mirror has them all, only Brian Reade occasionally writes anything good.

only a month ago they were running almost evryday with an Arsenal in crisis story and now we are going to walk past juventus. :rollani:

don't forget Holt's brilliant article last year than only 4 players outside EPl would get into any of our top teams. :D

the Mirror is an embarassment and take no notice of it.
 

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here is Holt's article from last year from the Mirror. :D

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THE PITS OVER HERE, HITS OVER THERE ..THAT'S WHY OUR LEAGUE IS THE CREME DE LA PREM

A NAME I hadn't seen for a while leapt out from the small print of a newspaper yesterday.

I always assumed John Aloisi, once of Portsmouth and Coventry City, had retired years ago.

Aloisi, that rare and unusual thing, an Australian striker, was hardly prolific at the best of times and the Premiership was way beyond him.

In his final season at Highfield Road four years ago, he managed two goals in 17 games. Then they dumped him.

Yet there he was being mentioned in dispatches from the league some continue to regard as the best in the world, Spain's Primera Liga.


Not only was he still playing but last weekend, Aloisi scored the winner for Osasuna against Atletico Madrid.


That goal apart, he's hardly rattling them in for his current employers either, but the fact they're still giving him house room tells you something.


On the day when Chelsea and Liverpool meet in the semi-finals of the Champions League, it tells you we can do more than just celebrate the might of English club football.


It tells you that we can claim without fear of being contradicted that the Premiership is the best league in the world and that we have left the Primera Liga behind.


We've got Rooney, Ruud and Rio. We've got Henry, Vieira and Sol. We've got Terry, Lampard and Robben.


We've got Gerrard and we've got our own Ronaldo.


Spanish and Italian clubs would kill for them now but they can't afford English wages. We've got the best players in their prime now, not has-beens like Marcel Desailly and Laurent Blanc who came to English football to enjoy their old age.


I can only think of five outstanding players from other leagues who would waltz into top Premiership sides and just one of them, Ronaldinho, plays in Spain.


The others are AC Milan's Andrei Shevchenko, Gianluca Zambrotta and Gianluigi Buffon of Juventus and Bayern Munich's Michael Ballack.


Think about this, too. The same weekend Aloisi was performing heroics for Osasuna, Diego Forlan notched his 18th league goal of the season in 32 games for Villarreal. He is second in the Primera Liga scoring charts only to Barcelona's Samuel Eto'o. That's right. That's the same Forlan who scored 10 goals in 63 Premiership matches for Manchester United.


The same Forlan who came to be regarded as a joke at Old Trafford. My abiding memory of him is seeing him sky a shot about 40 feet over the bar in a Manchester derby.


Most of his goals seemed to be chucked into the net for him by Jerzy Dudek. In Spain, he's El Sharpshooter. Same with Michael Owen. The Primera Liga makes him look even better than the Premiership did. He only has to get off the Real Madrid bench to score.


I saw him play in a dire game for Madrid against Real Zaragoza in January. Off the bench in the 65th minute. Goal in the 85th minute. Easy.


The standard domestically in Spain is not good. Ian Harte is in the Levante first team, for heaven's sake. He was the slowest player in the Premiership three years ago. What he's like now, who can guess?


Giovanni van Bronckhorst couldn't hack it at Arsenal. Now he's going to pick up a championship medal with Barcelona.


Do you want me to go on? Okay, Manuel Almunia was considered an outstanding prospect at Albacete. We all know he's a dodgy keeper.


Jesper Gronkjaer was never really good enough at Chelsea or even Birmingham. Now he's in the Atletico Madrid first team.


Serie A's a more serious rival to the Premiership but don't forget Paolo Di Canio is still in the Lazio first team.


He's good for a nice line in Nazi salutes to the punters in Rome's Olympic Stadium but that's about it.


This week of all weeks and tonight of all nights, we should celebrate what we've got.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
yes they love doing these crappy articles which tries to say a certain league is better than another. I hate it especially when those in question dont even watch the other leagues that often and base their whole article on others opinions which they have made into their own.

I hate it and considering I do Journalism at Uni I understand it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Jern Lizardhous said:
John Cross writes for the Mirror, by far the worst sports section in any tabloid in Britain today.

Martin Lipton, Oliver Holt, John Cross, three bigger tossers it would be hard to find in football writing and the Mirror has them all, only Brian Reade occasionally writes anything good.

only a month ago they were running almost evryday with an Arsenal in crisis story and now we are going to walk past juventus. :rollani:

don't forget Holt's brilliant article last year than only 4 players outside EPl would get into any of our top teams. :D

the Mirror is an embarassment and take no notice of it.
To further this it werent so long ago the Mirror was saying how the English league was over-rated themselves when only Arsenal went through in the CL.

Now in 1 year a league can be creme de la prem? to creme de la crap :)

I think all these dont realise that football is football. Even if juve lose to Arsenal it wouldnt change my mind that the top 3 teams of Italy are among the best in Europe.

Also they can not say anything about Serie A because I know that they have hardly seen a match all season in that league and I know that most of their opinions are based on either the Werder Bremen match or the Liverpool match last year. Even still Juve will have a world class XI out on the field and so they should stop writing such crap about Serie A because at the end of the day... Arsenal will be facing a world class juve side and not a supposedly average Serie A team.
 

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Deano said:
Even still Juve will have a world class XI out on the field and so they should stop writing such crap about Serie A because at the end of the day... Arsenal will be facing a world class juve side and not a supposedly average Serie A team.
If we lose they will say Juve is an average side and we will back in crisis, and English football as a whole will hit rock bottom. :D

they are like women, they always have the privilege of changing their mind whatever.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well Juve never play like Barca... but they are a team who always gets the job done. If Juve win they wont do it in style so to many english tabloid press it would be seen as Juve being quite average.

but anyone who watches Serie A realises that Juve hardly ever win a game by more than 2 goals, if anything they have won most of their games this season by 1 goal because they always justdo enough.

Juve this year are a typical Italian team of the past. Better to leave it late, than never.

So maybe they will look average, but they are strong. Arsenal might win this one, I have a slight feeling, but like I said, it wouldnt change my opnion on anything. At the end of the day its 2 games between two very good teams. Nothing else is involved.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Exactly, but sometimes the strongest teams are not always playing flowing football because their whole game plan is to be a machine. Every player does his job and they always find one or two goals. This is always enough and at the end of the day, every team doesnt need to be Barcelona or even Arsenal of a couple years ago to win things.

I hate Chelsea personally but you must respect the players will to win and Mourinho's tactics because this is what gets the job done in the end. Same is with Juve and Capello and I hate them too.
 

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When i reached the point were it said "...and Didier Drogba light up the Premiership." I just stoped and :howler: :howler: :howler:

This is pure crap.
 

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well yes, John Cross in the article admits he doesn't watch Juventus but takes his friends word for it, what sort of journalist is that?
And he even contradicts himself, because a few lines above he wrote:

I have seen a lot of Juventus over the past eight or nine months
What a clown. :)

But what do you expect from someone writing for The Mirror, even I know living in Bulgaria, that this newspaper is a total joke. :)

I do not think Henry would want to return to Italy. I think moving to Madrid or Barca would appeal. He speaks French, English and Italian and Spanish would give him the full set.
That's a convincing argument if I've ever seen one. :) :pp
 

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I suppose it's a case of immense stupidity and lack of knowledge getting in the way of the points one can actually argue against the competitiveness of serieA.
Surely - the financial problems have hit serieA, but to arrive at the conclusions this 'writer' does.... that's just comical.
 

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Basically Serie A is stronger than the EPL (Left in the CL: Italy 3,England 1), has bigger international stars (Kaka > Drogba ). Juve leads Serie A by 10 points and Arsenal trails the EPL by 25 points. Case closed :neutral:
 

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yep the guys talking pure shit....citing drogba as a reason for the prem being a quality league!? and talking about stadiums not being full for the roma-boro game? UEFA cup games in england are never sold out!! charlton and boro didnt even sell out their FA Cup 1/4 final
 
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