After England's sad inability to qualify for this year's World Cup finals, surely Arsenal's victory in the European Cup-Winners' Cup (a competition which included Parma, Real Madrid, Paris St Germain, Ajax, Benfica, Torino, etc.) should be looked upon as a great and much-needed boost to English football.
I concede that Arsenal's performance in the final was not a classic example of 'pure' football, but Arsenal's success was achieved through winning more than just this one game. I noticed Mr Kellas's letter failed to mention excellent performances such as those in Turin, Paris and most notably Liege, where Arsenal were victorious by a mere 7-0 against one of the then seeded teams.
Victory in the final must be put into perspective to highlight just what an excellent achievement it was - not stripped of all its credibility, as attempted by Mr Kellas.
Arsenal were greatly weakened by various injuries and a suspension. The most notable absentees were Ian Wright and John Jensen, probably Arsenal's two best performers en route to the final. So here we had a weakened and in some areas a relatively inexperienced team, up against a Parma side who included 10 internationals, all of whom will be on display at this year's World Cup and who must have a collective value of at least pounds 50m.
Arsenal's best policy therefore was to play to their strengths - it is called tactics, a major part of football that Mr Kellas also neglected. Thankfully Arsenal did play to their strengths. Arsenal deserve all credit and a great deal of respect.
PS Mr Kellas, did you see the goal? You know, the 20-yard volley that flew in off the post. Wasn't it just 'profoundly depressing' and 'dull'.Reuse content