Sports Letters: Credit where it is not due

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Sir: To any objective viewer, Arsenal's win in the European Cup- Winners' Cup final must surely have been a profoundly depressing experience, truly a victory for the dullest virtues and a denial of the game's potential for grace, imagination, subtlety and beauty. In comparison with their opponents, Arsenal were clearly inferior in technical ability and only able to spoil the game, with the added weapon of persistent fouling. It is thoroughly nauseating to hear narrow-minded chauvinists give fulsome praise to such a display, which devalues the game itself and will do nothing but harm for football in England should it prove influential.

I think we ought to remember that Liverpool and Nottingham Forest both won European trophies with negative tactics in finals, but in both cases this was untypical.

I am not a supporter of either Spurs or Manchester United but must offer the conclusion that, of all English sides in European competition over the last 30 years, these two deserve the highest praise above all others for playing with flair and adventure in the best possible spirit.

Arsenal deserve neither credit nor respect for their victory.

Yours sincerely,


Beckenham, Kent

5 May

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