Thursday, January 15, 2009

Hughes wants your milkshake; Arsene delivers sanity

What happens when one man gets drunk on his wealth and delivers enough money to fund an entire division of football, for one player?

Broken record alert: it's been a tough year. We've all questioned Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger's, umm, decision-making. At times perplexing, at times confounding, at times frustrating, at times irritating, at times dripping with blind faith. 

News flash: I still love the man. Not too many people I'd rather sit down to a meal with than Arsene Wenger.

Now this today as Manchester City line up an absolutely deplorable move for AC Milan's Kaka to the princely sum of more than 100 million pounds. You heard me. 100 million plus. This would fall under "just because you can, doesn't mean you should." Sure, I reckon I could beat up an eight year old passing by on the sidewalk. Doesn't mean I'm going to. 

This move comes from a man, Mark Hughes, with stars in his eyes and blinders on his head. It stands to obliterate the league structure, the structure of football all together. And if you think it's a one-time move think again. One-ups-manship gets to be dangerous when we're talking about a plaything for people who have no concept of money. (Quite a bit the same as when you plop me down in front of an Indian buffet. No concept of the phrase, "you've eaten quite enough, monsieur.") If it'll cost that much to bring in a player, hell, means nothing when money is just some inconvenience that keeps you from your new toy for the paltry seconds or minutes (or god forbid an allotted amount of time like a transfer window) it takes to complete a transaction.

Recall please that magic number from about eight years ago ... the fee of 46 million pounds that Real Madrid, at the onset of its Galacticos era, shelled out to Juventus for a man who could win FIFA's World Player of the Year from his beach chair, secluded in retirement, Zinedine Zidane. I can't add or subtract to save my life but I can see the stark difference between a world record 46 million pounds and a market shattering 100 million pounds. Frankly its embarrassing in its silliness. If I was a City supporter I would be ashamed. 

Mark Hughes is most certainly drunk on his oil wealth and his new-found power at this point. He's behaving like a petulant five year old with a Ferrari. I wonder if he sits, with a blanket around his shoulders, in secluded darkness while he counts his millions and shouts out to his discarded Blackburn Rovers, "you're just a bastard from a basket!" (Editor's note: Ok, I admit it, this is a stretch, but comparing Hughes to Daniel Plainview is too damn entertaining for me right now. I'm gonna run with it for a while, and while this clip isn't entirely relevant, it's damn funny. Plus, we at Match Pricks love a good villain, and if we have the opportunity to cast Mark Hughes as a villain, well away we go!)

In the end, as you'll see from the article linked above, Arsene calls sobering attention to a real problem in the world today. Football is football, standing on a crowded street burning fistfuls of cash while half a continent can't heat their homes and Putin makes doe-eyes at his collection of framed Stalin portraits is something else all together. 

I can say loudly that I am damn proud that this man guides Arsenal Football Club. 

And I can perversely say to Mark Hughes, bring it on. I guess now we'll just wait 15 days to see if Hughes can redeem himself.

1 comment:

Carl said...

(Side Bar)(Honestly you couldn't take an eight year old.) City is bonkers to offer that kind of money, that is going to completely eff up pay structures all over the world. Mark Hughes should concentrate on winning matches and saving his job not making ridiculous bids for players. Oh well when some big name comes in at the end of the season to take over for him at City we can all laugh at his silly ways.