The Importance of Style

Now that my jinx on United is complete, I can write about something that interests me.

After failing to win the Premier League last year, most people were quick to point out that it was irrelevant whether or not we had played well and with style. The season was a complete failure, and the players followed with this line of thinking as well. Players have to think that way, because they need the main target always in site.

Since we lost, nobody would remember whether we played well or not. People only remember who won the title, people claimed. To that, I feel that’s incredibly short sided. Yes, it is a disappointment. But no, people will not forget football of that calibre.

When a team like Barcelona prevail, they deserve to be celebrated, partly because they won with such style.

Had Manchester United won, they would have been remembered for being victors, nothing else. They have a strong defense and can grind out results, but Manchester United this year have become similar to the dreaded Mourinho teams of Chelsea. They won things, but nobody will remember them in twenty years time. The efficient United is a boring one. They’re a one man show, utilizing one of the best players in the world (Rooney) to stifle opposition instead of trying to show their own flair. It is often said that Ferguson is a copycat glory hound. That’s not necessarily a negative term, but what it’s implying is that we raised the standard and Ferguson met it. The problem for him is that Mourinho raised it with Chelsea, and Ferguson followed suit. The result has been a team that nobody really wants to celebrate other than United fans.

That is something to remember in the face of Barcelona’s triumph. The reason why this Barcelona team will be celebrated for years to come is because they won with such style. The same with the Spain team that captured the European Championship.

It is something that should not be ignored when assessing Arsenal. Arsene Wenger turned us from an efficient, boring side into a footballing side that is only rivaled by Barcelona. Wenger’s imprint goes further than merely winning. And it is not limited to giving younger players opportunity; that is a part of it, but not the entire picture.

Wenger has injected a style to our team that Abramovich craves. Think about that for a moment. A man who can buy almost anything cannot buy that. Chelsea may win a European Cup one of these days, but the path they’re going down, nobody will care about it.

When Arsenal win the Champions League, everybody outside of England will celebrate.