Chelsea would have got Pogba from Arsenal because Mourinho’s success is all about the money
Can Arsenal win the Premier League next season? In short: can they beat Chelsea, this season’s best?
Jose Mourinho, never one to miss a chance to salute his own genius, says:
“The titles at Chelsea [in his first tenure in charge] were fantastic, becasue it was the beginning of the Mr Abramovich era, no title before that.”
Well, not quite. Chelsea had been champions of the old first division in 1983–84, 1988–89. They had last won the top tier in 1954–55 – the only time they had done so until Roman arrived.
So. Money won it? No, says Jose:
“But now it’s a great feeling because it’s my club, because of the [strength] of the league, because we are not the any more the rich club.”
Chelsea’s finances are sound. Sure, Chelsea’s parent company owes Abramovich £958million, but he’s not sent any final demands yet.
But Chelsea are rich.
Mourinho wants us to see that it’s not all about money. It’s about his skill in getting the best from his resources. And that argument looks better when you see that Chelsea have won the Uefa Youth League and FA Youth Cup. But what bright young things from the touth sides are going to make it into that team, where winning is everything?
Liam Brady, who coached at Arsenal for 18 years, has a word to the wise:
“Arsène has always been prepared to put young players into the team. He made my job easy, he made it successful. At the moment Chelsea and Man City have the best young players in the country but will any of them get to play in the first team? Who have Chelsea brought through? John Terry, that’s it.
“If I’d had the resources that Frank Arnesen had at Chelsea and did the same job at Arsenal, I wouldn’t have lasted long. Arsène put Ashley Cole in the team at 17, Jack Wilshere, Cesc Fabregas, Kieran Gibbs, there were so many. You have to be careful with young players. Look what happened with [Paul] Pogba.
“United had him and didn’t play him, which was unusual for Alex Ferguson because he had a good track record with young players. But if Pogba had been at Arsenal, he would still be at Arsenal…”
Would he be? He’d be on, say, £100,000-a-week. Chelsea could offer double that; Manchester Untied much more.
“We went through a period of not being able to keep our best players: Henry, Cole, Van Persie, Fabregas, Adebayor, Clichy and others. Ashley Cole got a lot of criticism but I’ve no doubt about the best player to come through our academy. It was Ashley Cole. Also I don’t think it was all Ashley’s fault that he left. There were two sides to that story.”
Cole left for Chelsea. They had the money. Arsenal didn’t. Compared to Chelsea, they still don’t…