Wenger Protégé Dumps Real Madrid Out Of Champions League

Lyon have given us the biggest upset of the Champions League this season. Real Madrid, favourites in many eyes, have been out thought and out fought. Claude Puel take a bow.

I feel this victory for Lyon is a win for team work over brainless spending and sends a clear message to the world of football, buying is not always the solution. It is so easy to get enamoured by the glamour of big names flashing around in the print and electronic media. Very few people actually understand that glamour is not a quality that wins football games.

Lyon weren’t perfect but they did a job and played to their strengths. Madrid tried to play to their strengths, but just didn’t have enough in attack to break the resilience of the French side. Some may consider this a case of negative tactics by Lyon. Well, Manchester United and Chelsea used the same to beat Arsenal and have tried the same with Barcelona as well. If those teams are great, then so are the battlers from France.

There is an interesting and deep-seated connection between Claude Puel and Arsene Wenger that was established way back till 1988. I was not aware of this till last weekend when I read this brilliant article. Sometimes the writers in the media do a good job after all!

Puel was a key player in Wenger’s first trophy winning squad at Monaco. It was Wenger who recognized his qualities and encouraged him to combine playing with coaching. At Lyon, Puel was introduced as “A future Arsene Wenger”.

The similarities might not be immediately apparent. Lyon played a highly tactical game to outwit Real, while Arsenal have been on the receiving end of similar tactical drubbings. Any superficial analysis would lead to the conclusion that both are exactly the opposite.

I see it as an insult to top quality managers when their work is shredded to bits by such lame thinking. Either manager is capable of using multiple tactics and they choose the appropriate ones based on the understanding of their squad and the opposition. At times the tactics don’t work and it seems the manager does not know what he is doing. It would be fair to question the manager’s decisions, but to accept that illusion as a matter of fact is naïve in the extreme.

We do not know if Puel will follow the exact path as Wenger. He might play an attacking game once the basic ethos of team play and hard work are established, or he might choose to go the Mourinho way and back his natural defensive instincts. We don’t know if the Lyon manager can build a squad on a shoe string budget, develop young players and perform consistently at the highest level. Put simply, there is no way to say he will be a Wenger clone. And I’m sure he doesn’t want to be one either.

Arsene is one of the greatest managers of all time and if Claude Puel achieves even half as much, he will have an admirable and rewarding career. For now, I am just happy my prediction came good and the moneybags have been trashed. It does compensate for an insipid but expected Milan performance.


23 Responses to Wenger Protégé Dumps Real Madrid Out Of Champions League

  1. WC says:

    As much as I am wallowing in rubbing the Lyon win in the faces of my Real Madrid friends, I have to admit they were lucky.

    I was extremely surprised that the scoreline remained 1-0 at halftime with Madrid bombing the goal from all sorts of angles and plays. Lloris was massive and perhaps Madrid were unlucky on the day that Higuain left his shooting boots at home on this particular day otherwise it could have been a different game.

    Madrid always looked shaky in defense though. I suppose it’s been their problem for over a decade now and they’re penchant for preferring 11 attackers over a balanced team did them in.

    • desigunner says:

      Well, Lyon will say they were unlucky in the first leg and could have scored 3 or 4. Delgado hit the post and Lisandro missed some great chances in that game.

      Of course, luck plays a big part in any game of this nature. But over two legs I feel Lyon deserved to go through.

      Madrid have spent huge amounts on defenders like Pepe, Ramos and others. They have also spent insane amounts on DM’s like Diarra, Lass Diarra and so on. Plus they have one of the best keepers.

      They are struggling to find the balance because of the need to play the galacticos. I feel they have enough players to put out a much more competitive and balanced team.

      • WC says:

        They’ve spent money on defenders but in reality some of them are pretty much garbage.

        Pepe is overrated if you ask me. He’s just not as good as the media might have you believe.
        Garay looked out of sorts and Madrid really have no good left backs. I mean Marcelo is their first choice when fit – you might as well play 3 at the back if you’re going to start him.

        Metzelder looks like he’s leaning towards washed up.

        Sergio Ramos and Albiol are quite possibly the only defenders who I have any sort of respect for. I mean Arbeloa is solid and consistent but not anywhere near the top 20 right backs in the world.

      • desigunner says:

        Yes Madrid do have a tendency of paying a lot of money for sub-standard players.

        Normally people think if a player is good you have to pay big money. Madrid probably think the opposite is true as well, if you pay big money the player becomes good! Lol.

        Having said that, man for man, Lyon don’t have the greatest defenders either. And their keeper made a couple of big mistakes. I thought they just had more desire, determination and discipline.

  2. John Muhindo says:

    Soccer is soccer anything can happen and suprises are ever there. To day you are good tomorrow you are bad at the pitch. Expect more unexpected results coming soon.

  3. no fooling me says:

    I can tell you Madrid got back large chunk of $ they spent last night. 95% of the world wagered on them winning this match.

    • desigunner says:

      That’s a good one. Nice way for the management to make hundreds of millions and then just sack the coach and all is forgiven. Lol.

  4. munala says:

    madrid will be missed in da remaining stages of dis competition.

    • desigunner says:

      I, for one, am glad they will be missing.

      • Nischit says:

        Second that. In fact, I wont miss any team that spends 260 million euros when already atleast 327 million euros in debt, and then expects to recover money by winning the champions league and selling more shirts. I can’t wait to see the first “big” spender collapse. It already kinda happened with leeds, and now portsmouth, but seeing it happen to real ( very unlikely), chelsea ( not as unlikely ), or man city ( most likely ) will hopefully make all these nuts who keep telling arsene wenger to spend obscenely go quiet.

  5. Odu says:

    It is a good lesson for mindless spenders. I see Chelsea going in the same way. For Real, as long as the president and not the coach determine who to sign, the team will just be lucky not to have team balance problems.

    Sorry for the coach who will definitely be sacked for no fault of his.

    • desigunner says:

      Thats true. Real have lacked stability ever since Del Bosque was sacked.

      I wonder if its just stupidity or some complex political quagmire as these signings are generally to please the fans/members who own the club.

  6. embryo says:

    the cry baby out of the Champuions league. how brilliant. thought Manure were top class last night, gonna take some beating if Shrek keeps his form, brilliant finishing.

    bring them on though, you need to beat the best to win these things so onwards and upwards boys, smash ten shades out of Hull to start.

  7. messi says:

    WELL honestly guys im not suprised to tell your the truth. When they first kept on bragging on about “GALACTICOS THIS GALACTICOS THAT” i just knew that they would soon see their blockade. And as shown as yesterday they cannot defend as a team to save their life, in conceding their goal to level the scores 1-1, madrid had 6 players in the box whereas lyon had only 2, who were Pjanic and Lisandro and that is diabolical defending seriously, so it does tell you everything. Then again they missed so many chances an the problem is that they all wanted to be the hero yesterday higuain could’ve given ronaldo the ball more than twice to score instead he was greedy and missed the chance of the tournament so far. Also granero, ronaldo and kaka, didn’t want to play as a team like lyon so they deserved it to be honest. And when that happens you get burnt hard an they did. What makes me laugh though is that their president florentino perez said he will give each player who played that night
    250 thousand euros if they won that specific game and they didn’t win it, on top of that they spend 200 million euros and still cannot go past the same position they’ve struggled to get past for the last 6 years now.

    It’s finally been proved MONEY CANNOT BUY YOU SUCCESS, BARCA ARE LAUGHING HARD, and so is everybody else, Pelligrini being named the “ARSENE WENGER OF SPAIN” is absolutely bullsh:t, his had a couple of good seasons in the spanish league and his been placed alongside 1 of the best managers in history of football, no fu*ing way no fu*king how! Sorry Pelli as you failed to see what we fans were picturing in the beginning of the season……….that you will loose your job just like what happened to grant, scolari and soon you, why didn’t you just stay at villareal you had everything you can ask for passionate fans, committed players who play as a team/ GOOD FOOTBALL yet you fell for the simples trick, unlucky mate now face your biggest fear in football……………………… S A C K

    • desigunner says:

      I wouldn’t blame Pellegrini. I think being a manager of Madrid in the Galactico environment is very hard. I think only Camacho imposed his personality and he was fired within weeks, or did he resign?

      I think Wenger too would have struggled because these players might not be listening to the manager all the time. As you mentioned about Higuan not passing to Ronaldo, Wenger would have been pissed at it but does the manager have enough power at Madrid? I’m not sure.

  8. hassan says:

    a wonderful performance by arsenal on tuesday night epitomises the depth in our squad. this present crop of players have great future awaiting them. although, i was restless at the beginning, as the game progresses and bendt giving us the much deserved lead, i became rest assured. my confidence was boosted with the second goal and the kind desplay by nasri and arshavin, i was more relaxed. i pray thie produce the same performance in their next match at hull.

  9. harrypate says:

    Great post again Desi.
    It’s being mentioned previously but I wanted to point out that RM are not a team and never will be. They are a bunch of individuals and unless one of the Galacticos is willing to swallow some pride they will not succeed.
    Watching all the games this week (exception seville-CSK)it dawned on me that we as Arsenal supporters are sometimes too crictical of our team and manager. Our passing, movement and desire was amazing, especially considering how young (not experienced) this team is. I am not worried at all about facing any of the remaining clubs (exception Barcelona) as all will use a counter attacking tactic. None of the clubs exhibited the fluency we possess nor the technical ablity in all positions (exception Alumina)

    • desigunner says:

      Agree with you, only Barcelona can match us in terms of playing football. Of course, others have every right to use any tactic they can and we need more maturity to counter that.

      Wenger keeps saying this is a young team, but very few actually understand the significance of that.

  10. […] Wenger Protégé Dumps Real Madrid Out Of Champions League Lyon have given us the biggest upset of the Champions League this season. Real Madrid, favourites in many eyes, have […] […]

  11. mohammad says:

    kaka is my lovly b/c are my best in real madrid he is like my brother he is play very good in real madrid

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