PSG’s latest European failure proves money cannot buy you everything

Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian defender Marquinhos (C) cheers up Paris Saint-Germain's French forward Kylian Mbappe at the end of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second-leg football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Manchester United at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on March 6, 2019. / AFP / FRANCK FIFE
Updated 08 March 2019

PSG’s latest European failure proves money cannot buy you everything

LONDON: Another year and another embarrassing early exit from the Champions League for PSG.
Make no mistake, this was the one trophy the Qatar-owned club wanted to win — Ligue 1 now reduced to a boring procession by the pile of money (over $1 billion) injected into the club.
Two years on from their humiliation at the same stage against Barcelona — when they let slip a four-goal lead from the first leg — and PSG once again are left with the realization that money can only buy you so much.
It seems strange to cast Manchester United — a club that for many typifies the business-first approach of modern-day football clubs — as plucky outsiders. But that is exactly what they were on Wednesday night. Given no chance against Kylian Mbappe and Co. and with virtually a second XI on the pitch, the contrast with their moneybags opponents could not have been more stark. But they illustrated a work ethic and, to use Solskjaer’s word, “humbleness” that once again was so clearly lacking in PSG.
Qatari cash has not only destroyed the French League, but, ironically, also PSG’s chance of success, in the short-term at least, in Europe. On every occasion the capital club have been asked questions and forced to battle they have been found wanting. United displayed exactly what PSG needed — fun and fight.
That they achieved it with a host of home-grown players who cost nothing and an interim coach who is there for the love of the club and game, and not a huge paycheck, speaks volumes as the Qatar-owned club ponder where they go from here.

Arsenal open US tour with 3-0 friendly win in Colorado

Updated 16 July 2019

Arsenal open US tour with 3-0 friendly win in Colorado

LOS ANGELES: Brazilian Gabriel Martinelli scored in his Arsenal debut Monday as the English Premier League club launched their pre-season tour of the US with a 3-0 friendly win over the Colorado Rapids.

Bukayo Saka and James Olayinka also scored for the Gunners, who cruised to victory at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in suburban Denver.

Martinelli, the 18-year-old forward signed from Ituano on July 2, was given a surprise start in attack by Unai Emery and sent an early chance wide.

Saka, 17, was an energetic presence and put Arsenal up 1-0 in the 13th minute as he collected a through-ball from Eddie Nketiah.

Another teenager — 18-year-old Olayinka —  doubled the score in the 29th, seizing a stray pass from defense and racing in to fire into the top left corner of the net.

Martinelli, having missed his early chance, capped the scoring in the 61st when he slotted home a cross from close range.

The Rapids, in the midst of the Major League Soccer season, fielded a mostly reserve side that featured several players from the lower-rung Colorado Springs Switchbacks.

Arsenal, too, started a reserve team as they begin their build up to the Premier League season after again failing to secure a Champions League berth.

The tour has not started without controversy. Captain Laurent Koscielny refused to travel to the US, and a group of influential Arsenal supporters’ organizations published a statement on Monday hitting out at Stan Kroenke’s “passive ownership.”

Under a hashtag “WeCareDo You” the statement decried a “soulless” atmosphere at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium and a lack of transfer strategy.

Kroenke, who began investing in the club in 2007 through his company Kroenke Sports Enterprises and took full ownership in 2018, also owns the Rapids as well as the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams.