Michel Platini's hate for Wenger is visceral. Here is some unrestrained character assassination for you.
On Wenger's commitment to developing youthful talent:
“Me, I only want to talk about football, he (Wenger) only cares about business. We must shut up with Wenger and everything. He is an extremely selfish person.”
On Wenger's insistence that goal line technology be used:
“I would not mind if the technology is introduced, just as long as Arsène Wenger is not around to see it. (Smiles)”
Another dig at Wenger's supposed business instincts overshadowing the game:
“The fact that Cluj beat Roma is very interesting don’t you think?, this is the beauty of football, where the small beats the big, something Wenger does not like.”
Platini has been a long time critic of Wenger's philosophy. But his thinking reveals a vacuum.
"I do not like the system of Arsene Wenger. In France, Italy and Spain it is easy to buy with money the best players at 14, 15 or 16. I don't like that."
"If the best clubs buy the best 15 or 16 players that is finished for all the clubs in Europe," said the UEFA chief. "If my son is playing at Millwall and at 16 Manchester come in for this player then when will Millwall have a good team?"
It is strange given that Arsenal regularly loses its players to bigger poachers, the UEFA president should try and blame Wenger for soccer's vagaries. Given that simplistic logic, Milwall should just refuse and it would miraculously win the Premiership next season. Wenger's philosophy is not new, many have tried their hand at it but it requires patience and a belief in one's abilities to spot and develop that talent.
It is not a one way ticket either, competition for first team squad spots gives talented players from the Arsenal youth system opportunities in other teams. One of them was Jay Simpson loaned out to Millwall where he helped the club last season with his fine performance earning him the PFA League One player award. A couple of seasons ago, a trio of Arsenal reserves Nicklas Bendtner, Fabrice Muamba, and Sebastian Larsson helped Birmingham achieve promotion. So Wenger's philosophy actually creates a secondary market of player transfers which help clubs in need of inexpensive improvement of their squad.
I would have taken Platini more seriously if he had anything substantive to say about how Real Madrid and Chelsea are responsible for skyrocketing transfer prices. Or Newcastle's micromanaging ownership interfering with the duties of a manager. Or racism against Emile Heskey by Croatian fans. Or the regular outbreaks of violence in the Serie. And yes, serious reforms in the sport which include minimizing the plethora of ugly fouls, dubious goals and offsides by introducing video technology and replay. Running your mouth is cheap and we have seen nearly a decade of that under Sepp Blatter.