It is the start of another English Premier League season, the beginning of another European Champions League campaign and the Arsenal Football Club is in a familiar spot woefully undermanned and bereft of ideas how to solve problems.
Chelsea and especially the two Manchester clubs have replenished and rejuvenated their teams. The only thing those clubs are doing in the summer transfer market, if anything, is to find complementing pieces to round out their squads.
Chelsea Football Club resolutely recruited Michy Batshuayi and now can be seen in a two-striker set with Diego Costa. N’Golo Kanté has been poached from last season’s EPL champion Leicester City FC to add steel to their midfield.
Manchester City F.C. added German speedster Leroy Sané, Nolito from Spain and another German İlkay Gündoğan. And, any day now, Claudio Bravo will be in City colors.
Don’t even get me started with Manchester United FC. Zlatan Ibrahimović, arguably the best striker in the world, sturdy defencer Eric Bertrand Bailly, and midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan were added. Then, for good measure, Man U added the world’s most talented midfield player in Paul Pogba.
I haven’t mentioned Tottenham Hotspurs and Liverpool who also have designs on wresting the title from Leicester or, at least, finish in the top four.
Adidas rap music video announcing Pogba’s return to Manchester United
I was a fool to ever leave your side
Me minus you is such a lonely ride
The breakup we had has made me lonesome and sad
I realize I love you ’cause I want you bad, hey, hey
—Opening lyrics from Peaches and Herb’s “Reunited”
We are, of course, thinking, talking about Paul Pogba being feted as a returning hero on his coming back to Manchester United. A reunion made in marketing heaven. Simply put, whatever United were, they are suddenly cool again. The way they’ve never been since David Beckham left.
Like the Bleacher Report said, “For now there is the excitement. For now there is the hype. For now there is #Pogback.”
And, unlike when Beckham was driving the manager nuts by pushing the envelope back then, Pogba is out there fully with Manchester United and sponsor Adidas’ full blessings.
First things first, in shirt sales alone, Man U will recoup many times over the $89 million to $110 million that they reportedly gave to Juventus to get their wayward son back.
And the reason is that Pogba, with his effusive personality and general relatability, is an incandescent talent the world over. With his 6’ 3” frame and 175 lbs dripping wet, Pogba brings dazzling skills that produces amazing goals and assists and unquenchable star quality.
In a sport full of corruption and supremely egotistic managers, Arsene Wenger insist on coaching a system that emphasizes the team game. The sum is always greater than the parts with him. Wenger coaches with empathy and a generosity of spirit rare in today’s game.