Piers Morgan: My 10-point solution to Arsene Wenger's Mission: Impossible

28 March 2010 12:19
One of my favourite TV shows as a kid was Mission: Impossible. Ithad TV's greatest ever theme tune, and smart, sophisticated plotlinesthat made it the 24 of its day.

Sadly, the star of the show, Peter Graves, who played the impossiblycool Jim Phelps,  died last week, just before his 84th birthday in LosAngeles.

No time to self-destruct: Arsene Wenger faces his own Peter Gravesmission

And as I scoured all the papers in LA for the obituaries, my mindturned to another apparent Mission: Impossible Arsenal's ChampionsLeague clash against Barcelona.

I'd like to pretend that I've been interested in anything elsesportingwise this week. But that would be like that old gag aboutAbraham Lincoln's wife being asked after she watched his assassination in a theatre: 'Apart from that, Mrs Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?'

The truth is that ever since the draw was announced, I've beenunable to sleep properly. I go to bed at 1am, and start seeing thesehorrific monsters bearing down on me Henry, Ibrahimovic, Bojan, At their sides, their powerful littlewarlords Xavi and Iniesta. And in the centre, Lionel Messi, theplanet's most dangerous creature since the multi-spotted Maradona.

And I see no logical way out of the impending destruction and humiliation heading Arsenal's way.

But that's not how Jim Phelps would have seen it.

For him, there wasno such thing as Mission: Impossible. He'd have worked out a way tobeat them, once he'd received his orders: 'Good morning, Jim, Yourmission, should you decide to accept it, involves the theft of anapparently inevitable victory by the enemy, known as 'Barca'. You may select any 11 team members but it is essential that they all possess a bigheart, a vast pair of lungs and the ability to scrap like polecats. As always, should any member of your team be caught napping at the back, or killed on the break, then theclub will disavow all knowledge of your actions. You have 48 hours towork out your operation. This message will self-destruct in fiveseconds.'

I reckon Phelps would have come up with this 10-point plan:

1 Target Valdes. If there's a weak link in this team, then it's thegaffe-prone keeper. He can't deal with crosses, is erratic with longshots, and is so bad he's currently Spain's fifth choice goalkeeper. Arsenal must pepper him like an underseasoned rib-eye steak.

  More from Piers Morgan On Sport. Piers Morgan: So which chump of a billionaire decided to drive Jose away?20/03/10 PIERS MORGAN: Beckham's green and gold stunt was a load of tosh13/03/10 Piers Morgan: John Terry wins the Oscar for best original score, the Inglourious B*****d!06/03/10 Piers Morgan: John Terry is nice to kids, so they say. but so were the Krays!27/02/10 Piers Morgan: Tiger Woods: Saying sorry is easy. The hard bit is looking like you mean it20/02/10 Piers Morgan: Youngsters just want to talk about Ferraris, says Alexander 13/02/10 Piers Morgan: High Noon showdown will decide Arsene Wenger's fate at Arsenal06/02/10 Piers Morgan: It's all over for captain John Terry. Now Fabio Capello should turn to Wayne Rooney30/01/10 VIEW FULL ARCHIVE 2 Attack the wings. Alves is a brilliant forward-charging full-backbut he often leaves space at the back. So keep Arshavin high on the left flank. Maxwell is just as attacking as Alves but he doesn't have the energy. Stick headless chicken Walcottagainst him, with simple-to-understand (has to be very simple in Theo'scase) instructions to run him ragged.

3 Whip endless, quick crosses into Bendtner. Barca are not a tallside, their defence is vulnerable to aerial assault and the Dane's goodwith his bonce.

4 Song must play as a sweeper in front of the back four, in the wayGilberto Silva did so successfully for years. Barca's offensive line-upis the best in the world, so we need reinforced defences.

5 Wind up Ibrahimovic. The Swede's a whiny, temperamental type, who must be getting thoroughly narked about Messi getting all the goals and all the glory. A frequentwhisper-in-the-ear reminder of this fact is vital.

Target man: Arsenal must wind up Zlatan

6 Show Thierry Henry the one thing he'd hate most love. He's already feeling guilty about even playing against us, so rub it in. Lots of pro-Henry chants from the Gooners, warm 'you're the man' hugs from his old team-mates and a tearful 'the son I lost' kiss from Arsene Wenger should do the trick.

7 Carles Puyol has a superstition that he must always enter a pitch with his right foot. Gallas should, therefore, nudge him just as he walks on to the grass, so he has touse his left. Sorry, but if you're going to look like a caveman then you deserve to be treated like one.

Neanderthal treatment: Arsenal must spook Puyol (right)

8 Xavi and Iniesta are fantastic players but not as quick as Fabregas, Rosicky and Nasri. Possession of the ball is nine-tenths of the law in Champions League matches. We must play the fastest one-touch passing game we've ever played and stop their midfield getting the ball.

9 They're not unbeatable. They lost against Rubin Kazan in the Champions League in October. Ever heard of them? Nope, nor have I.

10 Stick Clichy on Messi and I mean stick him on. With Super Glue, if necessary. The French full-back hasn't been at his best since his return from injury but he has thespeed to keep up with him. Clichy can't work alone, though. I'd tell Vermaelen to keep a sly eye on Messi, too or rather bully, prod, goad, grab, trip, foul, grapple, flatten and generally annoy the little Argentine genius for 90 minutes.

This is a war, and The Verminator is our special force. Good luck, Jim.

PS Oh, and after yesterday's debacle at Birmingham, please arrange for the idiot Almunia to be a victim of pre-match 'friendly fire'

 An insult to Zola David Sullivan, David Gold and Karren Brady are all very good business people and will no doubt sort out West Ham's mess in the fullness of time.

But for Sullivan to pen that poisonous email to fans after the Hammers' 3-1 defeat by Wolves and then demand to sit in on Gianfranco Zola's team meetings was insulting and wrong.

Zola is, by common consent, one of the most gifted and decent men to have graced our game.

He deserves more than being belittled like this.


Failed again, KPKevin Pietersen averaged only 83 against Bangladesh in the latest Test series. This is clearly a total disgrace and further evidence that he's nothing but a jumped-up, cocky, disloyal, prima donna, South African wastrel. He must be dropped immediately.

 Time to grow upRoberto Mancini's brawl with David Moyes was the most vicious, brutal punch-up since Hugh Grant swapped handbags with Colin Firth in the fountain in Bridget Jones 2. Do grow up, you big Jessies.

 There was so much going on last week that I completely forgot to pay my own very personal, heartfelt tribute to outgoing Hull manager Phil Brown.

Regular readers of this column will know that Phil and I have had a 'bit of previous', as they say in football circles. He thought I was a smug, useless, overpaid, underworked, arrogant, southern t***** who knew nothing about the game.

And my opinion of him was considerably lower than that (swapping 'northern' for 'southern', obviously). 

Farewell: Outgoing Hull manager Phil Brown

But it would be completely insensitive of me to stamp on his still-quivering perma-tanned grave, so I won't.

The best way to judge a manager's ability is by what happens after he leaves. Being out-performed by Iain 'Dunderhead' Dowie is not an epitaph to savour.

 Tiger Woods puts his doe-eyed little face on and begs for 'a couple of claps' when he makes his comeback at the Masters in Augusta.

He, of course, knows that by saying this, he will now get the greatest ovation heard since Lyle 'world's ugliest man' Lovett told his mates he'd pulled Julia Roberts.

All for cheating on his wife with 15 (and counting) Vegas-style strippers and porn stars.

I'm not advocating that he should be booed. Nor do I personally give a stuff who he sleeps with.

But, on balance, wouldn't a few seconds of deafening unimpressed silence be a rather more appropriate way of paying tribute as Mr Woods tees off?


Have your sayDavid Beckham has more footballing talent in his big toe than you have ever had in your entire life. Can you please list all the qualifications you have in football that gives you the right to pass the extremely rude and pointed comments about him?


Piers says: 'Having paid to watch him play on numerous occasions, I can say what the hell I like about Beckham. Just as readers who buy The Mail on Sunday to read my column can say what the hell they like about me.'

Re: Beckham, I'm so glad someone has at last noticed that the Emperor has no clothes on. This preening, camera-conscious poseur has had the media under his spell for far too long.


Piers says: 'Not this small but perfectly formed section of the media, he hasn't, trust me.'

I'm a United fan and LOVE your articles, whether I agree with you or not. You bring football pub banter to a newspaper column which creates an entertaining read on a Sunday morning. Keep it up, you Gooner chump!


Piers says: 'Oh, I will, you Manc goon.'

Rebecca Loos is your cousin, eh? Sounds like your family is all class.


Piers says: 'Actually, I am (and this is true) also related to Elizabeth Taylor and Che Guevara. Which is where I inherited the freedom-fighting Hollywood superstar traits that you all love too much.'

Email Piers: piers.morgan@mailonsunday.co.uk


Source: Daily_Mail

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