Just what is Platini’s problem with Arsenal? (UPDATED)

Michel Platini was an incredible footballer.

A star for Juventus and France, he had an eye for goal and an elegance which allowed him to cope with the rigours of the Italian league, at that time the top league in the world.

Given his knowledge of football, I’d have thought his understanding of the game and of clubs large and small would enable him to make a positive difference as UEFA President.

But his comments in the French media today underline the fact that he has a problem with Arsenal and in particular, Arsène Wenger.

Here is a manager who promotes prudent finances for clubs, who instils a work ethic and legacy to play the game in the most exceptionally beautiful manner and who maintains that fair play and respect should be at the heart of the modern game.

And yet Platini, apart from wanting to bring in quotas for foreign players, ignoring the cosmopolitan nature of the European Union and football’s role within that, has come out today dismissing one of France’s greatest sporting exports.

Platini said: "I like to talk about football, him (Wenger) about business. We must stop with Wenger and all that.

"It would make me happy that Arsene Wenger never sees it (video assistance).”

When Platini discusses the Champions League and Romanian side CFR Cluj's surprise win over Roma last week, he again sought to slate Wenger: "That is what makes football so great. It is what people like Wenger do not want, little clubs beating the big clubs, because they want their business."

Unsurprisingly, Wenger has reacted to this, and I don’t blame him. Although, unlike Platini, Le Gaffer has shown a dignified restraint in dealing with his bureaucratic critic.

Platini seems to think that a club who tries to balance the books rather than act as a billionaire’s plaything, a club who seeks to develop talent, even if it comes from further afield than N5, should be targeted for criticism.

Wenger said: “I am stunned by the aggressive content of Platini's words. I am effectively a supporter of video assistance for referees, like all coaches, and I believe UEFA have an important role to play in this. I am for sporting justice and UEFA must be the guarantor of it."

"I am a supporter of good management of clubs, for financial equilibrium. And UEFA must equally support this idea. I am fighting for the future of the game and of football. I don't see why UEFA should take umbrage at ideas that are different from theirs."

So, shut it Platini – and realise that we live in a cosmopolitan world where technological advancements have been taken on by almost every other sport but football (think about Reading’s ‘goal’ against Watford last weekend) and that, actually, if every club relied on sugar daddies who have the capacity to get bored and find a new toy to play with, football would cease to exist.