"English football is in extraordinary health. And I believe it has preserved its spirit - up to now - while improving its quality. It is now the football that is the most-watched and best-loved in the whole world. And now it finds itself handed an even greater responsibility: how to continue improving the quality without losing its soul. It's the challenge which we face today and it requires an enormous amount of vigilance."
In an ideal world I suppose that I would be an entirely reasonable and fair person, free of tribal prejudices. I would be able to cheerfully admit that Noel Gallagher of Oasis, for example, is an extremely witty and clever person, worthy of my respect. Or I'd acknowledge the skill and intelligence of Arsenal's manager, Arsene Wenger, who has managed his club with enviable clarity of purpose and some distinction for a full decade. But, ah, it's so hard to do. Bah.
Nonetheless, his interview with France Football magazine this week - reproduced in the Guardian - is frank and interesting; just the kind of thing the reasonable and fair version of myself would recommend. So, you know, you should go read it I suppose.