Archive for November 30th, 2008


Chelsea v. Arsenal; liveblogging the 2nd half

The first half wasn’t really that bad. The score line is a bit harsh on Arsenal and especially Djourou, but I really liked that he took a moment after the goal and snapped right back up. The rest of the squad need to do the same, right now. One thing that I have noticed in all my sporting years is that champions come out and play hard in the second half, some commentators call it “finding another gear.” We saw that often with the Invicibles, even a great team like that had moments like we saw in this first half but they always responded in the second half. Chelsea will certainly be aware of this and will come out swinging at the start of the half. Arsenal need to keep their heads up, not get frustrated, and play their game. They are making chances, they have to believe that something will come of it.

Also, Nasri needs to defend Bosingwa further up the pitch — he’s abusing that side and putting extra pressure on Clichy and Clichy doesn’t need any more pressure.

46′ — Well, they are playing hard but back to back miscommunications with Adebayor won’t do much to endear him to his detractors.

51′ — You are seeing an absolutely clinical performance by Chelsea right now. They have sucked the life out of this Arsenal team and are picking apart the defense at will. Cesc is nearly invisible as the Chelsea midfield dominates.

56′ — I don’t think I’ve ever seen an Arsenal squad look this ordinary. Come on boys, you’re the Gunners!

59′ — Looks like Wilshere is warming up. Well, sure, it’s not like Nasri and … NO WAY!!! van Persie is yards off-side and yet Mike Dean rules that the ball came off A. Cole. 1-1 to the Arsenal. Well, I’ll be damned, that’s a harsh call on Chelsea, the Gunners need to really step up now.

61′ — Terry with a two-footed challenge, good yellow.

62′ — now it’s Chelsea who look discombobulated, free kick to Fabregas flicked by Adebayor and falls to van Persie. Well, well… 2-1 to the Arsenal.

65′ — My dog is deaf, Matt! Adebayor is frustrating the hell out of me right now, and I’m probably his biggest fan. Nasri is defending well suddenly, maybe someone had a chat with him.

68′ — Clichy with some brilliant defense in midfield and a great run earns Arsenal a free kick in a dangerous spot — van Persie hat-trick?

70′ — Hey… why isn’t Clichy put in as holding midfielder? Probably a dearth of left-backs it the only reason, he could hardly be worse than Song and reminds me a lot of Flamini.

73′ — Chelsea are getting tetchy, John Terry just elbowed the back of van Persie’s head to clear him off Cesc’s pass.

76′ — AH HA! Clichy has been assigned to cover Bosingwa and is doing a much better job of it than Nasri. This moves Nasri over to the middle of the park where he seems more creative.

79′ — I agree Barnaby, I’ll be happier if the score line is 6-1…

80′ — Ivanovic has been doing a great job harassing Adebayor. Nothing getting past the big Russian. Song, too is having a decent game defensively.

83′ — Adebayor’s had a rough game and is subbed by Bendtner. Mike Riley has to shoo him off the pitch. PINK BOOTS!

85′ — Clichy throws himself about and gets a yellow on Ivanovic… This is the start of my campaign: CLICHY FOR MIDFIELD.

89′ — Come on boys put this one to bed.

92′ — AHHHAHHAH Denilson…

94′ — Oh fuck off, the commentator just reminded me of Essien getting that last-gasp equalizer

95′ — Max Bretos just called Arsenal “truly dysfunctional” you can fuck off too Max, you useless cunt. — Crap, sorry, I just channeled Joe Kinnear there.

Final Thoughts

I’m sure we’ll hear non-stop hand-wringing and recriminations over that first goal and I’d be the first to admit that it looked like Arsenal got away with one there. And? So? I’ve seen plenty of teams get over on us over the years. Until they introduce goal line technology or T-Town Alex’s video replay that’s how the league works: sometimes you get screwed.

We’re also going to hear how Arsenal don’t deserve the win. Well, I could argue that Arsenal didn’t deserve the loss to Hull or Stoke, that’s how the cookie crumbles. Arsenal won.


2-1 to the Arsenal! And again, happy St. Andrew’s day.


Chelsea v. Arsenal; liveblogging the 1st half

Hey Joe!

Both teams are mostly being respectful, well, both teams except injured Joe Cole, who takes a swipe at Arsenal because they haven’t won a trophy since 2005.

People are always going on about the nice football Arsenal play but if you look at the last few years, who’s won the trophies? Know what I mean? I wouldn’t want to be playing for a team that didn’t win trophies.

Chelsea beware; Joe Cole is clearly angling for a January move to Pompey or Tottenham. Also, hey Joe, how many International medals do you have?

Arsene Sticks to His Guns

This will probably make a lot of you very ill, but, well, Arsene Wenger is already saying he’s not buying anyone in January.

People have not yet analysed what will hit society in the next 12 months and I’m quite proud that, after making £30 million last year, we’re in a strong financial position. We’ll try to make the same amount again. Yet, at the moment, nobody cares – they want us to spend £50-60 million. But we have stability. We have a stadium that is built, and a training ground, and a young and very promising team.

Okay, results are not as good as expected. But they’re not as bad as they have been. People speak as if this club has been in the Champions League continuously for 50 years. But it’s not true.

There’s a glimmer of hope in there, I guess, but I would put 100 to 1 against him buying one big name much less the three big names that people want. I used to think that Arsene was taking the fall for the club, that maybe there wasn’t any money and they were all lying, but I’m slowing coming around to the idea that Wenger is just doing it his way. I’m sure that the board is aware of and supportive of this fiscal austerity and in a sense, I am too, because it does make sense to run Arsenal responsibly. Still, it would be a huge shame not to play in the Champions League next year, hey maybe we can win the UEFA Cup? Joe Cole would like that.


Is anyone taking this seriously?

Ok… breakfast is on I’ll be back for the kickoff.

0746 — I have squad info: looks like Sagna, Nasri and Adebayor are all in. Djourou also gets the nod over Silvestre. Interesting.

0751 — Oh hey, I forgot — happy St. Andrews day! I’ve taken tomorrow off so that I might indulge in a few spirits this evening. Hey if American Irish can have a drunken holiday, why can’t American Scots like me?


0753 — the first of many “Upgrade” commercials, oh joy!

0800 — FSC has lost the feed — RUN THE UPGRADE COMMERCIAL!

1′ — nerves are jangling, the crowd is electric, A. Cole gets his first of many boos.

5′ — nervous moments at the back as Clichy puts a feeble cross out that is batted around at the edge of the box.

8′ — Almunia flapping at the ball, takes two punches to clear. Arsenal look very nervous at back.

9′ — First corner of the game goes to Arsenal and cleared well by Chelsea who counter quickly. Again Arsenal nervous but they keep the home team at bay.

13′ — damn, both of Arsenal’s “full backs” are streaming forward and it leads to another corner that fails to clear the first defender.

15′ — damn, I can’t keep up! Arsenal now applies some pressure and Cesc has a shot that is easily handled by Chech.

17′ — Matt comments on the corners and is 100% correct. Not only is Arsenal weak defending corners but they must be the worst team in the EPL taking corners as well. How often have we seen Arsenal fail to clear the first defender?  Twice today.  I think that’s why they do that little one-two corner between Cesc and van Persie; though that doesn’t work very well either. Something the boss needs to work on. Let Nasri take the corners!

24′ — Frank Lampard makes a great run, no one picks him up there, problems with communication at the back.

26′ — HOLY CRAP! A full footed clearance from Arsenal. That must be the first of the season.

28′ — Gallas is wrongly penalized for a great tackle on the edge of the box and the free kick is cleared by Song.  Bad call Mike.

30′ — Almunia… sigh that was a stupid mistake. Chelsea get an own-goal from Djourou who jumps right up after his mistake to get on with the game. God, I hope Djourou doesn’t go down the same path as Senderos.

33′ — Come on Arsenal! That was a crazy few minutes there where van Persie has a weak shot that is parried by Chech. If only Arsenal had a Pires, or an Eduardo, (someone who wants to score) that ball and the other one that Chech left out could have been converted.

40′ — Chelsea seem content to poke and prod and wait for an opening now. Arsenal too, seem to have taken their foot off tha gas. That own-goal may be catching up to them, phychologically. Come on Cesc, you’ve got to pull this team up now.

45′ — That’s it for the first half, Arsenal look really down right now, sluggish and disinterested, they need a spark right now from somewhere.  Mikel and Lampard are owning Cesc and Denilson right now, it’s not even funny. Maybe Wenger can call Beyonce, I hear she’s giving away Upgrades.

Second half available to the masochists here.

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