Almunia Broke My Playstation, De Jong Broke Ben Arfa

Morning. Fifa 11 arrived on Wednesday so I eagerly got home, stuck it on, set up a game and started playing. Picked the Arsenal vs Sperz obviously, set difficulty to Professional and had at it. 1-0 up in no time, these pro-traits or whatever they’re called are fantastic. Chamakh is an absolute beast in the Fifa box. Put a cross in and he’ll bury it. Wherever he or the ball is (even in different places). But then when Defoe skipped past Clichey (no surprises) and rifled a shot goalwards I think the game glitched. Almunia dropped low to his left and got a hand to it. I thought “that’s still going in” but it just edged past the post and out for a corner. So surprised was Andy Gray on the commentary he sort of screeched like a cat being run over by a steam roller, the screen froze, flickered and the playstation made a loud banging noise before turning off. The lounge was full of the smell of burning and in my own surprise I nearly wet myself. It turns out that the playstation just couldn’t cope with the math required to properly animate Almunia getting a strong hand to a goalward shot and literally tore itself apart under the pressure of an impossible happening, like if you tie buttered toast to a cats back and drop the cat out of a window – what way up will it land?

So Almunia broke my Playstation by saving a shot, and Sony wanted £130 to replace it. I’m beggining to think our goalkeeper is mocking me. The good news is, in my career, Schwarzer has conceeded 20 goals already and we’re only 5 games in. Dodged the bullet indeed.

So what the bloody shit is Karl Henry playing at? I mean his club are already being labelled by everyone as “thugs” and “dirty little tosspots”, so why do what he did? It was a ludicrous challenge, 11 minutes into a match. The fact that he did not snap the Wigan player in half doesn’t mean anything other than he’s a very lucky boy. Saying “well no one got injured” is a ridiculous red herring. The point is, they could have been.

To protest the sending off was idiotic to say the least but to suggest after the game that he was harshly treated and that he “doesn’t understand why I got a red card” is a measure of just how dangerous the nutter is. He’s capable of terrible challenges, the fact that he doesn’t understand they are dangerous and worthy of a red card coupled with the fact he is protesting the red card at all shows he will learn no lesson here. And that’s truly terrifying.

The pundit at half time said “he was just trying to stamp his authority on the game” after correctly saying it was a terrible challenge and a definite red. Why did he try and excuse it? Condemn it and let the player feel some peer pressure rather than immediately backtrack and make excuses, you just undo any good you’ve done by asserting that it was a red. Kevin Doyle has also leapt to the moron’s defence this morning suggesting he’s “not that kind of player”. Sorry fella, but we’re only 7 games in and he’s picked up two yellows, a red and he should have had a straight red against Newcastle. He’s also broken a players leg. Of course he’s that kind of player.

Smoggy Mick – “I’m not going to make any excuses, but…” and I’ll leave that arsehole there, for whatever excuse he was about to peddle would surely drive us all mental. Quick note though – if you start to excuse dangerous two footed lunges with the velocity of Henry’s in which he had no chance of pulling out or controlling his momentum, then it’s no wonder the rest of football thinks Wolves are a dirty bunch of bastards with a license to maim from the manager. You’ve given him an excuse, instead of condemning him.

I point you towards Steve Bruce roundly attacking his own player Cattermole. If you don’t want shit to stick, don’t catch it. I’ve a lot of time for Bruce, despite the best of three cup debacle against Sheffield a few years ago. He did the right thing, because now maybe Lee Cattermole will learn that whilst he is playing at Sunderland, his behavior is unacceptable. Conversely Karl Henry will now think his behavior is fine, because his manager has excused it. Smoggy Mick will have to take some responsibility for that, especially if Henry goes on to break someone else.

OH AND HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA LOLOPOOL. “You’ll never walk alone” – of course you won’t two other teams will get relegated with you. Such an incredible result for Blackpool, so lovely to see Liverpool where they belong. Under everybody else. Shame for Hodgson, I like him, but maybe he’ll go back to a club I can appreciate rather than that horrible bunch or rat eaters. Nice to see a club ending with ‘pool winning at Anfield though, doesn’t happen often.

The other main talking point from the weekend was the assault perpetrated by Nigel Clogs De Jong. A terrible challenge, which has left a player with a broken leg. A young player who was starting to make a serious impact on the premiership (despite Alan Shearer (the thicker of the two) not know who he was). This is a cap from the tv showing the point of impact, it’s not a particularly distressing photo, but it shows a leg at an unnatural angle: photo. What that illustrates is that the challenge was uncontrolled and two footed. You can clearly see De Jong’s left foot is up. I always assumed that those were at best yellow cards, but that as it was dangerous play it should be a red?

The trouble is De Jong did touch the ball first. And there is a misconception that winning the ball is the sign of a good challenge. All that means in reality is it was well timed, or lucky. Of course a tackle can still be dangerous even if the player wins the ball.

Pretty soon the best league in the world will be the most broken league in the world.

So finally onto the Arsenal game – I could just copy and paste the two previous games analysis here. We dominated possession, didn’t create much for it and Chelsea were relatively clinical. I don’t buy into the fact that they were lucky as suggested by some (Anelka spurned two nailed on chances, one an open goal after rounding the keeper) but we dictated the middle of the pitch and controlled (for the most part) the game. We also missed two glorious sitters ourselves.

In a way it was like the West Brom game – a game we should have won but instead contrived to lose. We played much better all over the pitch against Chelsea but the result was the same – we should have taken a point at least, probably all three, but we didn’t.

Jamie Redknapp is still an arsehole, probably aiming for the Shearer crown of lack of knowledge about world football. – “Drogba is up against Koscielny and Squillaci here, they’ve never played against Didier Drogba before and that’s a worry”. Squillaci is a veteran French defender and Drogba spent quite some time in France. Think about it Jamie. You moron.

So I’m sick of being the better team and losing. On balance I’d have taken a point before the match, and so we’re only one point down on what I would have taken, but it’s made even worse by the fact that Chelsea have an extra two they didn’t (in my opinion) really deserve and it’s particularly galling that we didn’t take anything home given the way we played, which was much improved over last weekend.

Considering we had RVP, Fabregas, Verm and Almunia, our first choice spine all out I’m still very upbeat about our season, but we need those players back and quickly. Anyway, there’s plenty of gas left in the tank, and who knows we might go on to win every remaining match.

Remember, you’ll never walk…. oh I can’t do it. Fuck off Liverpool 😀

  • goonerman

    I still cant get into the groove of the new fifa pretty much the whole of the arsenal team get pushed off the ball with a slight nudge from another team lol.

    out of anyone kieran i thought you may have picked up on the two challenges on our players in the first half, first of all malouda on sagna where he just raked his boot along his leg which actually looked a bit dirty when you watched the replays, and then essien on diaby yerr it was probably accidental but that dont take the fact away that he was very very close to having his ankle snapped, but as its chelsea and they are the champions these challanges get brushed under the carpet, im sure if we had done either of them pulis, allardyce and Mcarthey would of been all over it like flies on shit!!

  • Kieran

    I wasn’t to fussed about the Diaby/Essien one – it looked painful and it wasn’t a great challenge, but it was a fair attempt at winning the ball.

    The Malouda one was terrible – I thought they were friends?! Sagna got his own back later though, so again I wouldn’t make much of it.

  • devday

    “It turns out that the playstation just couldn’t cope with the math required to properly animate Almunia getting a strong hand to a goalward shot and literally tore itself apart under the pressure of an impossible happening” – hilarious stuff!!

  • devday

    @ Kieran:
    The Essien challenge was poor, late and looked very bad. When we saw it on TV, I think everyone thought Diaby would be out for a while. I think both the Malouda and Essien challenges should have been talking points – many people (including me at the time) thought red! But to not have a red, yellow nor even a free kick for those challenges is absurd.

    I have to agree with Goonerman, if those challenges were done by us it would have been a different story – if they were done by a Joey Barton or a Karl Henry, it would have been headline news.


    Malouda’s challenge wasn’t really a challenge at all, he kicked out off the ball. But like I said, Sagna got some payback he also kicked out, so we can’t complain too much.

  • Vazy

    why the hell has Wilshire been called up for both squads? can they not see this could have a detrimental affect to his development

  • detriot09

    The statistic Lee Dixon came up with on MOTD2 that “Since the Invincibles Arsenal have played United and Chelsea 33 times in all competitions and won 6″ is quite telling. Now Wenger can take the clock back further to the last decade and claim some sort of parity with our biggest rivals, but the pattern is clear and it’s not a positive one. We do not have the nous to win the big games, irrespective of who’s on the pitch. We’ve had people on here all season saying we’ve got such quality in our midfield and attack that we’ll invariably outscore most teams- not when the best teams limit the number of chances they give you and we don’t take them. The Chelsea tactic are always the same- concede possession, allow us to pass the ball to death, wait for us to miss and then hit us on the break. I suggest that whoever played yesterday the result would have been the same- we’ve seen it so often, as we also have done in recent games against United.There are some fundamentals that do not seem to be sorted out. Nasri and Arshavin flitting in and out of the game- Clichy and Sagna’s positional deterioration and Song thinking he can roam into attack and stroll back on the strength of his Blackpool goal. Why can’t Wenger give simple instructions and if they’re not followed, drop the players. As for Koscielny laughing off the defeat with Drogba at the end that made my blood boil- who really cares in this team? Vermaelen, whose injury is apparently worse than originally thought (surprise, surprise), Van Persie, who’s a perpetual sick- note and Fabregas, who’s seen the light and decided last season he’d had enough of constant under-achievement. Who else?

  • detriot09

    All the old chestnuts are out on today ahead of the Chavs game.

    Wenger – Sunday will show our title strength

    Wenger – Strength is not all-important

    ‘I’d welcome new financial rules tomorrow’

    Some of my favourite snippets from the articles

    “What for you is physical strength?” asked the Arsenal manager at his pre-match press conference.
    The answer almost certainly doesn’t involve having Carlos Vela to come off the bench as the only available partner for Chamakh mate. I would also say it more likely lies with a striker who has scored 12 in 10 against us

    “How can you explain how Spain won the World Cup and Barcelona beat Chelsea in the Champions League? Football is not only down to physique. It’s down to intelligence, technique, mobility. There is not one way. That’s what makes it interesting”

    Hmmmm – if you want to copy Spain so badly, I would suggest that having two of the best strikers in world football, three of the best passers of the ball who rarely switch off and give the ball away at key moments and an abundance of riches in the goalkeeping position might have helped them win the biggest prize. Still, if pale imitations of Villa, Torres, Casillas & Reina, Busquets, Xavi and Iniesta are what you mean just keep on sleepwalking in the same direction

    “Did Didier Drogba score last week?” added Wenger. “No he didn’t, he played against Kolo Toure. When Toure played here you said he could not handle him. Suddenly when he moves to Manchester City he’s stronger.”

    True and nor is he likely to score a goal that allows him to run virtually unchallenged from the halfway line against anyone else this season either, or profit from situations where a full back and winger double up so easily on a full back allowing him endless supply from the flanks. Sort your life out mate – Stevie Wonder spotted the flaws in the formation ages ago

    “If you are committed to contracts of three or four years, you cannot reduce the wages from one year to the next just because UEFA has kicked in some new rules. To get rid of the players will be impossible because nobody else will pay the wages so this rule would have to come in gradually.”

    Errr…..pot and kettle. Or should that be Lukasz and Carlos. Exactly what length contracts were they awarded ahead of having achieved diddly for us. Not sure there will be a long orderly queue wishing to take on their wages after the prove themselves inadequate again

    We’ve heard all this fucking shit before – stop harping on about “intelligence” over strength and financial inequality because it exists in football all over the world. Just send a fucking team out that can adapt tactically to difficult situations and show a bit of fucking bottle against the Big Guns. We have no divine right to beat Chelsea but an improvement on last season’s collapses is what we need. Only you can deliver it – not UEFA or some God of Justice that exists in Arsene’s world. Time to stand up and deliver

  • Kodjo

    Interesting…huh…not one person has laid a finger on Fabianski….right?

    I guess he did an okay job!!! Good for his confidence…

    What do you think …Kieran

  • Gooner Get Ya

    I just can’t believe how much Chelsea resorted to hoofing the ball up to Drogba…the trouble is that it nearly worked in a number of occasions.

  • Kodjo

    I guess we have to accept that soccer teams evolve and go through cycles and that we are at a time when chelsea are just too powerful for us and we cant handle them…

    Remember the times of parlour, dixon, keown, adams…chelsea would play their hearts out…they had the likes of a young lampard, hasselbank, zola, flo, melchiot, desailly, vialli, di mateo…etc yet arsenal would always come out on on top….one FA cup final comes to mind when lyunberg and parlour popped up to score after chelsea had arsenal on the back foot for that game……it seemed that arsenal just had the hoodoo over chelsea no matter what team they fielded just as it appears that we have one over spurs…..

    chelsea finally broke that cycle in the champions league semi final game when arsenal were beaten …..since then we have really struggled against them

    i’m of the view that teams evolve and victories come out in cycles so as i said previously, i wouldn’t loose heart at all.

    with the law of averages which should happen sooner than later ..i expect arsenal to thump chelsea and man utd shortly….

    mark my words!!!

    it’s the performances like the one with west brom that really annoy me….

  • Berth

    Detroit09 – nice writing but Kojo has point too.

  • Berth

    Words of wisdom from Mourinho as he praises Ronaldo –

    ” Cristiano is untouchable because he works as hard as anyone. In this time when we are trying to construct a team, there are fundamental principles, and he represents them all. The first is greed, the second and the third solidarity and discipline. Cristiano has all of these attributes. I am lucky that many players in the squad represent these, because if not, we would be dead.”

    Am not sure but I think these principles stated by Jose sums up his team and ours. Since Mourinho came and left, most teams adopted the last two principle – solidarity and DIscipline; unfortunately these same principle is what we lack in our team. we can apply these principles especially the discipline and solidarity – we are desperately lacking on this aspect of the modern game and seriously need to improve; its either you drop some players or let them work hard on these aspects.