Urgh, Red Tackles.

So, on Saturday, Jack Wilshere unwittingly gave Robbie “Wanker” Savage a bit of a platform to label Wenger as a hypocrite. You see, on the radio, Savage acts the outspoken moron all the time – sometimes I agree with him, but hell, the frequency with which he mouths off, the laws of chance suggest he’s got to be right every now and again. On Saturday I didn’t agree at all. He called out Wenger, suggesting Wenger is a hypocrite because of all his talk about bad challenges and then his player makes a bad challenge. The thing is – Wenger didn’t condone the challenge. He accepted it was a red. He rightly pointed out that the challenge was clearly the result of personal frustration, not frustration with the opposition or the result or a personal grudge, just frustration with himself after a poor first touch. Wenger also pointed out that it was both his first bad touch in 90 minutes and his first bad challenge.

Did the player refuse to leave the pitch like Karl Henry? Did he act all innocent? No. He’s not that type of player. He took it on the chin, apologised to the player (who played on), left the pitch and took his first walk of shame.

I don’t really understand how anyone can arrive at the conclusion that Arsene Wenger is a hypocrite. The BBC interview on MOTD was another piece of lazy journalism, intended to portray Arsene as someone who is holier than thou. “That’s your third red card this season” shrilled the reporter. What Arsene should have done right there and then, was rip the microphone out of his hand, twist it sideways and shove it up the blokes arse. And then shouted in his face “RED CARD NUMBER FOUR”. On reflection maybe instead he should have pointed out that is our first red card in two and a half years for violent conduct. Instead, wearily, he just accepted it was a red card.

Again, Wenger speaks out on terrible challenges, and in two and a half years, that’s roughly 2.3 million games, we’ve had just one dismissal for violent conduct (read: a terrible challenge). I think throwing stones is fine, our house is made from bricks.

So, Alex McLeish the nasty little prick has decided that Wilshere’s challenge was the same as Taylor’s a few seasons ago. Really? One was planted, the other was not, one was the ankle (you know, the bit of the leg that is on the floor near the ball and easy to catch) the other was halfway up the shin (you know, miles away from the fucking ground), one led to a play going to hospital with his foot in a bag under his arm and the other caused no damage at all, one challenge was accepted as a terrible challenge by the manager, the other, 2 years later is still labelled as an accident…. I’m pretty sure they are both quite different. Hopefully McLeish will fuck off one day to Labyrinth with his mates Didymus, Hoggle and Jareth The Goblin King.

So onto the game, a few things stood out. Arshavin really is beggining to get on my nerves. I wouldn’t mind so much if he was dreadful, but he’s clearly one of the most talented footballers to play in an Arsenal shirt – why the hell doesn’t he play like it? His scoring and assists record has been great, but like I say every week – if he actually tried, I suspect he might be scoring more than the Chelsea front three put together. Squillaci though is again, something of a revelation. The way he marshaled the back four, explaining in quite specific detail to Clichy how to defend, dragging JD out with him when the ball cleared – no wonder he was made the captain. He was great – I’ve seen people query why Clichy wasn’t the captain, which is fucking ludicrous. The boy can’t put one foot in front of the other at the moment without making a mistake, he doesn’t need any extra pressure.

Chamakh needs to stay on his feet or he’ll get a reputation. There has been a wiff at times of dishonesty in the way he goes down, and he’s now earned 5 penalties in all competitions – this was easily the unlikeliest penalty yet – it was a dive pure and simple. Remember when Rooney dived and we all got upset? This was no different – and people should remember that when they try to defend it. I remember thinking then that Almunia was to blame for even presenting the opportunity to dive to Rooney, and so I thought the same here – the defender went to ground and didn’t win the ball – he can’t really have many complaints, but they’ll feel hard done by and rightly so.

If we get to the Champions League final and Chamakh gets bundled over in the box I don’t want the ref to be thinking “this lads a bit eager to eat the grass” I want him thinking “holy fucking shit pen pen pen”. The boy who cried wolf springs to mind. Or the boy who dived penalty.

Quick round up of other stuff – Did anyone see Tony Pulis make a complete tit of himself?

I’ve got nothing against foreign managers, they are very nice people. Apart from Arsene Wenger.

Hilarious stuff – I genuinely think the bloke is damaged. Fantastically petty, and I’m sure Wenger has read that and smiled to himself. At least Ferguson is subtle.

The Man City / Blackpool game was great entertainment, but I felt so sorry for Blackpool. They should have taken the lead twice before they had a goal disallowed, and both of Tevez’s goals should never have been – one was offside and one stemmed from a foul. Ah well, Tevez was my fantasy league captain, so 24 points say I don’t really mind the injustice of it all. Blackpool are my new favourite other team. They’re so great – they actually play football. Love them to stay up, purely for their “you not as good as arsenal” chant to Chelsea and their “are you Preston in disguise” chant at Liverpool. They even sang “we’re gonna win 7-6” at our place. Excellent fans.

Ooof, speaking of Liverpool, it doesn’t get any better than this – hopefully the rat-eaters will be in the relegation zone right up until the last day of the season. To all those who have demanded Wenger leave, or that we submit to foreign investment I leave you with a photo of warning.

Ah – and the news everywhere is that Wayne Rooney is leaving United. He want’s out after Ferguson dared to suggest he shouldn’t shag prostitutes. I think what Sir Alex was trying to impart to Wayne was “if you’re going to cheat, don’t do it with something that looks like the back end of a bus for fucks sake boy”. But you know what Wayne is like, the tempestuous little twat. I’ll be honest, I’m sad we don’t get to watch Ronaldo every week in the premiership even if I am glad it significantly weakened United in the process – Rooney though, I could not give a shit. He could play for Kazakhstan for all I care. He’s hardly an exciting player to watch at times, just effective. For all his faults, and he had many, Ronaldo was at least exciting to watch on a Sunday.

  • Berth

    Good stuff.

  • Steve of Chiang Mai

    Who cares Wenger is a legend and Robbie Savage is a flea

  • kevin

    nice post matey – disagree about chamakh though – it looked to me like he was clipped – the player came in frm behind and in the box…chamakh didnt see him from behind unless he had eyes @ the back of his head.

  • dp

    Wayne Rooney to join us in Jan – worth a flutter?!

  • Kodjo

    Good post Kieran

    I really like reading your articles…but, as Kevin said, i disagree with you on Chamakh…there was a touch albeit it faint/soft…he anticipated the contact and made the most out of it….b’ham are aggrieved bcos they got out smarted inpite of their rough house tactics….

  • Kieran

    @ kevin, @ Kodjo:
    Guys I’m not suggesting there wasn’t contact at all – I’m suggesting that there was contact but that Chamakh waited for it and then made the most of it. If you remember Rooney’s it was exactly the same, he knocked the ball, stretched out a leg and waited to be taken down. Chamakh was only ever going away from goal which is why he waited for the contact and the penalty.

    Chamalh definitely saw the player go to ground as he had to run past him to get to the ball.

  • Kodjo

    @ Kieran

    Okay i get your point…very much like Rooney taking advantage of the situation…in other words playing for the penalty. If that is the case then there are ethical issues here…is it gamesmanship or being a con man???

    Is this different from the days of Veira or Pires ..who
    anticipated contact around the box …esp during tight games…in which Henry would stick the ball into the net from the ensuing free kick.

    If this is the case, i blame the opposing players for not being smart and wising up…like i blamed Almunia for falling for Rooney gamesmanship…others will call it cheating….???? The point being as a player you’ve got to make sure you win the ball..if not you have to accept the consequences

    I will reiterate my previuos point that B’ham felt aggrieved bcos they were outsmarted by Chamakh…they thought they could get away with committing intelligent fouls..time wasting…etc

  • Sam

    Anyway, 3rd in the table, cutting Chelsea’s lead to 5. Not bad for now…

  • Yemi

    @ kevin:

    I agree with you, but i also feel he went down way too easily. It was as if he was waiting for any type of contact for him to go down and he sure rooneyed it. Went down easily.

  • Kieran

    @ Kodjo:
    No I agree entirely, there was contact and it was a penalty – but he went down before the tackle was made. All I said was that we were unhappy when Rooney did it to us, we should not be hypocrites.

    I like you blame the defender ultimately, but Chamakh will get a reputation as a diver if he is not careful.