Another week, yet more drama and you get the feeling there’s plenty more to come whether you want it or not.
Debs covered off the City game fantastically yesterday so I won’t elaborate too much on it but what a day that was. I was oddly confident going into the game as I knew City had to play for the win and when teams attack Arsenal at home, we’re at our most dangerous. Arsenal didn’t let me down; they were hungry for the ball and drove forward at every opportunity while City seemed to be a team potentially affected by United’s 2-0 win versus QPR.
After a number of efforts against the post and misses on the line, Arsenal finally got their goal. ‘Panic buy, passed his best’ Mikel Arteta won the ball back off Piazarro and fired an unstoppable effort in the bottom left corner. Not for the first time this season, cue pandemonium. Relief to get the goal we deserved, a goal to beat the City money boys (Na$ri) and a massive three points. The stadium instantly mocking City by celebrating with the Poznan was one of those moments that you’ll always laugh about, my lasting image was looking up from my seat and seeing the club level box above me joining in too. Brilliant fun.
A week after losing to QPR, Arsenal reacted in the way we needed them to especially given how tight the race for the Champions League is shaping up. With Tottnum losing, Chelski drawing and Newcastle winning; Arsenal sit in 3rd place by two points, ahead of Tottnum and Newcastle and Chelsea 4 points a drift. Arsenal have a game in hand tonight at Wolves, in fact Arsenal will play three times in the Premier league before Tottnum kick a ball again. I’ll let the mathematicians work out where we ‘could’ be come 3pm on 21st April.
On to tonight’s game against Wolves. Arsenal go into it without Koscielny who picked up his 10th booking of the season against City, thus resulting in a two game ban. Djourou will come straight into the side and while many will cringe in fear after his performances back in January, you should remember these sub-standard performances were at right back rather than his natural centre back position. With Gibbs feeling the fatigue from a long period out, everyone’s favourite maverick left back, Santos, will replace him. I expect further changes too given the effort put in to beat City just three days earlier. Don’t be surprised if Chamakh, AOC and Ramsey get a run out too.
After the non performance and apologies from the QPR game, we should not under estimate a Wolves team who are literally scrapping for their Premiership life; what do they have to lose going for a win against the mighty Arsenal? Just ask Norwich.
RVP yesterday wrote:
“I remember when – without being disrespectful – I first arrived here, there were some games when I was thinking less about whether we would win or not and more about who would score for us and how many we would get.
“There were some games like that in my first couple of years, but those days are 100% finished because the so-called smaller teams have improved so much.
“That QPR game was a wake-up call for us.”
Wise and honest words from the captain but I feel like I’ve heard different forms of this before only to be let down in subsequent games. Captain Robin, ‘actions speak louder than words’, 6 points from the next two games against Wolves and Wigan are vital, over to the boys.
And finally… to the clowns that govern our game, The FA. After plenty to digest and review after the double header over the Easter weekend the following decisions were made:
An apology from Mike Riley to Wigan.
After the linesman failed to raise his flag for not one but three players in an offside position when Chelsea scored their first goal, the Head of Referee’s Mike Riley, issued an apology to Wigan boss Roberto Martinez. While this doesn’t put right the wrong, the apologetic gesture from Riley should be seen as a positive move from the FA and referees.
The FA uphold Shaun Derry’s red card.
Soon after Riley’s apology the FA announced it would not be rescinding the red card shown to Shaun Derry at Old Trafford. For those that haven’t seen it, Ashley Young was a yard offside when the ball is played into him, the lineman fails to spot the offside and lets play continue. Derry, in an effort to get back into position after correctly playing Young offside, places a hand on Young’s back and the United player pirouettes to the ground in a theatrical fashion to win a penalty. The referee decides that it was a goal scoring opportunity and sends Derry off.
With a couple of days to consider their options the FA could have taken a similar stance to the Wigan situation and rescinded the red card as acceptance of the incorrect decision. No chance, the FA decides to uphold the decision regardless of the fact the goal was given due a player CLEARLY in an offside position.
The FA chooses not to charge Mario Balotelli.
Have a look at this picture:
According to the FA, one of the match officials saw the incident therefore they can not take retrospective action. Really? But what about Ben Thatcher’s elbow in 2006? What the FA are saying is they are spineless in making the big decisions and dealing with serious foul play that risks serious career ending injury.
Man City boss, Roberto Mancini apologised for the tackle after he saw it on the TV and accepted the FA should look into it. So the opposition manager urges the FA to look into a tackle he has apologised for as it was dangerous, yet the arrogance of the FA means they won’t take any further action??
The FA are completely and utterly spineless. A joke of an institution governing our game through hypocrisy. While they refuse to rescind false red cards and take action on serious foul play, they will spend time pleading for a reduction of Wayne Rooney’s ban after he kicked a player on the floor playing for England.
The Respect campaign my arse.
Bring on Wolves and Wigan!!!
Come on The Arsenal.