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Monday, March 20, 2006

"It was never part of our plans not to play well, it just happened that way."

What happens when a far from immovable object meets an increasingly irresistible force? The answer was on show at St. James's Park. The Magpies are still vulnerable, and the Men from Merseyside were hitting their stride.

There was one defining question in the match. What, loyal readers, is the best possible thing that can happen when you're playing a superior team whose strikers, one of whom is over two meters tall, are finally starting to score? How about having your centerback sent off? How about having your centerback sent off for substituting dirty play for skill?

The answer? Bench, bench, bench. TDH is almost glad to have an excuse to say it. Let's hope Roeder can train up a different back four. At least, let's hope we look a little better in that FA Cup tie against the losers of the southwest London derby.

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...which leads TDH to ask, what's happened to Chelsea's consistency? Their recent form has hardly been dominant. Maybe we all forgot that 1-0 wins can't be relied on forever; each one is a knife-edge, and hardly a sure thing. Even if a team strings a bunch of them together, it doesn't mean they're bulletproof. When Arsenal had their perfect season, they were winning 3-0, 4-1, etc.

TDH thinks part of the problem is Fat Frank's form. What's happened to him? He's been missing in action in Chelsea's last few important matches. A bit of mid-season fatigue wouldn't be surprising, but he absolutely has to regain his fitness before the World Cup.

TDH wouldn't object to seeing him on the bench, too, for a bit of rest. He's started 39 matches and subbed into two - only Gallas comes close, with 37 and one. Of course, losing that FA Cup tie would also help to cut down on the fixtures....

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Finally, TDH would like to say that it's about time Barca dropped Thiago Motta. Yeah, he's big, he's Brazilian, he's a Barca youth product. Undoubtedly, Rijkaard thought he'd help out Puyol and Marquez by putting more bulk in midfield. But honestly, he's not up to scratch.

3 Comments:

Blogger Redgravey said...

Its been a while, so thought I'd post a quick comment. First of all, hope everyone is well. But more importantly, Arsenal are back to their awesome best and it is about time too. What a come-down its been this year, having to check the bolton and wigan results rather than manure and chelsea.

Hats off to Arsene: even in a season as shit as this, we're still in with a decent shout of the biggest trophy of them all, although, we'll have to pull off the mother of all performances to get past juve/inter/barca. Incidentally, if recent performances are anything to go by, we may be witnessing the rise of a third great side built by AW (the first being built around petit, anelka and overmars, the second around vieira, pires and henry). If this team does turn out to be 'great' I believe it will be built firmly around the little genius that is cesc. I was in Madrid for the first leg and I can honestly say it was one of the best midfield performances I've seen in a big match. And he's only 18! (Have to keep reminding myself).

As for chelsea and that whinging little portugese twat - I'm just glad that the last round against barca exposed the limits of his dour and destructive approach; chelsea were abysmal and predictable. They needed two goals in the nou camp and they only seemed capable of making a chance from a set piece. To cap it all off, they ended up with Huth as their target man! What's happened to SWP is a lesson to any young aspiring english (or other) players - if you go to chelsea you won't get a game unless you're prepared to fit into JM's oppressive system, which involves everyone behind the ball for long periods and then long hoofs up to drogba to chase down the channels and a bit of running from duff and robben on the wings. One last thing - JM isn't the only manager to moan about refereeing decisions (although he always seems to forget 'play acting' when its practiced by robben or joe cole) but noone else has done more to poison the atmosphere of english football by so consistenly claiming there is a 'conspiracy' in post-match interviews in the manner of some paranoid latino/italian manager and that the refs are all biased against chelsea. He still goes on and on about garcia's 'goal' not having crossed the line, but not one journalist has had the guts to pull him up on the fact that if it hadn't been given, it would have been a red card for Cech and a pen. He's made the premiership much more boring to watch with crap english managers like allardyce and Mclaren trying to copy his methods, but with worse players - he's just a jumped up ex-PE teacher with small man syndrome. FUCK OFF MOURENO.

10:33 AM  
Blogger the Maradona of Malawi said...

my goodness.
I've missed those rants since I moved here. keep 'em coming redgravey.

Arsenal looked good the other day. One hopes Cesc will stay there for a while, though he's apparently said that he eventually wants to move back to Barca.

11:31 AM  
Blogger The American Geordie said...

Ah, Redgravey, how we've missed you.

There might just be something to that theory of yours. The current Goon Show started out much younger than the two other "great" teams you mentioned. So perhaps it's no surprise that it took them a little bit longer to get going this season. But I still want to see them outpass and outrun an aggressive, physical team before I believe that they, too, are great.

Luckily for the Goons, perhaps, that challenge only arrives in the form of Juve and Manure this year - all the other remaining fixtures are against fairly light teams. No more Blackburn, Bolton, Everton, etc. Looking at Tottenham's schedule, I'd say it's going to be Champions League at Ashburton Road.

As for poisoning the atmosphere, it's true that The Indignant One is not helping. I used to think he was doing a good job of taking the flak for his team, keeping the press away from his players, but now I'm not so sure. Yet how different is this, really, from what came before? Was the perennial jousting of Mr. Angry and I Didn't See the Incident really any better, as far as the overall atmosphere was concerned? If anything, it was reflected by bad behavior on the pitch.

1:59 PM  

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