Daily Archives: August 14, 2011
After watching Sebastian Larsson smash in that goal of the season contender when his new club Sunderland visited Anfield yesterday, I realized that all the new signings in the World will not give you 3 points week in week out. £20m Necky Henderson settled for a place in the right wing. £18m Charlie Chaplin was the playmaker while £20m Downs Syndrome operated from the wings. £35m WWE’s Edge was spearheading the attack but the savior of the day was £23m Luis Suarez. With the exception of Lucas, the remaining offensive players at Liverpool commanded a total transfer fee of £106m but at the end of the final whistle at Anfield it was 1-1.
Food for thought.
The lineup I predicted in yesterday’s post was almost the same with the team that played yesterday. The only change was Arshavin for Walcott. The pacey Englishman wasn’t fit enough to start so the diminutive Russian got the nod. The buildup to the game was tiring at the same time grueling because much emphasis was laid on the previous score line in the ground and Arsenal going into the game without Fabregas and Nasri. The men at the commentary box where tempted time and time again to mention their names but the name ‘Fabregas’ was likened Harry Potter’s evil rival Lord Voldemort because Steve Barnyard referred to Arsenal’s captain…soon to be former captain as ‘You-Know-Who’.
When I looked at Newcastle’s lineup, I gave out a small fit of laughter because Arsenal’s squad without Fabregas and Nasri seemed good enough to go back to London with all 3 points. The goalie between the sticks was the same goalie that conceded an own goal when both sides met in the Carling Cup last season. The defense was led by an Argentine player with a bad hair-do similar to Barcelona’s legendary Puyol. He was supported by a center back with the looks of a recently converted vampire (S. Taylor), a Manchester United reject (Simpson) and a versatile full back whose last two goals were against the team he’s playing for (R. Taylor).
Their attack was spearheaded by a Nigerian that still has hopes for playing for England like Almunia and a Senegalese that has the same name with the sound a sheep makes. My point of interest however, was in Newcastle’s midfield. The mohawked chap that completed the fairy tale story for them with that late volley in February was present and he had a new midfield partner arriving in England shortly after winning the French League and Cup double with Gervinho in Lille. The Argentine hefty bully of a winger with a longer hair than Rapunzel played on the left while Adolf Hitler’s long lost grandson played on the right.
Following the rash comments about the transfer policy of the club he put on Twitter, nobody expected Joey Barton to play for Newcastle yesterday but I felt that he played yesterday’s match because he’s an essential piece of Newcastle’s jigsaw puzzle.
Call him Hitler, a ruffian, a brawler, a jail bird, serial rapist, a mass murderer or the killer of one million jews; Joey Barton has the most cultured right foot in Newcastle and he has been using it to great effect especially with their set pieces.
Arsenal drew first blood from a very unlikely source. Arshavin and Gervinho linked up well but the Ivorian fed Ramsey in the box despite the fact that it was crowded with many defensive soldiers from the Toon Army. Ramsey showed some neat touches before laying it up for Tomas Rosicky, a player that’s unlikely to score a goal even if his life depended on it. Rosicky side-footed the ball and it went wide. Newcastle had a set piece that was sent into Arsenal’s danger area but Sagna and Steven Taylor challenged for the ball in the air with Sagna coming out as second best after receiving a nasty blow on his head.
Gervinho was all over the place and he linked up well with Gibbs who sent in a teasing cross into Newcastle’s 6-yard box but nobody was there to smash the ball home. Newcastle broke again from the right wing with their full back Danny Simpson and he almost caught Szczesny with a cross that wanted to sneak in but Arsenal’s goalie made a decent stop.
Newcastle launched an over the top ball that evaded the entire defense but Szczesny assumed the role of a sweeper and sent the ball away to safety. A counter attack built up from Szczesny’s clearance and Newcastle suddenly found themselves on the back foot. Gervinho ran at the full back before drilling one in for rVp. Taylor made a panicky clearance that ricocheted off the Argentine Puyol’s body and the ball was slightly behind rVp but he still lashed at it with his choco leg to win a corner off Taylor’s body.
RVP, Ramsey and Rosicky exchanged passes before teeing up Gervinho but his own pass let him down. Newcastle won a free kick high up the pitch and Hitler was on hand to take it but the free kick was punched to safety by a dominant Wojciech Szczesny. Simpson crossed the ball to the edge of the box but the eldest of Disney’s Jonas brothers popped up from nowhere and fired a well timed volley with the aim of putting Newcastle ahead. A rabbit on the edge of the post was killed because the shot was miles away from its intended target.
The clearest chance for an opener was spurned thanks to a lethargic pass by Andrei Arshavin. After a mix-up in midfield, Ramsey sent a killer pass to Arshavin with Gervinho free on one end and Steven Taylor caught in between. The idea to send the ball to Gervinho early was a smart move by the Russian but his execution was very poor. Song misplaced the ball in the midfield and got his first yellow of the season when he tried to atone for his error by fouling the Ba Ba Black Senegalese Sheep.
Arsenal almost went ahead when Newcastle’s goalie failed to deal with a corner from the right hand side but Koscielny’s header was cleared off the line. As both teams settled into a nice rhythm, Ryan Taylor noticed that Szczesny was off his line so he tried to attempt a Maynor Figueroa-esque drop shot but it went wide even though Szczesny had it covered.
With the first half reaching its climax, a Vermaelen header from defense arrived at Gervinho’s feet and it was a 3-on-3 situation with rVp and Arshavin trying to open up but the Ivorian winger lacked ideas. Arsenal’s last chance of the first half was created by AA23. A delicious overhead through ball that wasn’t brought under control by rVp.
Newcastle had a chance to go one up before the break after a Gibbs infringement but Ryan Taylor smashed his free kick on the Arsenal wall instead of crossing the ball for a teammate.
At the end of the ref’s whistle, the story was a lot different. In February, Arsenal went into the break in buoyant mood following a 4-0 mauling.
At the start of the second half, the Ba Ba Senegalese sheep was replaced by Manchester United’s former winger that dribbles like an imbecile, Gabby Obertan. Gibbs got the first booking of the second half for a lounge at Hitler even if replays showed that Gibbs also got the ball too. Rosicky brought back the form of old to evade a series of Newcastle players before teeing up Gervinho who had one touch too many and another chance went begging.
Sagna showed some good dribbling skills up the pitch but his knee received a blow from Jonas to win a free kick for Arsenal. RVP curled the free kick over the wall with power and precision but the ball went over the bar.
Hitler and Song engaged themselves in a struggle for the ball and Song wasn’t too pleased when Hitler cleared the ball from under his legs and probably hit him in the follow up so Song stamped the brawler when the ref’s eyes were not fixed on him. Not judging by sentiment, Song was supposed to be sent off for that malicious challenge. Wenger removed Arshavin and replaced him with Walcott.
Song sent a lovely through ball to rVp that brought the entire Newcastle defense to a stand still but the ball was too quick for rVp. Van Persie fed Ramsey who cushioned a simple pass tro Walcott. The winger’s shot went through a defender’s legs but the keeper had it covered.
Gervinho ran at the defenders with real intent but he was found wanting on the final third. Newcastle replaced Nigeria’s Amoeba and replaced him with Drake….Leon Best.
The major talking point of the match started when Gervinho ran with the ball and made a theatrical dive to win a penalty but the ref was having none of it. As the game went on, Gervinho was about getting up when Hilter forgot about the game and bragged him up like a beggar that owed him money and had not payed. Steven Taylor quickly ran in between the two men to become UN’s Ban Ki-Moon but they stilll held each other’s jerseys.
As expected, the area was getting crowded with bodies but Gervinho made a ghastly error that cost him his place on the pitch. He stretched his hand and made some contact with Hilter, but the Nazi hit the turf someone that was fired with a sawn-off shotgun at close range. The initial peacemaker Taylor turned on the screw by signifying to the ref that an elbow was used. Tempers started flaring up and words were exchanged. The ref moved the two guilty parties away from the crime scene and brandished Gervinho with a red card while that Nazi bloke escaped with a yellow.
In a match where Arsenal clearly lacked that cutting edge and creativity which Fabregas and Nasri brought to the team, Gervinho was the only player that had the key to unlock Newcastle’s defense with his surging runs and trickery but the sending off ensured that he’ll miss out of Arsenal’s difficult ties against Liverpool and Manchester United.
The game went downhill from there any Arsenal didn’t offer any noteworthy threat whatsoever. Ramsey had a very tame shot, Gibbs headed the ball to the keeper instead of rVp and Djourou made a big mess of his intended pass to Walcott when Arsenal was in a 3 against 2 situation right at the death.
At the sound of the final whistle, the relief was visible on Wenger’s face because he felt that his team was going to buckle under the pressure from Newcastle’s 11 men against his 10.
Szczesny (7.0) had a boring day at the office in terms of shots received but he did very well to command his area with sweeping clearances as well as punches to safety.
Sagna (7.0) did what he is renowned for. Balancing attack and defense with consummate ease.
Gibbs (6.5) made some surging runs down the left and anticipated the ball well. His final balls in attack let him down though.
Koscielny (8.0) was a colossus in defense and was never afraid to get stuck in against Newcastle’s bigger strikers. He also showed coordination and maturity at the back and probably proved to Wenger that there might be no need for Samba, Cahill, Mertesacker and Dann.
Vermaelen (7.5) was the leader at the back and made some last ditch tackles that showed his abiltity to read the game superbly.
Song (7.0) was impressive in midfield with his confidence and close control but he was in danger of getting sent off and can thank his lucky stars that no official witnessed that incident.
Ramsey (6.5) had a fair game by his standards filled up with lots and lots of short passes.
Rosicky (6.5) showed his canny style of play and well as to make himself available for a pass but he didn’t really create any chance that split Newcastle’s defense like a razor.
Gervinho (8.0) was ubiquitous on the pitch and was on the end of so many delightful moves that didn’t crack Newcastle open. It’s a shame to know that he lost his cool against a brawler like Joey Hilter and hasn’t done himself any good by picking a red card and could face 3 matches out.
Arshavin (6.0) picked up where he left off last season with more mediocre play from a player of immense quality. His overhead pass to RvP was a thing of beauty.
Van Persie (6.0) The usually dependable rvp was toothless in attack. Oh well, even the best strikers have a bad day at the office.
Walcott (5.5) offered no real threat in attack.
Frimpong and Djourou didn’t play long enough to get a Gooner Daily rating.
It’s early days to start going boinkers but this match has shown everyone that the vacuum left by Fabregas and Nasri hasn’t been filled yet and REPLACEMENTS ARE BADLY NEEDED.
Wenger has hinted that he wouldn’t be turning to Jadson or Mata so we’ll have to keep our fingers crossed.
The tweet of the day goes to Mr. Rossi Gooner,
“@mr_rossi_gooner: Was going to get a hair cut like @Joey7Barton but remembered I’m not a f*cking TWAT and didn’t want to look like Hitler”
All least I’m not the only one that thinks that he descended from Hitler.
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