Daily Archives: February 23, 2012
Arsenal’s shambolic loss to AC Milan has made me to lose some interest in the Champions League this season and the fixtures played yesterday weren’t worth breaking sweat over. To those that actually care, Olympique Marseille left it late to see out Inter Milan while the giant killers FC Basel stunned Bayern Munich with a 1-0 victory.
Unlike Manchester United that’s scared of any team with the acronym “F.C.B.” and a Red and Blue jersey with vertical stripes, the Bavarians put up a good shift and are odds to run riot against the Swiss outfit in the second leg. If it’s any motivation, the finals will take place in Bayern’s home ground Allianz Arena and they would like to “feel at home” come May.
The Gentle Frog Avram Grant successfully guided West Ham to the deep bowels of relegation after ushering Portsmouth in the same direction but Big Sam Allardyce has changed the club’s fortunes and his team is currently topping the npower Championship with 15 games left.
While Arsenal Reserves mauled Norwich Reserves with “cheats” like Andrey Arshavin, Park Chu-Young, Marouane Chamakh and Yossi Benayoun present in the starting line up, West Ham locked horns with seventh-placed Blackpool at Bloomfield Road. The Hammers were leading the Tangarines with a 2-1 scoreline when first choice goalie Robert Green received his marching orders in the 53rd minute for dashing off his line to bring down Roman Bednar.
For reasons best known to Aliens scared to attack the Earth because Chuck Norris still leaves, Big Sam didn’t include a spare goalie on the bench so he called up Arsenal’s loanee Henri Lansbury to wear a pair of gloves and stay between the sticks for the remaining 37 minutes plus added time.
Lansbury went into the pitch and kept a clean sheet while West Ham went on to inflict further damage on Blackpool with two more goals to run out as 4-1 winners.
Funnily enough, Lansbury has had a stint between the sticks in an Under-21s match between England U-21s and Germany U-21s. Youngster Jason Steele earned himself an early bath after conceding a penalty in the box. Lansbury came in his stead, let the penalty in but kept Germany U-21s at bay till the game finished.
It’s been a long while since I heard of an outfield player that manned the sticks for the remainder of a game. The last players I can recall share the same first name, John. Former Manchester United’s utility man John O’ Shea kept in the Red Devils 4-0 victory over Tottenham in February 2007 while John Terry kept for Chelsea against Reading in a game that was marred by that horrific injury suffered by Petr Cech.
Moving over to important off-the-pitch events, Stan Kroenke arrived in London two days ago to host a meeting that will take place today with the main agenda being the absurd wages fringe players are earning in the club. The Board is currently unhappy with the present wage bill and they are looking to reduce it with massive sales this summer.
Deadwood like Manuel Almunia, Sebastien Squillaci and sadly, Marouane Chamakh earn £60,000 per week, Nicklas Bendtner earns £52,000 per week while Johan Djourou and Lukasz Fabianski earn £50,000. Park Chu-Young earns £40,000 and he’s more or less a fringe player because Arsene Wenger made him so.
The sales of these players this summer would create the much needed space for fresh blood and new contracts can also be handed to quality players that deserve fat salaries such as Arsenal’s talisman Robin van Persie. I would like Lukasz Fabianski to stay but if he decides to leave this summer, I won’t begrudge him.
Besides, there’s Henri Lansbury. 😀
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