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Apologies to those of you of a sensitive disposition, because this is not going to be a match report so much as a long acid tongued rant. Those of you that want a detailed match report should go to the archive and dig up the Villa and Boro reports, because this was really just a carbon copy. Arsenal started brightly, went a goal behind, opposition parked bus, Arsenal squandered a hundred set pieces, grabbed equaliser, Hleb ran socks off to no acclaim, Henry's only contributions were to set the world lazy record.

The captain will bear the first dose of the LD bitter pill. I am only too aware of this man's awesome talent, I am not convinced I have ever witnessed a more naturally gifted player. But talent gets you nothing on its own. Henry will only be too aware of this as you do not rise to his acclaim without significant helpings of elbow grease. But this season he has comfortably been our least industrious player, yestrday encapsulated this only too well. To say he cut a forlorn figure is an understatement. I appreciate that he was marked heavily during the game. However, his overall effort was one of a man who did not care for the team or the result. When dropping off into midfield to collect the ball, he over indulged and refused to chase balls that he lost. There was a point in the first half when van Persie pressed Neville into a corner. With his angles cut off, Neville's ONLY option was to go back to Tim Howard. With Henry standing five yards away from the Everton keeper, was it really too much to ask to close him down? van Persie correctly administered a verbal volley towards Henry, who took the criticism like a five year old girl. Buck your ideas up Mr. Henry. Not just by scoring, but by contributing to your team in terms of effort, you are not too good to work hard.

The second target of my vitriol is the idiotic way in which the BBC interpreted Wenger's post match interview. I managed to catch a smidgen of MOTD this morning (messy evening yesterday). Wenger gave Everton glowing praise for the way in which they defended, and rightly so, they were intelligent and determined. Lescott playing out of position at left back caught the eye in particular. Wenger criticised the time wasting. Now I know that this goes on and everybody does it, but does that mean it is acceptable? What if the same argument were to be applied to diving? Time wasting is cheating, simple as that, it contravenes the laws of the game and as such is deserving of criticism. Of course MOTD conspired to criticise Arsene and dismiss Arsenal for being too attractive! We all know Alan Hansen is a moron, but his comments in response to Arsene were, at best, staltifyingly ill informed and, at worst, idiotic. Nobody is saying teams should lay down their arms at the Grove, it is our responsibility to overcome, but is it really so wrong to ask for the laws of the game to be respected and applied? The BBC's sports broadcasting has taken a huge fall from grace of late. Their lazy tabloid journalism on the 'bung' and Beveren issues were met with widespread derision. Both were irresponsible, lazy and libellous attempts at tabloid journalism. The malaise has spread into a programme that was once considered a footballing institution, and it is a programme I will watch no longer. Goals on Sunday is a much more considered and in depth look at the action. Hansen's monosyllabic and lazy comments, together with Shearer's hypocritical whinings really aren't worth watching.

Mike Riley also is deserving of my consternation. Everton's time wasting was justified and encouraged by Riley. With Howard taking two and a half hours over another goal kicjk, I saw Riley PRETEND to stop his watch. He held his watch up in a motion to suggest he had stopped it, yet when play restarted he did not touch his watch again. His brilliant response to the Toffeemen's clock eating was to send Moyes off in injury time for having the temerity to hold his arm up! Well done idiot. I also must question the motives of those in the South Stand who chose to chant 'Who Are You?' in a mocking fashion towards the Everton fans when they had won a corner! The second this happened, my friend turned to me and said '1-0' instantly. The footballing Gods duly obliged in punishing the sheer arrognace of that chant. It's o.k to have a bit of banter, for example, when you're leading! Did we learn nothing from the Wigan Carling Cup embarassment? As a set of fans, we have a reputation for arrogance. It's hard to deny.

On a positive note, the performance of Tomas Rosicky left me drooling. The all action 'Little Mozart' pulled the strings with industry and composure. How he did not end up with a goal I've no idea, he certainly deserved it. Ultimately, we have to learn to beat teams in these situations.The way to affect this is by working on our set pieces. Chelsea are a side that lack our creativity, but the big difference, and the reason they manage to overcome such tactics is their set piece conversion. Last season over half of their goals arrived this way, a remarkable statistic. If Arsenal converted about three per cent of their corners, they would score a hatful every game. Unfortunately, with injury robbing us of Baptista and Adebayor, plan b could not be put into effect. Anyaways, unlike Everton, I've no time to waste, it was a wise man who once opined, 'as if you could kill time without injuring eternity.' How appropriate that the club continue to refuse the requests for the famous Clock End timepiece, had it have been present yesterday, it would surely have visibly grimaced. LD.

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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday October 29 2006

Time: 11:34AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
So you were happy with the game then LD? :P
Report Abuse
29/10/2006 11:52:00

In honesty, I don't think we've played badly or anything. It's purely having seen two minutes of MOTD and seeing evryone parrott their comments that is responsible for my spleen venting.
Little Dutch
Report Abuse
29/10/2006 11:59:00

Although the 'who are you?' chant really did get my goat. Timing people!
Little Dutch
Report Abuse
29/10/2006 12:00:00

I was saying to a friend yesterday that in the PL this season we haven't played badly at all, even at Man City we played ok. I think we'll have to accept that we will earn a few draws this season and as long as they don't turn into losses we will be there or there abouts come the end of the season.
Report Abuse
29/10/2006 12:12:00

its true about set-pieces, remember the george graham days,the good times i mean, when we would get a corner,and the crowd always would start chanting A-R-S-E-R-R-R-R-N-AL,cos we knew that the big boys would come up and havoc would ensue,and a bouldy flick here and a diving header there and we would win the game,it was a scoring opportunity,now if we get a corner,half the crowd dont expect anything from it other than the goalkeeper catching it,or it drops too short or flies too deep and groaning with frustration,and if we do score,well its just out of good fortune,not drilling and practasing,and i am personally feeling more surprised if we do manage to score from a corner,basically the buzz of expectance from corners have long gone.look at throw ins,yesterday henry was standing approx 5 meters behind the last line of defence,in no-mans land,with only the toffees goalkeeper for company,we had a throwin, and what happened? nothing.henry didnt want the ball,even though he was in a prime scoring pos.his team mate had no inclination to set him up,its like all they do at training is run around as fast as they can and pass the ball in little pretty patterns,i know theres alot more to football than that.mix arsenals technical skill and speed with boltons grit and set piece drills, and you get chelski,ie champions
fran merida
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29/10/2006 13:21:00

Chelsea don't come close to Arsenal's technical skill. Comparisons as hybrids are futile, what is clear is that we need to practise set pieces. Scoring three per cent of set pieces would have seen us comfortably beat Villa, Boro and Everton. It's frustrating, because we did not perform badly yet again.
Little Dutch
Report Abuse
29/10/2006 13:33:00

so cashley hole,has become a worse technical player,now hes moved across london,and gallas has become technically gifted,now he plays in red n it because arsenal pass the ball alot and play a so called total football,that our team has more technical skill than,manu liverpool chelsea.isnt that a bit bias,and a little arrogant,what exactly is technicall ball skill,its the ability to control and use the ball,i would say most players have that ability,havnt you noticed how any team becomes sooo much better when they are 2-3 goals up,and the players are relaxed,they all look like fancy dans,stroking the ball about,as if they are having a sunday kick about,its always easy to play good football when your winning,even bolton will play the ball on the ground and pass one touch triangles when they are cruising,and it works against deflated or inferior arsenal are technically superior,cos they try and play like this all the time?but against well drilled and savvy doesnt work too well,it IS frustrating,thats why we need to mix it up,i love the way we play,im proud of the plaudits,but i love goals and results and silverware too.
fran merida
Report Abuse
30/10/2006 16:01:00

Firstly, there are degrees of technical ability. Yes all footballers have technical ability, but is Lampard as adept as Cesc? No, is Essien more skillful than Rosicky? No. Secondly, Chelsea do not stroke the ball about when 2-0 up, they close the game down. Thirdly, the football we play beat Reading 4-0, at some point in every game you win, you have to score the first goal, Arsenal always play great football, no matter the result and win most of the time. Therefore, yes we are technically superior to others. I don't want to see us playing long ball, it doesn't work for us and it's horrible to watch. The point is we get more set pieces than any other team, if we were to capitalise every once in a while, we would turn these results into wins without detracting from our aesthetically amazing style. Can you honestly say Chelsea are more attractive to watch than Arsenal? Of course not, because we play the game at a higher technical level, that is obvious.
Little Dutch
Report Abuse
30/10/2006 19:50:00

comparing big fat frank to fab and essien to rosicky is unfair,they are different types of player,its easy to find the plus and minus in every player,for example,how many goals did lamps score last year or this year compared to cesc?chelski can play free flowing attacking football,remember liverpool away,they stuffed them,but the difference is they dont do it very often.Ok,i dont want to argue,cos im not a secret chelsea fan,i frigging hate them,i dont want any of their players in our team,and i dont want us to play theirs or anybody elses type of aesthetically inferior football,ok basically we both agree,that we need to capitalise on set pieces.just like some other teams...cheers, keep the faith
fran merida
Report Abuse
31/10/2006 13:48:00


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