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Roasted Spuds

I don't know about you my fellow Gooner chums, but there are few cullinary delights that can supercede the delights of a Sunday roast. Now usually, I like my potatoes to be lightly cooked, just until they turn that golden brown colour. But on this particularly Sunday, I think I can tolerate some chargrilled Spuds.

Wednesday night was a low point for Goonerdom following the meek defeat to Fulham, fortunately the Spuds fans who frequented this site observed their customary decorum. Gentlemanly greetings, may the best side win and other such pleasantries were delivered. Fortunately, being an individual of unedifying class and principle, I would never be so peremptory as to visit the Spuds forum and discuss the finer points of Gilberto's penalty taking!

I trust you are all reading this on a short hiatus from tormenting the Spuds, so I will not further expend my mockery here. I will discuss the three controversial decisions. I've seen the highlights back (of course I have, and you know what, goals on sunday are about to show them, and I'm going to bloody well watch them again) and my opinions have not changed. Nowadays I sit in the 'loadsa money' enclosure in the East Upper (several pacts with Satanic overlords were made) and I had an untroubled view of all three. Adebayor was ONSIDE, by millimetres, but he was onside. When margins are this fine, the linesman essentially becomes blameless. Usually if you are at home you get them, if you are away you do not. The first penalty, Chimbonda's foul on Rosicky was not a penalty, Chimbonda clearly played the ball. But before the Spuds start bleating (or should that be Pleating?), I visited your site after Zokora's dive against Pompey and not one, not a single one of you condemned Zokora. Most of you encouraged and condoned it, if you live by the sword, invariably, you are slain by the same article of rampage. (Though Rosicky did not dive).

The second penalty was prefaced by the most deceptive of handballs from Robin van Persie. But Poll could never have seen it from his position (too busy looking at himself in the mirror presumably). Poll's performance has been offered as an excuse for Spuds capitulation by more erudite Spuds fans, but he likewise let us down. (Afterall, the assistants could have stepped in on all decisions). His refusal to punish thuggish 'tackles' from the likes of Zokora, Keane, Tainio and Assou Ekoto he reinforced their violence. The Spuds fans boast about 'beating' us to the signature of Didier Zokora was once again exposed as embarassing folly. Fabregas ran rings around him to the extent that I am convinced I saw tweating birds circling his cranium. After one challenge I saw Fabregas dishing out some verbals to Zokora, which elucidates the growing presence of attitude in his game. I would like to think Cesc was saying something along the lines of 'who's your daddy?' Freddie Ljungberg spared us his usual 'huff and puff to no effect' to turn in a sterling performance. Assou Ekoto was removed at half time to spare him further embarassment. King Kolo was colossal again, thwarting the limp advances of Dimitar 'industry' Berbatov, while Johan Djourou deserves special mention for ensuring that Robbie Keane's vibrating gums were his solitary contribution.

Robin van Persie was likewise in fine fettle, dropping off play brilliantly and hassling the Spuds 'defence' in possession. (Mind you, they only ever hoof the ball anyway). Gilberto's penalties were indicative of his performance, consummate and assured. But special mention must go to Emmanuel Adebayor. You probably know that I am a fan of Ade and I realise I am in something of a minority of Arsenal fans in thinking this. Yesterday encapsulated perfectly what he gives us. His energy upfront is not all just empty gusto, a la Flamini. He leads the line excellently, recognises the talents of the likes of van Persie and recycles possession accordingly. His running is ALWAYS intelligent, drifting wide to pull defenders around, or making a central dart to allow van Persie to pull wide. His selflessness enables him to watch the actions of his strike partner and act accordingly. THAT is why Henry enjoys playing with him, and van Persie looked similarly jubilant to partner Ade yesterday. The ovation he received at the end was not just an acknowledgement of his heart, but of his brain. Adebayor was our most dangerous player, and even those among you who do not rate him, have to admit he played a blinder yesterday.

In conclusion, WHAT ARE YOU STILL DOING HERE? The Spuds site awaits. There is an old saying that the wise man speaks when he has something to say, the fool speaks when has to say something. So go forth and multiply wise men, because we've all got something to say today. LD.

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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday December 3 2006

Time: 11:49AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
There was only one team that showed up yesterday...there was not even a contest...we won so easily it's unbelievable...can we play them every week??? Time now to get a result at Porto and carry on our good form at Stamford Bridge...
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03/12/2006 11:56:00

I'll take the gloating, that is what local derbies are about, but don't come out with the crap that we are blaming the ref, my article on poll totally concurs with your conclusions above, on side, not a penalty and handball for other pen. 3% on our poll blamed poll, most blamed players and manager.
White Hart
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03/12/2006 11:58:00

I'm taking this from most of the comments on your site. I will make one amendment, because I know you wrote an article castigating Zokora, it's a shame most of your fans cannot show the same class. You notice I said Poll's decisions have been offered as an excuse, I did not intimate that it was the blanket reason given.
Little Dutch
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03/12/2006 12:01:00

And todays chargrilled spuds will be served with a fine roast chicken to honour the death of another feathered creature the cockeril! Enjoy
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03/12/2006 12:12:00

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03/12/2006 12:24:00

Firstly guys, there is always banter prior to the game before fans but I assume you will all accept that generally Spurs fans have not hidden and have been very critical of our own team rather than seeking to blame the referee. Certainly I am concerned that Poll is regarded as oue No1 ref as he has made some 'unusual' decisions recently in a number of games. Personally I am disappointed in the comments you make about Martin Jol. Across Europe he is recognised as being a very good coach. I think the advantage that Arsenal have over Spurs is that Wenger has total control like Mourinho, Benitez, Ferguson and now O'Neill. Jol however has to work under the bizarre European style system we have installed. I am certain that we have in our squad a number of players whom Jol wouldn't have used the cheque book on. Anyway well done, and good luck against Porto
Report Abuse
03/12/2006 13:36:00

Your going to need it!! or maybe not who`s the ref??????????
Report Abuse
03/12/2006 13:46:00

thank you sir harry, i wish you could tutor the likes of COCKeril in posting civil and honest views.
Report Abuse
03/12/2006 13:53:00

Sir_Harry, once again a fair and constructive comment. Thanks for the good wishes against porto. As for Jol, I rate him highly, and think only good things of him (aside from the 'play on' shouts during last year's NLD at highbury), he was magnanimous in defeat yesterday, something i wish Arsene could be a bit more of, his comments after a defeat are somewhat cringeworthy on occasions. I was very surprised at the general lack of showing by spurs yesterday, do you have any thoughts as to why this was? »»Arsene knows««
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03/12/2006 13:53:00

Yes, I think as I've mentioned on another post that Jol needs to be given total control to bring in players he has identified and wants totally binning this Director of Football position. It was a dumb idea to begin with and has become increasingly stupid. Some fans have been raising concerns about Zokora and Ekotto earlier than this ... I think Huddlestone should be ahead of DZ. Whilst rotation can be blamed we have too many good but not great players, with no clear No1 in several positions. Therefore the team fail to play in any clear system. King looked like he was carrying an injury and overall the team lost fight. I think the second goal was the killer as I don't think it was a penalty and Poll gave it when it was clear he couldn't have seen what happened. I think that totally took the wind out of the player's sails. Of the midfielders only Jenas showed any heart in the second half despite being rusty through recent injury. I will absolve the front two of any blame but I have mentioned that without a top left sided player, the Spurs midfield becomes compressed and blunting the obvious attacking potential of Lennon. I would personally want to see a change of management structure with Jol given 100% authority and a radical change in personnel in the January window. We clearly need a left back and left midfield option as well as handing over the central midfield positions to Jenas/Huddlestone and bringing in some youngsters to provide depth. There are too many average players collecting £25K per week
Report Abuse
03/12/2006 14:07:00

OK you beat us, but to be fair we didn't exactly show up, the reasons for which I sincerely hope will be fixed. However I am intrigued by the Henry situation which, thanks to our bunch of "players" not actually playing was conveniently glossed over, with talk of him being out for a month with some spurious injury and his admission to a training ground bust up plus Wenger hinting at some sort of sit down meeting with Henry, which is strange, surely he should be meeting the medical staff. Anyway hope to see you back at our place, I think we know how to play there...
Report Abuse
03/12/2006 14:46:00

regarding the point about too many average players, i wasnt impressed with ekotto yesterday. He seemed to spend most of his time fouling freddie. And Berbatov didnt seem to be giving 100%. Does he seem to be one of those players who drift in and out of games? »»Arsene Knows««
Report Abuse
03/12/2006 15:56:00

Interesting Ekotto was someone who Arsene had a look at apparently potentially to compete with Clichy when Cashley was leaving. Unfortunately I think he has completely failed to settle. I think the criticism of Berbatov is harsh as he hardly had much opportunity based on how the game went
Report Abuse
03/12/2006 15:59:00

I was surprised at how little Lennon was utilized. He made a great run on Clichey in the first few minutes of the game, which is no mean feat since Clichey's pretty quick himself. But after that he was barely involved in the game due to a lack of service. Of course it's hard to get service when your teamates can't win or hold onto the ball, and Tottenham's midfield was beyond putrid in this regard. I'm a huge Lennon fan's my dream to see him and Walcott playing on the right side for England, 'cause I don't think any team in the world would be able to deal with 'em.
Report Abuse
03/12/2006 16:05:00

re: berbatov - i guess so, sir_harry. I suppose he wasnt given much in terms of service, not much you can do if you're not given the opportunity... I'm relieved he didnt. i saw him as a potential threat. »»Arsene Knows««
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03/12/2006 16:10:00

Brilliant as usaul LD, Want to write my essay for Finals lOLOl. just wanted to give a shout out to ClIchy he shutdown that lil midget.
Youngest in Charge
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03/12/2006 21:13:00

Well played lads. Always nice to see the Yids get stuffed!
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04/12/2006 12:01:00

a brilliant article in looking at the north london game...well writtena nd very funny...
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04/12/2006 14:15:00

i wasn't impressed with lennon, bags of talent that is obvious, but you have to ask is Jol getting the best out of him. he pushes forward with electric pace, his final ball lets him down though. berbatov ran around from one side to the other without much effect.. he looked very average, on our side i thought Van persie could get one of those tags as lazy.. only interested when it suits him.
Report Abuse
04/12/2006 19:16:00

Yet, RVP had a good game, i thought-PG. He's been doing well for us lately, especially with those free kicks, and I think this is going to be a good year for him. LD - good one. Though I can't honestly say I'm a fan of Ade, I've been an advocate of giving the lad some time before pronouncing such harsh judgment. He proved on Saturday why time to settle down is so important in the premiership. Lets hope this is a turning point as far as his self-belief is concerned.
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04/12/2006 21:20:00


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