Writer: Tim Stillman
Date:Sunday December 3 2006
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.
Date:Sunday December 3 2006
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