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No Dowding Tomas

I have read Mr. Mustchin's post match rant and I have to concur on one point, it's been a long time since I've come away from an exciting victory feeling so apoplectic with disquiet. Having read the thread I can only thank my lucky stars I was not subjected to sky's coverage of the match. I cannot really comment on that, beyond the fact that sky is owned by hardline right winger and owner of the fox network (ridiculed for its nauseatingly pro Republican agenda) and a side like Arsenal, whose fanbase and playing staff is the paradigm of multi culturalism. Well, we are hardly going to be numero uno for that particular broadcasting network. All I will say is be thankful they do not cover the Genral Election if you know what I mean!

The reason for my disgruntlement lies with the fact I feel I have been ripped off. My season ticket costs me a lot of money, had I been making an individual match buy my seat would have cost £66 today. That's around about a pound per every minute of Chris Kirkland's time wasting. We all know all clubs do it, but there has to be some limitation, Kirkland was openly mocking the referee and the crowd. Time wasting violates the rules of the game, therefore it is cheating. I am sick of referees not punishing this crime appropriately as goalkeepers waste minutes at a time placing the ball and drinking from their water bottle. Dowd did not once stop his watch or even make a pretension towards rectifying this clock eating which turned into farce.

In fact, Adolf Dowd's ineptitudes were so numerous, they could have been catalogued. The disgusting decision to book Toure for the most miserly of fouls following several worse challenges from Wigan players. The failure to book Baines for an identical challenge. The next sentence will qualify the sort of performance Dowd turned in, Jens Lehmann was cautioned for time wasting, Chris Kirkland was not. Of course Jens' piss taking was incredibly funny, maybe he pushed the envelope a little far when he trotted to the other side of the six yard box. However, if Dowd would have been doing his job as opposed to orchestrating an act of sporting masturbation, Kirkland would have been booked and there would have been no need for this recourse. In fact, if Kirkland had not have been so flagrantly cheating in the first place, there would have been no incident to mock. This is where I slightly disagree with Paul with regards to Henry's celebration. Again, if Kirkland is booked and punished for his folly, Henry would have no need to make the point. Kirkland was cheating and therefore deserved no sort of courtesy. It is also crucial that we do not dilute the passion in the game, nobody got hurt, a point was made, albeit vociferously, it was over in seconds. For the same reason I did not bemoan the Wigan players castigating Clichy for what was quite a blatant dive which blighted a wonderful run and another sterling performance.

Similarly, Henry should have been booked in the first half as he lost control of the ball and decided to throw himself to the ground. This is creeping into Thierry's game with alarming alacrity, as is his laziness which was as glaring today as Dowd's rank stupidity. Time and again Henry was caught flat footed and did not chase down any pass played in front of him. He's playing like a penguin at the moment, never on his toes and this points to a mental entrapy which is becoming destructive to his game. In my experience, the second players become idle, Wenger ships them out. Petit, Overmars, Vieira all turned in a very laboured last season in a Gunners shirt before they were sold. Thierry must leave his ego at home.

I believe Wigan could have had a penalty, Flamini did have his hands on Heskey, and strictly to the rules it is a penalty. But the contact was minimal and Heskey is a serial diver. People may ask why he would dive in front of goal, having seen his finishing today, I would say the reason is pretty clear. This will be no consolation to Wigan, but from our point of view we were penalised for an identical incident at Boro last week, so we've got one and not got another. You win some, you lose some. Having seen the replay in the concourse after the game, Flamini was marginally offside for the equaliser, but he was as far offside as Adebayor was onside minutes earlier when he incorrectly had a goal chalked off for offside. Wigan have absolutele every reason to feel aggrieved that Josip Skoko was not allowed back onto the pitch following treatment in the build up to our late winner. There appeared to be no logical reason for this beyond the fact that Phil Dowd has a huge sack of excrament where his brain should be. I took a strong disliking to Dowd earlier this season, on two occasions, once with van der Meyde versus Liverpool and once with Diouf, having produced a red card he attempted to physically lead the player off the pitch, dragging them towards the tunnel by their arm. This smacks of a bullied little schoolboy lost in his own meglomaniacal authority fantasy.

As for the game itself, I feel aggrieved that we made this so difficult for ourselves. Wigan began the game with a high line and with the collective pace of Walcott and Henry we threatened to bury them. Henry inexplicably firing over with a casual blaze. But complacency took hold as the Latics took a shock lead, a magnificent long range drive from Denny Landzaat. Arsenal looked lost thereafter, either hitting aimless long balls, or looking on as Henry once again was not concentrating on the through ball. Frustration increased as we failed to really test Kirkland, and our bluster was rarely accompanied with any sense of pinache or composure. Emile Heskey went through on goal, only for Jens to faintly tip his shot onto the inside of the post. I really did not get the feeling that we were going to stage yet another fightback. Oh ye of little faith, for once Arsenal put together a well constructed move, Adebayor playing in Flamini dpwn the right, his low cross was put through his own net by Fitz Hall. (Whose afternoon really had the seal put on it when he injured himself with a sickening hack on Clichy).

The Gunners grabbed a winner with five minutes to go. Rosicky was found by Clichy, the ball was nudged over to Baptista and he whizzed a cross in that was gleefully headed home by Rosicky from close range. The replay was amusing, the pace on the cross nearly took Tommy Gun's head clean off. Dowd then contrived to blow the final whistle with Arsenal through on goal. The loss of that one goal could cost Arsenal millions, similarly being denied a penalty could cost Wigan their Premiership status. Phil Dowd has a lot of explaining to do, anturally, the F.A will protect him and punish Paul Jewell for having the gall to get upset about it. Dowd be not proud. LD.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday February 11 2007

Time: 10:54PM

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The worst display of refereeing in our new home by a country mile. The fact that we are unhappy with him after he didnt award Heskey a penalty speaks volumes, if he is not demoted after that display there is no hope.I like you came away from the ground feeling cheated at what I had paid for, football is entertainment if I wanna watch a guy drinking from a bottle il go to S*!te hart lane 45 minutes after a game and watch an unhappy sp*rs fan drink himself into oblivion.
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11/02/2007 23:56:00

very well said and i agree with everything youve sed
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11/02/2007 23:59:00

Totally agree but i am starting to worry about the form of henry he really has been playing bad these last couple of games hes just not dominating defenses like he used he past his prime or just in a form slump? Though he has been scoring goals his runs at defenses have been pretty poor as well as his link up play with other players and his general work rate on the field.
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12/02/2007 01:17:00

ab_arsenal, whats happend is that thierry seems to be far far too comfortable with his position at arsenal and feels he does not have to work anymore for some odd reason and to tell you the truth im getting sick and tired of seeing these lazy displays and if this continues would wenger cash in on him, its a brave call to make but one wenger is not scared to do having seen how rruthless he has been in the past, no doubt henry is a great player but something is not right with him and maybe he needs new surroundings, i agree with everything tim stillman has said about henry. So glad rosicky got his first prem goal, he deserved it and also i think cesc needs a break, i cant help but feel he looks burnt out and theres a hungry and ripe brazilian raring to fill in for the spaniard on the bench ?!?!
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12/02/2007 01:32:00

Thierry hasn't been at his best at all. Apart from soitary moments of magic, he's lack of energy is appalling. If you copare Adebayor and Henry, on current form and desire, Ade gets my vote. Henry needs to stop being a big time Charlie and realise he isn't bigger thsn the team and stil needs to sing for his supper. We wouldn't miss him as much as he reckons if he did leave. Once he finishes training Theo, he can bugger off if he isn't willing to work for the team but that said, I dont want him to go. I know how great he has been for us but his lethargy on the pitch is really upsetting me now, he is better than that.
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12/02/2007 02:12:00

What I just typed feels like high treason. I can't really believe I'm saying Thierry is expendable because he's not. I was thinking of him playing for another club and the thought of that hurt almost as much as the thought of my girlfriend with another man. Just watched this on youtube: and found myself spell bound, remembering how great Thierry is I'm more worried than angry now about his sudden loss of desire. I hope he doesn't go but this cant continue for much longer.
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12/02/2007 02:25:00

Keplaz and Hazza that is way too harsh on Henry. He is nothing what you described in your posts.
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12/02/2007 02:54:00

TH played 90 mins for France in midweek. After going 1-0 down, it's almost impossible to take him off. Give him a break. Clichy was subject to the same degree of contact as Heskey. They both dived, so did TH. All should've been booked. Clichy, after a slow start on returning is without a shadow of a doubt our best player right now. We don't miss Judas one bit. Go Gunners
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12/02/2007 03:38:00

I have to say i agree with hazzagooner if he continues to put in these 'lazy' performances then what can Wenger but sell him...though i still think we should not sell him as what we need for next season is more experienced players like him in our team also we need to have some continuity with the team lineup as we cant keep losing all these experienced player each year and expect the new team to keep jelling immediately. The biggest thing that gets me annoyed with Henry is his attitude not just towards his performance on the pitch but also how he is treating his team sick of seeing him winge and complain about one more stray ass form another team member, its not like they complained about any of his stray passes!
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12/02/2007 03:59:00

Good point about the midweek game Fab...I'm sure Wenger was real happy about that too, heh. People always tend to go overboard one way or the other. If Henry scored on the two chances he had in the first half, everyone would say it's more proof that he's the best in the world. I thought he played pretty well in the first half, but the squandered chances were pretty bad. Walcott I thought was pretty good in the first half as well, but got squeezed out as the game went on and Wigan got back more. Again, people just need to keep things in perspective. Bottom line is we got the thre points, and at this stage of the season I really don't give a damn how we got 'em considering we've lost two or three points in games where we were far superior.
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12/02/2007 04:01:00

Toure played 90 mins for Coite d'Ivoire, Gilberto played 90 for Brazil, Rosicky played 90 for Czech Republic, Hoyte played 90 for the U-21s, all tried harder than TH. Fatigue didn't come into it, he just couldn't be bothered.
Little Dutch
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12/02/2007 06:22:00

He might not be in the form we are used to , but do not doubt him, give em a lil time n he will be back to his best....he still is lethal as a striker only problem is his lack of sure this is playing on his mind n hopefully he is working on it....WILL BE BACK TO HIS NORMAL STANDARD BY THE TIME DA CL STARTS AGAIN.....!!!...
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12/02/2007 07:17:00

guyz dont be so harsh on Henry, If one season he doesnt do well you all start talking about him, He will come good next season, or still this season WHo knows!!
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12/02/2007 07:18:00

I don't think itz Henry's fault that beast and theo don't know how to pass properly. We need a new Pires or Bergkamp. Ade made some good passes in the game. Maybe when Hleb or Ljunberg come back we will see Henry at his best again.
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12/02/2007 07:43:00

Clichy was "sick" for the entire game. Rosicky is the **** and i hope ther is plenty more to come from him. Ade should have started cus he was making some crazie runs at defenders and some slick passes for helping set the 1st goal. Now lets finally take of bolton.
Youngest in Charge
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12/02/2007 08:48:00

Baptista's passing was excellent all game, time and again he split Wigan open. In fact, I don't recall a single time he surrendered possession. Henry was just plain lazy, there's no excuses, he couldn't be bothered, constantly flat footed and his touch was way off. The only time he took an interest in the match was after the equaliser when he was wound up. I'm aware of TH's talent, goalscoring blah, blah, blah. But we don't owe him anything, he's paid to do a job, by us and the club, yesterday he didn't do it. End of.
Little Dutch
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12/02/2007 08:59:00

How can you brand him 'lazy'? That is so wrong. I remember at least two of Baptista's defence splitting passes that Ben Johnson on steroids would not have caught, let alone Henry. And even then TH was applauding his idea. In fact, if someone's touch was off, it was Baptista's (first minute pass he received from Henry). Maybe this was the first game since his come back where he wasn't efficient, but had he scored those one or two chances, we would not be hearing these things. And we don't owe him anything? Think twice.
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12/02/2007 09:36:00

Hold on a moment, whatís up with us. We are the Arsenal family yet you would think we were fans from different clubs. It was not one of Arsenalís great games but the bottom line is we won 3 points in the bag. TH may have had a below par game for his standards but donít we all go through periods when things donít click. As for the crap about moving him on, youíve got to be joking. We seem to be carrying young Theo and I really think he should be put on the bench and used in stages next year I feel he will light up the stage. Why did they not use young Denilson, and use Ces from the bench give him a rest, but I'm not the manager. Penalty you must be joking a mere touch on the shoulder and down falls Haski like he had been shot. How many times in the Man USA game did we see one of the evil sisters foul our team. As for the yellow cards what a joke. Diving do you really believe Th was a dive I thought he lost his balance, try running at that speed and see what happens. As for the time wasting, the ref has the power but they donít use it. Players rush the ref whenever the whistle is blown for a foul, advance the ball five meters book the players see what happens then. Time wasting take the ball from the goal keeper and award a corner. I wonder what would happen.
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12/02/2007 10:03:00

Throughout his career Henry has always looked poor after International weeks, especially since this moron of a French national coach, Domenech instists on using him for 90 mins every friendly whether vs Argentina or Bosnia. He is tired but we are forgetting what an effect he had on the team since he's been back from injury. He's scored wondergoals, a fantastic HEADER against Man Utd and many more. Some of you fans are a little bit over-critical of the player.
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12/02/2007 10:19:00

Henry would have recieved the passes from Baptista had he been on his toes and aware of the situation. We don't owe him anything, we don't owe any of our players while we are paying money to watch them play. I don't doubt/question TH's contribution over the years, but that counts for nothing when he steps on the pitch. He is dutibound to try his hardest and he didn't yesterday, so I will criticise him, just as I would any other player (note my comments on RVP over xmas). I felt Baptista had a fine game, he kept the ball in tight situations and his passing was inventive and accurate, he was behind every good attacking move. All I'm saying is that Vieira was also a great, great player for this club, but a fact people don't like conceding is that his last season was very poor, he became very lazy. As did Petit and Overmars, Henry has been lazy in many games this season and when they egt that way, Wenger does not elt them survive. I can handle him playing badly, Toure was not great yesterday, Djourou coped with Heskey much better, but I could see effort and that is all I will ever ask when I'm paying the best part of two grand for a season ticket.
Little Dutch
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12/02/2007 11:01:00

WOW 2GRAND for a season ticket!!!???
Youngest in Charge
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12/02/2007 11:42:00

Henry is still class even when off form. If you don't want him we'll have him on loan but can you pay his wages for us please ;)
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12/02/2007 11:53:00

Not quite two grand, close enough. On top of away games in Europe and domestically I spend over 5 grand a season watching Arsenal (more than a Club Level season ticket holder pays). That's why I get annoyed when players don't try. It doesn't happen often, but TH didn't try hard enough yesterday. He owes us that at least, regardless of his talent/past achievements.
Little Dutch
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12/02/2007 12:41:00

How bout an exchange with barca for ETO?????,he has spoke today for his admiration for Wenger,new challange for all,everyones a winner
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12/02/2007 13:01:00

Ok everyone, let's all create a negative picture of Henry, and next time all should boo him, heck, let's sign a petition to sell him!! I disagree with LD and a few select other regarding his 'lazyness', and his commitment on the pitch, but it is only a clash of opinions regarding this game (and maybe additional three during the course of the whole season), which is just normal. Sometimes people have an off day, or are not up to it, it is a sign of being human. One more thing, remember you are talking about the THIERRY HENRY, one of the last players in the world who put some meaning back to the word LOYALTY and genuine LOVE for the club.
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12/02/2007 13:36:00

I would never condone him being booed, heckled etc. The fact is he just didn't try very hard yesterday, I don't care who he is or what he's done, that fact deserves criticism. Just because he is the most talented player in our squad, it doesn't make him above criticism, or above putting in effort for the team. The fact that he signed a new contract and says nice things doesn't change that, nor does it excuse it. As I said, I owe him nothing while I'm paying money to watch him play. He owes me, he owes us one simple commodity- effort. Yesterday he reneged on that particular obligation.
Little Dutch
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12/02/2007 13:56:00

no eto'o, hes a big time charlie, how can you refuse to play when your manager asks you to, hes a good player but hes a bit too big for his boots. On the henry subject, i adore all he has done for us as a club but does this give him the right to put in lazy displays, i dont know how any of you can deny the fact that the performances this season as a whole have been pretty lazy, he has scored some important goals b ut if you look at his all round work rate this season i dont think its been up to standard, there doesnt seem to be much pressure on him to perform these days becuase hes so sure of his position at the club and i dont think that this is healthy, hopefully hell prove me wrong by putting some performances in like the ones we have seen in the past.
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12/02/2007 14:32:00

Dowd's performance was truly mediocre! What a joke!
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12/02/2007 15:20:00

Also his finishing (missed 2 easy chances yesterday) and touch have seemed to desert him and that used to be his strengths...i don't think the international break had anything to do with his poor performance for as other people have pointed out he was not the only one that played 90 minutes midweek. I think we need to give other players a chance ones with more hunger eg. Aliadiere and Abebayor.
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12/02/2007 15:26:00

You're only as good as your last game
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12/02/2007 15:38:00

I agree with LD. What we should be getting is effort from the players, and I dont think we would mind arsenal losing if the players have given us everything. Also, we're not happy if we have 3 pts n the bag, but some players didnt give it their all. I'm not so disappointed that Henry missed 2 easy chances - heck, that could happen to anyone in the odd game. I'm hoping this doesnt last long, and the international tired him out more than it did the others. heck,, i'm clutching at straws, but i dont want thierry to go :).
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12/02/2007 16:09:00

i got a text message from my cousin in about the 50th minute saying 'why are the arsenal playing so shyt?' - this angered me, i had to ask 'compared to what?' - watching a couple of other games this weekend including the inter game and the real madrid game, even sundays performance was on par with the rest of them, it just so happens we have the ability to dessimate teams that the non-believers are quick to be negative when we dont - we had 64% possesion - theo got some more minutes, baptista was tested - and we got 3 points
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12/02/2007 16:16:00

Having seen the Heskey penalty decision replayed around 70 times on sky sports news today I am now 100% convinced it wasn't a penalty. I suggest anyone who has the time & a sky plus box watch sky sports news until they show it & then put it on in slow motion. The intial contact with Heskey was made outside the box, so once again I state its NOT a penalty. Whether heskey dived or whether he was fouled is irrelevant as it was not a penalty. I like the way that want to show arsenal in a bad light though by showing the penalty decisions that went against wigan last season at Highbury & trying to suggest that somehow arsenal decide what is or isn't a penalty. Biggest **** of the day award has to go to Gareth Southgate though, who laughable claims small clubs don't get decisions at big clubs grounds. Did his team not just profit from an awful decision against us last week??? It seems to me that the away team often comes off worse in terms of decisions, not just at the big clubs grounds but at any club.
Ashburton Gooner
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12/02/2007 17:32:00

I was playing Winning Eleven on my 360 Saturday, and computer TH14 was not playing to his usual form....I suspect this damn video game may have a sort of voodoo quality to it after watching the game yesterday! Even the little computer ref was inconsistent on the fouls....I'll cease playing this game at once so that Henry can return to form!
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12/02/2007 18:11:00

AG, you might be interested in this statistic. Arsenal, on average, pick up a booking every six fouls. Blackburn pick up a booking every 12 fouls. Now of course it all depends on the severity of the foul, but are Cesc and Gilberto really worse than Savage and Tugay? Because it's not our style of play to be brutal, we get bought to book for a spurious challenge. I would 100% guarnatee that had an Arsenal player made the chalenge Hall did on Clichy it would have been red. I have no doubts whatsoever. Think about it, Gilberto v B'burn red card, Hall v Arsenal yellow. How is that justified?
Little Dutch
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12/02/2007 19:02:00

LD, I wasn't aware of that stat, although I did know arsenal have one of the highest fouls to cards ratio. Wenger did try arguing this point a few weeks ago at a press conference & was basically told to shut up. When you go over our season match by match we really have been hard done by at times especially away from home. We seem to get decisions when they dont really matter eg the penalties in the spuds game. Yes those penalties put the result beyond doubt but we was always going to win that game against a dire spuds side & were already leading. The most amazing thing about today is that certain people have allowed Jewell a free reign on saying what he likes about the ref yesterday. Fans of both clubs will agree he was awful but for Jewell to blame him for Wigans position is beyond belief, after all was it the ref who made Wigan lose 8 games in a row?? No that was Jewell & his players (the ones he signed), where was the criticism for Heskey who instead of following in his shot which hit the post, decided to run off & celebrate a goal which he hadn't even scored!! You can blame the ref for poor decisions but you cannot blame him for your own performance over 38 games & possible relegation due to that performance. If Wigan go down this season it wont be because of Dowd thats for sure, however it will be due to Jewell & maybe he should remember that instead of looking for easy scapegoats!!
Ashburton Gooner
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12/02/2007 21:21:00

I don't recall anyone shedding tears for us at West Ham when Spector tripped Hleb and we ended up losing 1-0.
Little Dutch
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13/02/2007 06:20:00

Or when RVP and Toure took elbows to their faces with the offending players only getting yellows instead of reds. ***** happens, we're learning to deal with it now and the rest of the league oughta do to the same.
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13/02/2007 14:52:00

dowd and the linesman gave you the three points you should be grateful. do you slap your mum when she makes you dinner??????
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13/02/2007 17:18:00

Firstly, I have the self given gift of objectivity, something 99% of Spuds lack. Secondly, the officials were crap towards both teams, it's just you're a bit simple and you swallow sky's tosh hook, line and sinker, like the subservient little slave you are.
Little Dutch
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13/02/2007 18:51:00

LD, I am very surprised at your attitude toward TH. So you spend a lot of money watching Arsenal, OK, but don't confuse your "right" to expect our players' effort to reach your level of expectation with any person's tendancy to have an off day. Also, you're not giving TH credit for the effort he did put in, for example having to police Kirkland on every dropkick so he wouldn't roll the ball out, wasting more time, and getting him the ball on goal kicks, each time requiring a 30 -40 yard sprint to get back onside b4 our next attack. That type of thing is both demoralising and physically draining. Yes, coupled with that monotony, he had an off day, but TH has always been an artist, and very moody/temperamental. It's part of what makes him the player we love. But it's also why he scores goals like he did not so long ago against Blackburn. And why you always leave him on the field, even on days like that. LD, I hope you don't confuse frustration to the point of distraction with lack of effort, b/c if you do, you'll be very disappointed in many of our players, not just TH, but certainly those more creative and artistic ones in the future. I'd keep all of them, and give them their off days because that's just how it goes sometimes.
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14/02/2007 01:14:00

I repeat, there's no dressing it up, he was plain lazy. It wasn't an off day or energy conservation (he didn't do anything in the last twenty mionutes other than when he was upset with Kirkland), he just didn't try. It's very obvious when a player isn't trying and Henry wasn't on Sunday. I don't think Kolo had a good game, but I know he tried. I can stomach any player having an off day, Henry didn't, he just didn't try and it happens too regularly.
Little Dutch
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14/02/2007 09:22:00

I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. I still take Henry over any other striker in the world, good day or bad.
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15/02/2007 14:41:00


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