Tales (me) found themselves reflecting on the weekend action late on Monday night and felt compelled to tell you the inner workings of a cynical mind. Plus, I’d just seen the Manchester City goals for the first time and even I, a somewhat Arsenalphobe, could not believe what I had just witnessed.
Firstly, Arsenal were so laughable I am not even going to mention Charlie Adam’s 15-minute cameo for Stoke City against Leicester. I don’t have time. I need to get this off my chest.
Can Arsenal sink any lower? The uneducated chat after the Ostersunds defeat (pretty much part-time Swedish side who beat the mighty Arsenal in front of their home fans) was that the Gunners were probably mentally saving themselves for Sunday’s final against Manchester City. Well, there is no point saving yourself for a final that you don’t even bother turning up for, is there? I’ll admit, I did not watch anything more than the goals themselves, but nobody can tell me that the goals failed to demonstrate what must have been going on for the entire game. Sergio Aguero is hardly Romelu Lukaku, is he? And by that I mean, he is hardly the big, strong ox-of-a-man type striker who bullies defenders throughout a game of football. No, Sergio is more of a thinker, a user of space, a clinical taker of the half-yard he creates with his brain rather than his brawn. So why the hell, at Wembley in the first showcase final of the season, did little Kun get to lean on Mustafi so gently that a small child would have giggled, thinking Uncle Aguero was playing silly buggers and actually knock the “world-class” German centre-back off balance? Martin Keown must have given himself an ulcer seeing that happen, Steve Bould (I hope) was hanging his head in shame thinking “I actually coach this lot on the art of defending” and Sol Campbell will have been believing he could still get a game for Arsene, seeing that nobody is going to give him a job in management.
And then we have Jack Wilshite, and no that is not a typo. Roy Keane absolutely nailed it when he called Jack “the most overrated player in football”. Absolutely nailed it better than he nailed that Norwegian fella at Leeds. Jack’s touch when in a defensive area in the lead-up to City’s third was embarrassing. At that point you’d be assuming it could not get worse in this passage of play for Arsenal’s “one of their own”. Well, you’d be wrong and you may as well give Luton Town back the £9k it cost to take them out of their U10 side all those years ago. Jack, realising his error, chased and chased to win it back and just when it looked like he might, he gave up and let the City player run away. Yes, a player who earns more in a week than most of the Arsenal fans do in a lifetime gave him trying to catch a player who then went on to assist David Silva. It was no wonder the more sensible Gunners walked out of Wembley at that point, for once you could not blame them.
This is how low Arsenal have sunk and it is sad to see.
Manchester United’s Romelu Lukaku has said he “deserves more respect” for his goalscoring record. You might be right Rom, you might be right. However, them there football fans are cynical buggers and they tend to look at the price tag and the chances you have missed and come to the conclusion that you need to take more of them before you earn that respect. I’m not saying they are right (except they probably are).
Here’s a little equation for you. Robert Lewandowski + new agent Pini Zahavi = a move to Chelsea in the summer. If you believe the tabloid tittle-tattle that is, and let’s be honest, most of them wouldn’t know an equation if it smacked them on the ear.
Both Liverpool and Manchester United are thought to be interested in Napoli’s Jorginho. Now that is interesting because Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp don’t exactly favour similar styles of play in their central midfielders.
Jurgen: “Come and play for me and you will have to run around one hell of a lot”.
Jose: “Come and play for me and, providing it is the right place to be standing still, I will let you stand still in midfield for as long as you like”.
Suddenly United sounds interesting, no?
Following their Sunday shambles, Arsenal believe they might finally have the answer to their prayers. The football gods are giving them the chance to atone for their sins by presenting them Paris Saint-Germain’s Yacine Adli. You’ve heard this one before, haven’t you? And no, I have checked, he is not a 6ft 4 central defender.
Alan Pardew gets to stay at West Bromwich Albion for another week, which basically tells us that the WBA board don’t have a replacement lined up yet.
Serge Aurier has a lot of qualities, but it turns out taking a throw-in is not one of them. The Ivory Coast international, capped 45 times no less, got pulled up for a foul throw 3 times against Crystal Palace. What is the first thing English kids get taught when they have their first training session? How to take a throw-in. It’s almost as if these countries who are not England don’t care about the basics. Hell, they don’t even flag for it in Spain and what have they ever won?
Finally today, Andre Villas-Boas has said that Harry Kane has to leave Tottenham if he wants to win anything. Whoa there, AVB. It’s not as if you are still managing them…