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Monday, February 26, 2007

ars vs che - carling cup

Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor had to be dragged off the pitch after he was sent off
Emmanuel Adebayor might have been unlucky to get sent off but his reaction was completely unacceptable

The Carling Cup final was a fascinating, intense game of football until it boiled over into a brawl which started over nothing.

Kolo Toure reacted badly to being pulled back by Mikel Jon Obi and before you knew it there were 12 or 14 players involved and the two managers.

Frank Lampard came in to try to calm it down but then ended up getting involved with Cesc Fabregas, who only seemed to exacerbate the situation.

Under normal circumstances, you wouldn't advocate managers entering the field of play but I actually thought they did quite well and the situation seemed to calm down after they came on.

I thought Mikel was very unlucky to be sent off. He did tug Toure's shirt and he could have expected a booking for that but he didn't seem to do much wrong apart from that.

I don't know what Emmanuel Adebayor did and he may have been extremely unlucky too, but that does not excuse his reaction.

He refused to leave the pitch and that is completely unacceptable in a major final.

Arsenal had a young side out there and what happens with young players is they get tired more quickly - both physically and mentally.

And their frustration was understandable: they dominated the game for a long time, they had taken the lead and they could have gone two up.

And it was down to Arsenal's inexperience that Chelsea scored their winner as the Gunners gave the ball away as they tried to play their way out of defence.

Drogba got in front of Philippe Senderos to head in Arjen Robben's cross - and the Swiss defender has come in for some criticism after his performance.

It was the 22-year-old who played Drogba onside for Chelsea's equaliser but I wouldn't be too hard on him.

If Arsenal had won, it would have been one of the greatest managerial achievements we have seen in the English game
Drogba has got the better of Senderos every time they have met and as a defender myself, I know how difficult a situation that is.

He was unlucky for the first goal because you couldn't fault his positioning and for the second, I think you have to give an enormous amount of credit to Drogba for a brilliant piece of movement and a wonderful header.

I don't think Senderos played nearly as badly as Andriy Shevchenko and Michael Ballack did but because Chelsea won, those two performances have been ignored.

Wenger has already shown a lot of faith in Senderos and given his record with young players, who are we to argue with his judgement?

I don't think it's great for the competition when clubs don't select their strongest side but it is difficult to have any complaints about Wenger's policy when you see how close they came to winning the cup.

They beat Everton, Liverpool and Tottenham and then more than matched the double league champions, who were almost at their strongest.

If Arsenal had won, it would have been one of the greatest managerial achievements we have seen in the English game.

Even in defeat, it still goes down as a remarkable feat by Wenger and his young players.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Hlebby Does Gallas

Hlebby Does Gallas...
Its thought that William Gallas will be out until 2013 with a new injury following an inoccuous looking tackle from Alexander Hleb in training er... yesterday. This was later refuted, and proved to be no more than a made up story for the purile reason of using an unfunny, half cocked, tin pot headline on a tin pot, half cocked, unfunny website...