What a night, huh? Chelsea lost 3-1 to Roma, the conspiracy theorists are out after a late penalty saved Liverpool’s blushes, and, erm, huh? Something else….
Oh yeah, Barack Obama crushed John McCain to become the first ever African American President of the United States. I know this isn’t a political blog but I’m going to digress for a moment because this is such a momentous occasion and I personally feel such a tremendous relief. After twenty eight years (I trace this arc all the way back to Ronald Reagan) of failed economics, failed foreign policies, failed environmental policies, and failed politics of personal destruction, America has collectively pulled their heads out of their asses and voted to elect the best man for the hard job ahead. Our task is no less than fixing the reputation and treasure of this country, and maybe, just maybe, if he has any time left over after doing that, he can undo so many of the things that Bush has set wrong. It’s going to be a tremendously difficult job but I think Obama and America are up to the task.
There, done, feel free to chew me out in the comments for making my Arsenal blog into a politics blog, trust me I can take it.
A tempest in a teacup is brewing among Arsenal supporters and in the blogosphere over whether Arsene’s comments yesterday were out of line. Everyone else seems to think that I’m wrong, but I don’t care. When Abdoulaye Faye comes out in the press before the match and says they are going to rough Arsenal up and then when you see Shawcross’ completely indefensible, late, tackle from behind or Rory Delap’s tackle on Theo there is only one conclusion to draw: it’s intentional. And then to have their keeper call Arsenal cowardly, well, it’s pretty clear what that club is all about.
Did they mean to hurt us? Maybe I’m a bit over the top there, but to me the intent is clearly there, if not to hurt then at least to “send a message.” Watch the Shawcross tackle again, not only is it a tackle from behind (which I thought was illegal — oh wait, it is) he leaves his foot in the tackle way after he, much less the ball, have passed out of touch. It’s a disgrace, he could have and should have pulled out of that tackle. And worse is the look on his face after he does it, he knows what he’s just done.
The pudding is in the results however, and the results of their tactics are that Adebayor is out for three weeks and Theo won’t be returning until the Man U match. Given that Arsenal are down to 15 men (Ade, Gallas, Theo, Eboue, Rosicky, and Eduardo are all out) for the clash against Fener tonight, and given their comments before and after the match Arsene Wenger has every right to rip into them.
As for watching the match, it’s on Setanta today at 11:45 PST and Doyle’s will be replaying the match at 3pm. I’m hoping that we see a little bit grittier and looser team than we saw against Stoke, after all this group stage is all but wrapped up and a win tonight would almost certainly see them into the knockout phase. So a win would mean he could rest some players when they play Dynamo in three weeks.
Oh, and the point of including the Chelsea score is to illustrate something I’ve been saying now and that is that this is going to be an up-and-down, crazy season. One day Arsenal are on top of the world, Arsene Wenger is being hailed as the most brilliant coach in the history of mankind and the very next day people are wondering if he shouldn’t be fired. One day Chelsea look like an unstoppable juggernaut while putting in 5 goals for Frank Lampard’s mum and the next day they are losing 3-1 to a Roma team that is the epitome of poor form. One day Tottenham is on the bottom of the table, the next day they are out of relegation and two shock wins by their closest competition and they are back at the foot where they belong. One day Joey Barton is a role model for young men and the next day… well, nothing has changed with Joey except he may have added racism to his book of scumbaggery. The point is, that more than any season I can remember this is one is truly a roller-coaster and that means competitions like the Champions League, more than ever before, are up for grabs and what we should really be hanging our hat on as far as trophies. That’s why, unlike everyone else, I’m all excited about this game.
Ok, well, all my Arsenal gear is washed to give the lads a clean start and I think I’m going to wear my Flamini kit from last year. Here’s to a huge win, a hat trick by Bendtner, a brace from Vela, and Arsene Wenger gives a happy press conference, or maybe he’ll go all Kinnear on the press that would be cool.
What’s French for c*nt?