Wednesday, 22 December 2010
Monday, 20 December 2010
Sunday, 19 December 2010
Wednesday, 1 December 2010
Was at the dentist on Monday and he had Talk Sport on the radio. They were previewing the upcoming match between
Whilst on referees – the commentators on the Spurs and
One of the fundamental problems in English football is the standard of refereeing and their collusion in the ‘good old English way of playing’ that minimises skill. This is one reason why
Saturday, 27 November 2010
Tuesday, 23 November 2010
Saturday, 20 November 2010
Monday, 15 November 2010
The translation of their Latin motto is 'nothing but the best' but it doesn’t apply to the catering. No Chicken Balti Pies on the menu but they did have a Guest pie which I was told was a Cornish pasty. That’ll do for a change, I thought, nice crispy pastry to cope with dropping down a mineshaft (or throwing from the upper tier of the stand!), tasty mixed filling of meat and vegetables. What a disappointment! I was presented with a flat piece of puff pastry in a cellophane wrapping that was ineffective in preventing the grease seeping out. The pastry was flaccid and uninspiring, the filling: an insipid mix of meat that looked like cat food and an occasional vegetable – it had absolutely no taste what so ever. It was so poor I threw most of it in the bin. It must have taken a culinary genius to create something so appalling, it was that bad. This ranks with a sausage roll at Tottenham two years ago as the worst pre-match food is the history of ‘Chicken Balti Pies’.
The match – 2-0 up and controlling the game then 10 minutes of nervousness that almost threw it away. Mentally certain players found it very difficult to cope with the pressure of Everton's final onslaught. It is the same mentally that produced such an ineffective performance against Newcastle. It's about belief and being a winner. Read the book Sven-Goran Eriksson on Football where he talks about players like Mihajlovic. He may have been a complete nutter (Sinisa not Sven) but you need that type of winning mentality in a team for it to be successful. Witness Keane at ManU - not the greatest technically but he made the others play and that's what the Arsenal lack.
Monday, 8 November 2010
Fabianski fails to collect a high ball and Carroll has an easy header into an empty net. Ok Fab21 made an error but it would be wrong to blame him wholly for the defeat. Part of playing in a team is how you respond to adversity and how you dig your team mates out of the shit – be it in putting a game saving tackle to deny an attacker when a defender’s pass goes astray or collectively rallying round to win a match. There was so little of the latter in evidence at the Emirates yesterday. The lack of movement and tempo in play in the second half was bewildering. It was almost as if, having dominated the first half, the team thought they were 3-0 up and coasting to victory. Fab4, great player as he is, had an off-day. His passing was poor by his high standards and his work rate, particularly when he had lost the ball, was low. More worryingly, he appears to show no real leadership on the field. The substitutions were strange – Arshavin for Nasri (I can only assume the latter had a knock), RVP for Chamakh seemed like a triumph of hope and sentiment over reality, the introduction of Bendtner was the realisation that it was wrong to take Chamakh off in the first place. The downside to the introduction of B52 was the removal of Wilshere who was the only midfield/attacker with a bit of fire. In fact, we actually looked worse after the substitutions and all that attacking prowess failed to trouble the
Back to Fab21. Carroll ran in, leapt and met the ball at its highest point relative to his leap. Fab came out, adjusted and by the time he jumped he had no momentum so he could not get as high as Carroll. Secondly, he didn’t get in a position where he could take the ball at its highest point relative to his jump. A goalkeeper should always beat an attacker in the air if he does this as he is about a metre taller thanks to his arms. However, if you watch Fab in the warm-up when the crosses come in from alternate flanks, he very rarely takes the ball at the full extent of his height.
Saturday, 6 November 2010
Sunday, 20 June 2010
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
I read a reported comment from Jose Mourinho the other day which was essentially quite perceptive.
Referring to the 'Invincibles', he said they won it (Premiership) one way and now Arsene is trying to win it a different way which can't be done. The 'trying to win it a different way' is quite correct. As I see, the essential elements of the 'Invincibles' side and previous incarnations under AW were:
- solid back 4 and goalkeeper
- 2 primarily defensive central midfielders to shield the back 4
- high tempo counter attacking game
- creativity up the field particularly DB10
- outstanding striker
The Chelsea teams in the Abramovich era have most of the these characteristics whereas the current Arsenal side doesn't:
- the back 4 is reasonably solid but hampered by goalkeeping resources who are not of the same standard as Seaman, Lehmann (and Cech and Van Der Sar)
- Song is the only defensive midfielder
- game is low tempo which aims to maximise possession and consquently the time it takes to get from one end of the pitch to the other (though occassionally as against Fulham recently there are glimpses of high tempo)
- creativity is in midfield and relies on identikit highly technical but defensively suspect players - Nasri, Rosicky, Arshavin, Fabregas
- RvP keeps getting injured but his strike rate (I think) is not as good as Henry, Drogba or Rooney
So, horror of horrors, selling Fab4 and getting Yaya Toure as part of the deal will start to move Arsenal back towards the pattern of AW's successful teams. David Villa has also been mentioned though it seems he may also be Barca bound. But Villa would be lost in the current Arsenal's slow tempo game. Valencia are essentially a solid counter-attacking side that that rely on fast breaks that utilise Villa's pace. Selling Fab4 is not necessarily a bad thing as part of the reason for the slow tempo is Fab himself who does tend to slow the game down.
The question then posed itself: what to call my experimental step into the world of blogging and the memories of all those pies came flooding back. Hence, the name.