Friday, 18 November 2011

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Arsenal v. Marseille

After Saturday’s epic, the Marseille match was flat. It was almost as if, having beaten Chelsea, the team thought they just needed to turn-up to get another victory. Some first half chances went begging and little of note was created in the second. Overall, the movement was poor and the same early season lack of tempo was prevalent. Song had his poorest game for a long period – he appeared slow and cumbersome and his passing radar was in urgent need of re-calibration. The substitutions brought Rosicky, Arshavin and RvP onto the field but there was no discernible impact as the game petered out 0-0.

Marseille: pre-match food

Round to Piebury Corner on Tuesday night to sample the ‘Ian Wright’ which is lamb with vegetables in a flavoursome gravy just the kind that Mrs H would love. Unfortunately, the preponderance of peas in the veg would not be appreciated by her. All in all another great gastronomic experience but, perhaps, not quite good enough to break into the top three. So 4 pies eaten, 2 fixtures remaining - the two Charlies: Nicholas and George. The former is the Scotch pie while the latter is a 'lucky dip' - I'm not sure if this is just a random selection from the other 5 or whether it is truly something different.

Piebury Corner League Table:
1.     Dennis Bergkamp – eaten 1
2.     Tony Adams – eaten 1
3.     Reg Lewis - eaten 1
4.   Ian Wright - eaten 1

Chelsea v. Arsenal

Fantastic game at the Bridge on Saturday. Chelsea ran riot in the first 10 minutes pulling the Gooner defence all over the place. The movement of their front six was exemplary which is a change that I understand has been initiated by Villas-Boas and helped by the recruitment of Mata (who, I’m told, but for the want of a couple of million would have been wearing red and white). When going forward, they continue to push their full-backs to the touchlines to give width with Mikel dropping back to become a third centre-back. The ploy with the full-backs is not new and been used over a number of seasons. Initially on Saturday, it was particularly effective down their left as Cole found acres of space due to a lack of basic defensive organisation between Theo and Djourou.

Theo appeared incredibly motivated for the game. I guess because he was 1-on-1 with Cole and also because other England team mates were playing. This was exemplified by his goal where he went down but got straight back up to win the ball and forge forward.

There was another near racial incident in the game when, in the warm-up, John Terry called the Chelsea reserve keeper a ‘blackman’.  But it was ok as he is and that’s also his name – Jamal Blackman which is kinda ironic in a way. There was the usual pre-match announcement to the crowd about there being no tolerance of racial abuse but Chelsea also saw fit to emblazon the cover of the match-day magazine with a picture of JT in suitably aggressive pose. A lower profile might have been more appropriate until the investigations are out of the way. The magazine also had a feature on another reprobate, Graham Rix. According to Wikipedia, he is now coaching at a Glen Hoddle soccer school in Spain. Hopefully, it’s boys only but perhaps the CRB checks are not so rigorous over there.