Friday, 10 April 2009
Musings and meanderings
Firstly apologies if I'm repeating anything that Ted has said in his Wigan preview, I just felt the need to reflect before a busy weekend of Premiership action. The big news is obviously the absence of Gallas, Clichy and Almunia; the good news is that Gallas has not done his anterior cruciate ligament which would have put him out for almost a year and prevented him from moving on in the summer if that was so desired. It's a good opportunity to see if Djourou, Gibbs and Fabianski can rise to the challenge, the early signs have been encouraging, I just hope and pray that we get no more injuries at the back though, this could be absolutely disastrous, I won't tempt fate by mentioning the S word.
Unfortunately I could only listen to the game against Villareal on the radio, I then saw the highlights on the telly later. I was particularly struck by the gamesmanship of certain Villareal players, seemingly rather too keen to feign injury after the most minor of incidents, the classic example being Campdevilla's attempts to get Cesc sent off for nothing at all. This was in stark contrast to our attempts to stay on our feet despite some rather late lunges from Villareal players, it was also rather noticeable that they kept gesticulating for bookings with wagging fingers while we just tried to get on with playing football. I really wish refs would book players who openly ask the referee for bookings. Toure certainly seems to be finding a bit of form after a run in the side, this is great news. I am still far from convinced that Denilson does enough to be entitled to his regular starting slot in the midfield.
I am no economic expert, but Manure's financial results make for some very interesting reading indeed. Their holding company now has debts approaching 700 million, so even if one assume that they indeed worth a billion then this amount of debt must surely be a little bit of a cause for some concern? Their awful form of late is certainly a cause for concern, they were actually rather fortunate to escape with a draw against Porto.
The Chelsea-Liverpool quarter final was fascinating viewing, Chelsea thoroughly deserved their comfortable win and it really could have been more than the two goal margin that they take going into the second leg. Liverpool's defeat was especially satisfying as to me it seemed that they were trying to con the ref with several exaggerated dives to the turf while putting in some rather filthy tackles themselves. The fact that Liverpool were missing their defensive midfield lynch pin Mascherano was key for me, his replacement Lucas was woeful and Alonso was shown to be nothing more than a prancing ponce. It's funny how one often doesn't notice the best defensive players when they're there but when they're missing it become rather obvious how good they are.