Thursday 17 September 2009

The Liege Stadium Mystery

Well, where to start on the shambolic performance last night against Standard Liege? Was that 3-points and move on? Or a disastrous reflection of the weaknesses of our squad?

I'm not sure on the answer just yet, but it really was an exercise in bizarre football. The first 5 minutes was just a shocker. No complaints about their first goal - a stupid mistake by Eduardo and then a good finish. However, I wouldn't have given the penalty - at the time it looked like no contact was made and despite countless replays, I still couldn't see it. Still, I guess we had it coming after Eduardo's dubious penalty against Celtic.

That said, I almost broke the TV at half time listening to Jamie Rednapp's 'punditry'. The man who never won anything reckoned that it was a stonewall penalty and that he had no doubts whatsoever. For once, I found myself warming to John Collins, who clearly thinks Rednapp is a prick, and Graeme Souness, who thought Arsenal would go on and win second half.

I really don't know why Sky employ Jamie Rednapp. He played for Bournemouth (for his dad), Liverpool (where he won the League Cup in 1995), Spurs (nuff said), and Southampton (for his dad). He somehow managed 17 caps for England, but thats it.

Now, I am not saying that John Collins is a legend, but he won the French league with Monaco, played in a semi-final of the Champions League for them, and has made a start at being a professional manager for Hibs. Plus, he doesn't just shoot his mouth off every five seconds and actually has something interesting to say.

Graeme Souness is a legend. And I bet he would love to smash Jamie Rednapp's face in. Because Graeme thinks he is a cunt.

Anyway, I digress.

I sat dumb-founded through most of the first half, wandering just what Abou Diaby and Gael Clichy were doing. We could not string two passes together. Eventually, after about 25 minutes, we had a shot at their goal. Unfortunately, the player who took it was Diaby with his left foot and it was a weak, feeble effort that missed by miles.

However, we seemed to grow a bit more confidence as the half drew on, Tomas Rosicky looked better and better and eventually Diaby slotted a nice ball to Bennnnnndnter, who actually had made a run towards goal for a change, and finished beautifully. 2-1 at half time and we looked all right. I have already told you about half time.

The second half was a continuation of the same. Cesc continued to play as if he was stuck in treacle, Clichy continued to dive in and miss the ball, but Diaby looked less shite and most of the good stuff we did continued to come from Rosicky.

I don't really remember us having many shots before we scored the equaliser. A couple of lame long rangers from Cesc was about it. But we had tons of possession. That said, Eboue had to make an outrageous clearance virtually a yard out of the goal to stop Liege going 3-1 up. It was about the best thing he did all night.

And then is all happened in the last 10 minutes. Our equaliser was a shocker. Song and Vermaelen might have been offside, Song definitely hand-balled it, but the goal stood. Absolutely shocking from the ref and linesman.

And before the dust had even settled, we almost scored again from a corner, an outrageous back-heel by Vermaelen, and then we did score from a corner when Eduardo kneed it in in a shambolic goal mouth scramble.

So, 3 points it was. I still don't know what to make of it.


Anonymous said...

WTF happened,i don't know.The penalty,well,i thought a sniper had shot him,but there was not contact and to be honest in euro ref's give anything.Not complaining thou we got one against celtic probably pay back.Thank god for rosickyand feel sorry for mannone in goal,the passing was shit,we look clueless most of the time,and luck was on our side.

Our 2nd was handball but not offside but wenger better start sorting it out because against a better side we could have been slaughtered.

Drew said...

The most important thing to take from this game is that we played terrible, but still found a way to win. Kind of like what ManUre is always lauded for...

Unknown said...

what you say about Rednapp is spot on.

On Irish tv Souness speaks his mind everything on sky is dumbed down

Anonymous said...

agree with Drew.

played crap. won. thats what champions do.

take the three and move on. lets get another 3 on saturday.


K man said...

It's good to have Rosicky back - I forgot how good he is. Not many other good things to say except that Bendtner played well as a striker (Wenger please note) and we got three points.

Much improvement needed but we do have a series of games coming up that are all winnable and it is up to the players to build up some momentum. We could also do with some of those injured guys back...

Uncle Mike said...

A hideous game with a wonderful ending. Take away the dodgy goals and it was 2-1 Arsenal. Frankly, the football gods owe us more than that one break.

Aside from people who lose to Man U, nobody has the courage to tell the truth and say, "Man U may have won but they played like garbage." Arsenal dodged a bullet last night, and regardless of when the injured players come back, Le Boss needs to make some adjustments. Like sending Diaby on a nice long hoiday, for example -- giving Bentdner the assist that saved us notwithstanding.

Maybe it was just my imagination, but except for that triple-decked end at the right of the TV screen, that stadium looked a lot like Highbury, right down to the big video screen in the corner. Copycats, perhaps?

Rhinogooner said...

I find it humourous when we play like cack but manage to smuggle a win somehow, and we try to cover over the obvious deficiencies by saying things like "that's the sign of champions" or "when Man U or Chelsea play terrible and win everyone talks about how gritty they are".

The funny part is that champions also win when they play well. Man U and Chelsea get all 3 points when they've dominated play. Which is something we have not managed to become fully capable of doing yet...

Anonymous said...

Let's beat wigan and forget about it,

Well said about Jamie Rednapp.

My left nut is more qualified than him to be a pundit. The only thing he ever did worthy of respect was marry Louise from Eternal.

Otherwise, he does not deserve to commentate on how Cesc's boots should be laced. Utter cunt.

Ted said...

Some very good, and funny, points above. So thanks to all.

I reckon its 3 points and move on, on reflection.

The major positive was Rosicky. That boy is 28 years old and is a damn good player. If we can get Cesc, Rosicky, Arshavin and Nasri to tick, then we have a hell of a team.

God knows the formation. But that's for another day.

Anonymous said...

Re: Jamie Rednapp....agree 100%.