Arsenal’s youth team managed to squirm their way through to the Groupie Stage of the Euro Cup last night on the “Most Goals Scored” rule.
“It really is ludicrous,” said Letmedrivethe Koach talking on ITV, “no other competition in the world uses this method of deciding the winner. What has the issue of who scored the most goals got to do with anything?
“In the ten minutes before Elvis left the building we clearly outshouted the home supporters, and in most civilised countries that would be enough to give us the tie.
“As for playing with just ten players, that is so despicable that words can’t describe how I feel. But what I will say is….”
Arsenal meandered deeper and deeper into the reserves, and we played without Nasri, Rosicky, Van Persie, Arshavin, Fabregas, Walcott, and Vela. Take all those out of the team, and what have you got?
Well, some amazing football actually. It is not just that we have played four, won four, and scored just under 4 goals a game, often without many of our top players. It is also that style and speed of passing and movement. It is, dare I say, as if someone has finally got round to showing this group of players the DVD of the Unbeaten Season and they have thought, “oh, right, ok, that’s what you do.”
I have no idea how it looked on TV, but being there and looking down on the whole panorama (I now sit behind the goal we attack in the second half, in the upper tier) you just see this extraordinary off the ball movement, which means there are more intercepts than ever, followed by the quick lay off, and then another.
It is truly as if there are endless triangles of players, and as one player passes the ball he moves on to set up another triangle which receives the ball, and which then…
West Iceland have of course issued a statement thanking Celtic for taking pressure off them, by focusing on a supposed diving incident, and the media lapped it up like the little lap-puppies that they are. After five years of “Pires the diver” – a myth created from the “evidence” of one event, itself debatable, they are now off again, and this will run for years and years.
During the Pires era I emailed journalists time and time again saying, “here’s an idea, do a compilation of all the Piresian dives – there are so many, it will be easy,” and of course no one ever presented any evidence because there wasn’t any. Pires fell over more than some players when challenged by keepers and hulking central defenders because although he had the twinkling feet he didn’t have Henry’s speed to get out of the way. But there was no more diving evidence with Pires than there was with anyone else.
Same here. Eduardo will now Ed The Diver – another way of filling up a journalistic line without any thought.
Anyway, in other news, the majority of the press seem to want to ignore the Sunderland incident, which I described yesterday, and which is in many ways much more worrying than the West Iceland event, because it looks as if there might (and I stress, I only say “might”) have been a cover-up of extraordinary proportions.
I have written to the FA to suggest that West Iceland should now play their home games in, well, West Iceland. No reply as yet.
Back to the Euro thing. In the Top Pot (as they like to call it) there’s, and three other EPL teams that I can’t remember, plus BarBarBarcaSheep, WC Milan, Seville, and Bayern Munchen.
We can’t play any of them, but we could play (from Pot the Second) Real Mad, Inter, Lyon, CSKA Moscow, Juve or Rangers.
Potty the Thrid (home of the typing error), has Marseilles, Stuttgart, and Atletico Mad while the last pot contains Rubin Kazan from Russia and several teams you’ll never have heard of. (Well you probably will have, but I haven’t and I only accuse you of not having heard of them, so I don’t stand out in the crowd. Nothing personal).
So, Arsenal, Real Mad, Marseilles, APOEL FC, is a real possibility. Won’t that be fun?
Or Arsenal, Inter, Stuttgart, AFC Unirea Urziceni – almost as jolly.
Final thing – and this is to do with internet stuff, rather than Arsenal stuff, last night this site came under attack.
According to those in the know there has been a 508% increase in the number of new malicious web links in the first half of 2009 and the problem is worsened by the arrival of the links on search engines, blogs, bulletin boards, personal websites, online magazines and mainstream news sites.
The attack was dealt with, and steps have been taken to stop this particular attack from happening again – but as a result of this, it is possible that if you had a comment in moderation yesterday evening / night (UK time) it might not have appeared. This too was nothing personal – I just needed to secure the site and so deleted most of the pending comments. This note from me does not mean that there is a problem on this blog – quite the reverse in fact. The sites to worry about are those that claim they haven’t come under attack! And I would add, we are not being singled out. Every site that has a large audience is getting this.
(c) Tony Attwood 2009. (And if the last few days are anything to go by, this commentary will soon appear under the name Kameron on Team Talk, and will then be followed by comments from “others” (probably Kameron in disguise) saying, “really interesting piece, thanks”).
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