Big Ears: So Noddy, what did you make of it?
Noddy: Well the red half of north London will be crowing with delight but when you look at the game in detail you can see it is more likely a false dawn.
Big Ears: Or a red sunset.
Noddy: Or a red mist.
Big Ears: Or 99 red balloons.
Noddy: Exactly. Tottenham were extremely unlucky with all three goals. For the first one the ball slipped under Gomes body and that really is just the sort of bad luck that can happen to any keeper. For the second if you watch the replay you can clearly see that Fabregas was off side.
Big Ears: But he got the ball in the centre circle from the kick off.
Noddy: Nothing in the rules to say you can’t be offside in the centre circle. Watch the replay and you’ll see there is no one in front of him, he just runs through Tottenham half on his own.
Big Ears: Well spotted. Not many will have seen that! And the ball hit a balloon.
Noddy: Not many spotted that either. The ref must have been looking the other way.
Big Ears: And the second half…
Noddy: Half time came just at the wrong time for Tottenham and gave them a huge disadvantage and I think the FA need to consider this. They had just gone two down in two minutes and the ref blew for the interval – I think the FA will have something to say about that too. But Tottenham would have gone in confidence because as we know 2-0 is Arsenal’s weak point. It’s when they collapse.
Big Ears: Except with that game against the London Street Directory…
Noddy: AZ? (laughs insanely).
Big Ears: Indeed! (smirks contentedly). They were 1-0 up and threw it away there. 2-0 up against West Ham.
Noddy: That just shows my case – it was there for the taking.
Big Ears: So why didn’t it get taken?
Noddy: Well it was the ref, as plain as anything. The opportunity was there for him to give three penalties to Tottenham, and that is what you would normally see with a Tottenham game, but he bottled it totally, and when Sagna fell over his shoe laces he waved the game on, when the rules clearly say an indirect free kick to Tottenham.
Big Ears: And Arsenal scored.
Noddy: You can hardly call it scored. A scramble over the line and I’m not sure the whole ball crossed the line.
Big Ears: How did the manager take it?
Noddy: Well you know Harry, middle of the road and calm and confident as always. He knows his team is good enough, and that he’s got another 18 months before the bailiffs move in and he’ll be off by then counting his pension.
Big Ears: So a moral victory to Tottenham and we expect them to climb back up the league, while Arsenal are making a fuss about the theft of spoons from the board room.
Noddy: Typical whinging moaners. Have no doubt Tottenham will be there or there abouts, or about there abouts or there abouts there or roundabouts their roundabouts thereabouts. There’s only room for four in the top four and I think a lot of managers haven’t quite grasped that this season. Tottenham will be one of them and obviously we can’t see Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United slipping out, so it will be a tough season next year for Arsenal with all their stadium debts. There’s no room for sentiments in the Premier League and its time to kick out the namby pamby wishywashy halfbaked whining about things being not fair and bolt the door after the stable has closed. We’ve had enough of that from Arsenal over the years and Tottenham are ready to move into the void.
Big Ears: How did Liverpool do?
Big Ears: Man of the Match?
Noddy: The ball boy.
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(c) Tony Attwood with detailed editorial contributions from Billy the Dog McGraw who broke the doorman’s arm while gaining access to TV Centre. Sorry about that. 2009
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