Really enjoyed the Spuds bashing.
The only downside for me was the commentary.
By Cameron Wolfe
I live in North America. Edmonton in Canada to be precise. So no Sky Sports for me. I was watching Setanta up until last year (although it had already gone belly up in the UK) they actually still broadcast over here. They were replaced last season.
Now I have ESPN. They are all right. I get a full program of EPL games. I always enjoy watching Arsenal kick off at 3pm UK time. It may sound silly but it actually makes it feel more like I’m there if it’s a 3pm kick off. Guess I’m old fashioned.
Kick off for the Spuds game was 5.45 am local time. Program started at 5.30 so I was able to enjoy a little pre match build up. Before you all start sounding off about me not being a “real” fan because I don’t go to the Ems, I can’t possibly do an 8600 mile round trip journey every other week. I’d love to be able too but I couldn’t afford it.
So call me an armchair supporter or whatever. It’s the best I can do. Spare a thought for us though. There are appox. 100,000,000 of us scattered around the world. I’m sure whereas I get up very early there are millions who stay up just as late.
I’m going to assume that in the UK you had a different commentary team from me? I had Ian Darke and the eloquently sounding Steve McManaman. If only they just commented on who had possession. Or who scored the goals etc etc. it wouldn’t be too bad. Unfortunately they don’t.
I know I can always turn down the sound and believe me in the past I’ve had too. Sometimes it’s just too unbearable to listen to them.
So I thought I’d share a few of their gems from the Spuds game. These are all 100% genuine quotes as they were spoken before and during the game. I won’t do a timeline but they are in order of when they were spoken. (Means I get to watch the game all over again)
In the build up:
Darke “Arsenal have a bit of work to do to make the top four this season”
Fair comment not too upset but still little a negative. We have been in the top four for the last sixteen years so it’s not as if it’s unusual for us to be there.
They open up their banter talking about Macca’s moustache and Spurs. The weather and Spurs. How everyone else in the EPL are doing and Spurs. Not a mention of us.
The pitch side reporter. Names the sides then it’s an interview with Gareth Bale. You’d think I was watching Spuds TV?
Back to Darke and Macca, who then talk back and forth about funnily enough the Spuds? How they’re playing with two up front. The team’s set up really well for this game. They need to attack Sagna and Vermaelen. How Arsenal have struggled at home recently.
And then… They struggled last week and the weeks before that. It’s up to Spurs to really attack them and really get at them. They’ve got a big man in Adebayor who has a point to prove. Defoe is a natural goal scorer. Last year they were 2-0 up and had a bad second half. It was a horrible horrible game for the Spuds.
So we’re almost ten minutes in and now they’re talking about ARSENAL unfortunately it’s all about our recent troubles and current injuries. Already I’m thinking about muting them. So they then explain how we’ll be outplayed in the midfield today. We need to pass quicker or we’ll be in trouble. How most of our internationals flew to the other side of the universe to sit on the bench.
Honestly they’re starting to depress me.
To the game:
Noticeably for me the crowd seem really up for it. Just over a minute gone and Sandro clatters Giroud.
Darke. “A crunching tackle from Sandro and he’ll probably deliver lots more of them”
Never mind he just got a way with that crunching tackle.
Darke. “Podolski did score last week to end his mini drought”
He’s only played ten EPL games so far for Arsenal and he’s already had a goal drought. He’s only just joined us. What does he expect? A goal every game?
Macca. “Another clattering from Sandro. That’s two out of two in the first three minutes so that’s it for him now”
No it wasn’t “it” for Macca as he went on to foul six more times before he was eventually booked. Near the end of the match.
Here’s my favourite from Darke. He’s talking about Adebayor.
Darke. “He hasn’t scored this season for Arsenal yet but he did score for Togo in mid week”
I know he did play for us but that was a three seasons ago. You’d think the commentator would be able to keep up.
Darke. “Big noise from the travelling Tottenham fans. They’re singing their hearts out”
In the back ground the Arsenal fans are loudly singing “Stand up if you hate Tottenham”
Darke. “Terrible start to the game for Arsene and Steve Bould. They did look like they would concede lots of goals last week and looks like more of the same today”
There’s ten minutes gone and he’s written us off already.
Darke: “Adebayor is getting booed by the Arsenal fans but he’s won that foul so he has the last laugh.”
Not really the last laugh though Mr Darke. Was it? I think we had that.
Now we’re under pressure. They’ve scored. They’re showing the Spuds fans all singing and Darke and Macca are discussing how bad this could go for us.
Then the Adebayor foul.
Darke “Adebayor is he going to go in the book for that?”
Macca “Yeah. I think that’s all though. Don’t think we need to get carried away”
Funny when they both see the replay how they quickly they change their minds on just how bad the foul was. Macca begins slating Adebayor for how reckless he was.
Lloris makes a good save from Giroud.
Macca. “He just made it look like the hardest save in the world. Any goalie would have saved it”
I actually thought it was a decent save from Lloris. I thought Giroud headed it bang on and it was definitely going in.
Darke: “If spurs go on to lose this it won’t be too clever for AVB. Not that I’m saying there going to lose.”
Of course not. It’s still only 1-1 after all at this time. So it’s anyone’s game.
Another Sandro foul. He chops down Wilshire. His fifth so far.
Darke. “It’s just a free kick. That’s all it is. Howard Webb didn’t need Arteta trying to get his opponent booked. Which was what he was trying to do? We can do without that”
No he wasn’t. He held up five fingers to point out that it was in fact his fifth foul. He wasn’t waving an imaginary card.
Macca: “I mean Sandro has to be careful. Some of the tackles he’s made are ridiculous. Or it’s inevitable he will go in the book”
Macca obviously forgot that after only three minutes gone, he predicted that Sandro would be booked for his next foul. Glad Macca’s he’s not a refereeing this match.
Halftime talk centred around AVB complaining about Howard Webb then suddenly they’re talking about Arsenal. Makes me think though if we weren’t 3-1 up would it be the Spuds halftime talk show? Unfortunately after the break it’s back to the Spuds show. How Dempsey will make the difference and how Dawson will close down the Arsenal attack.
Second half, and bizarrely they’re only talking about the Spuds.
Macca “Really disappointing corner form Huddlestone. He’s such a great set piece taker. Deservedly won another England cap midweek”
Darke “It’s all Spurs just now”
It might have been all Spuds for the moment but nothing happened.
Darke “Dempsey has a point to prove to his manager. Don’t you think Macca?”
Macca “He does and he’s doing very well. He’s just won another free kick. Spurs have started of the second have really well. They’re pressing Arsenal and if anything there dropping deep. Its’ a dangerous tactic for them. Spurs are doing well”
They’ve had a corner and a free kick in this period. Worst thing that’s happened is Theo goes down hard and hurts his shoulder. We’re letting them have the ball in their half.
So we’re 3-1 up. They’re not really threatening us. The crowd has been great all the way through the game but:
Macca “It’s a dangerous game Arsenal are playing. If Tottenham get a goal. You can already feel the anxiety around the ground from the Arsenal fans. If Spurs do score they’ll start to panic”
What can I say apart from BOLLOCKS
Darke “Realistically they’re aiming for top four these two. There’s no way they’re in contention.”
Macca “Oh no. No chance”
Guess that’s a no then?
Darke “Even the most loyal fans are bound to go along with that”
Sure. We’re not even out of November yet and yes once again let’s just concede the title to anyone else but us.
Darke “There really would be an inquisition if Arsenal were to blow this lead being 3-1 up against ten men”
Could he be any more negative?
Macca “Do you think these two teams are stronger or weaker than last year?”
Darke “Well Arsenal are definitely weaker”
Just as he finishes his sentence Santi sticks in the fourth. Then there’s almost a fifth.
Macca “No matter how this game finishes. No matter how well Arsenal play. The turning point was the sending off. Spurs were well on top at that time. They were making chances. They looked dangerous”
Thankfully the Arsenal fans are in full voice in the background.
Darke “They’ve been debating it for weeks now. We we’re asked last week on twitter is it time for Wenger to go?” I think this might just give him breathing space?”
Macca “We rightly criticised Arsenal when they played Man.U and last week”
I think there are a few more managers that should be worried about there jobs than Arsene. Mark Hughes for one (Hasn’t won all season). AVB for another. (Four defeats in five; even Chelsea are having a bad run, but maybe that is pushing it a bit on the manager exit front. Although…).
Eventually Sandro gets booked. He lasted 65 minutes more than Macca predicted. At 4-1 down it again has become the Spuds show as they debate the positives for the Spuds.
Macca “Just shows how important that forth goal was for Arsenal”
Darke “Bale has given Spurs a sliver of respectability with that goal”
I’m not sure by the end of the match the Spuds fans would agree with that.
So we’re still in control. We’re still creating chances.
Darke “I just wonder if Spurs are starting to believe that they could pull this back just like they did for Harry Redknapp and bring it form 4-2 to 4-4. They cant’ can they?”
Ramsey plays a superb ball through for Theo. Who just mis-controls it.
Darke “Oh. I hope he doesn’t rue that chance”
We’re still 4-2 up at this time.
Darke “We’ve been called a jinx by some Arsenal fans recently for enjoying criticising them in recent weeks but we’ve just reflected the way they’ve played”
Macca “Yeah. Of course it’s our fault they’ve been poor. They were poor against Man.U and they were poor against Fulham last week. The whole country thinks they’ve been poor”
So we’re poor then
Enter the Ox who helps tie up the game with an assist for Theo. 5-2 to the Arsenal.
So my big complaint about the commentators is basically how negative they are when talking about Arsenal. They were definitely more pro Spuds. Even in the build up to the match.
In recent years the North London Derby has been full of goals. This game was definitely a thrilling game. If you’re a Gooner you’ll be happy. For the Spuds, never mind there’s always next time.
For me especially with other teams above us dropping points it was a great weekend all around.
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