Just a quick one ahead of tonight’s game. In fact, after last night’s game.
A few years ago (before blogs, dear children) I briefly sent out a group email called “very bad people”. The name came from a Reyes quote “muya mala gente” in which he discussed his Arsenal team mates in a refreshingly honest (probably just stupid, looking back) light with a Spanish radio station.
I would watch Arsenal games and record every single dive. Every over the top tackle and every time they surrounded the referee, pant-hooting. That was just Martin Keown, to be honest.
Then I’d listen to Wenger’s post match interview where he would reel off the indignities his angelic dream team had suffered at the hands of the referee.
I would then match this up with the behaviour of his own team and record for posterity what a hypocrite he can be.
After a while it ran out of steam. Because I realised it was a little bit creepy. But, hey, it was fun for a while.
Of course, it could have been any team. It could have been our own. Every team rages at perceived injustices and ignores their own good fortune. Sid Lowe tweeted a nice quote this morning from Andoni Zubizarreta “We demand precision, accuracy and neutrality, but with one caveat: that it’s in our favour”.
But I’m i) biased against Arsenal and ii) genuinely believe they are a bit more graceless when having a moan than most other teams. So I do notice it more, and enjoy it more, when they lose the plot.
So when they keep moaning about the sending off – here are some other observations.
- Definite penalty for Messi in the first half – not given
- Definite red card offence by Van Persie in the first half – he put his palm in Alves’ face. He did it slyly as well, and whilst he may not have connected as well as he would have liked – connect he did. He should have been off in the first half
- The red card was harsh because I don’t believe the referee can really know he heard the whistle.
- On the other hand – I believe he heard it. How many other times did the referee blow his whistle last night? Was there an issue with people not being able to hear it at other points in the game? No. So he was timewasting. That’s what I reckon. I just wouldn’t have booked him if I was the ref.
- No shots on target. None. Nada.
Well, that’ll do. What a very small man I am to waste my time and yours with this. What a very small man I am to break my ‘not banging on about Arsenal’ promise. But sod it, sometimes it’s fun to wallow in the misery of others. I’m sure there will be plenty of people doing the same if we mess up tonight.
Ah, tonight. I don’t really go in for previews because that would suggest I had some sort of tactical insight. I don’t, I just like writing about stuff wot I’ve seen. I hope and expect Bale and VdV to start, with Crouch up front. If Corluka is fit I think he has to play. For once we haven’t got a ridiculous injury list – not as ridiculous as theirs, anyway – so there are no excuses. It’s far from done and dusted. There are butterflies in my stomach. Moths. Dragonflies. The occasional armadillo. It’s nights like these that we’ve all been dreaming of.
Let’s just hope it’s not ruined by the referee, like last night’s game wasn’t.