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All Things Footie | Tuesday, March 23 | Jordan

Roundup

Firstly, for all things footie readers who like to syndicate, an Atom formatted XML news feed is now available towards the bottom of the right side bar. If you don't know what a newsfeed is, then either ignore it (it won't hurt you) or go to Atom Enabled to read a bit about the idea of news feeds and syndication. Right, now on to football.

I swear that, barring any bizzarre turns of events, this is the last thing I will say about that no-mark Rio Ferdinand. The whinging git really doesn’t know how lucky he is to get away with an eight month ban. In any other sport he’d be (rightfully) banned for two years. ‘I forgot’. Some people ‘forget’ to get their car tax, some people ‘forget’ to turn up for meetings with their bail officers, some people ‘forget’ they’ve got a girlfriend; you don’t see any of them getting let off because of their absent mindedness. We don’t want your hair Rio, it’s immaterial, the wonky-mouthed, overrated, whiney, lame-brained idiot should just shut up and take his punishment like a man. In The Sun on Saturday, he said ‘I don’t know why I’m being punished like this … no one will ever miss one of these tests again’—he’s answering his own questions now. I’ll say it again: idiot.

Robbie Earle: ‘The thing about City, that must be slightly worrying for Kevin, is that they’re always creating chances, but not scoring goals’. Yeah, that’s right, they had real trouble last week. Short sighted? Reactionary? Never. An awful penalty decision from Alan Wiley at Elland Road last night, he even had the bare faced cheek to come out afterwards (after he’d seen it on TV) and say that he was happy with his decision and he thought he’d gotten it right. Which proves one thing: it’s not positioning, it’s not that the game’s too fast, it’s not that the linesmen are poor, it’s very simple; as many a player has often inferred, referees really are blind.

I’m happy Portsmouth won the South-Coast derby, I’ve a new found affection for Portsmouth fans after their now-famous standing ovation for the opposition after getting beaten 5-1, and I’ve always had a soft spot for ‘Arry.

Was Duncan Ferguson ever anything more than an average, boozy Scottish layabout? Didn’t think so. Scored a cracking volley for Newcastle a couple of years ago against Manchester United. That’s about it. Beating up a burgler, it’s all you’ll be remembered for ‘Dunc’. Tit.

Lets state the obvious, Chelsea are twice the team with Damien Duff in the side; none of the other £115m worth of buys can match Duff for his work-rate, talent and ability to threaten the goal. His potency, and eye for getting a shot away in the 18 yard box, make him Chelsea’s most dangerous player, no matter how a game is going.

As against Charlton last week, Arsenal played glorious, absolutely without compare football for 30 minutes, followed by 60 minutes to remind themselves and the Arsenal fans that this artistry is fallible. Perhaps just the kind of reminder that they need every now and then to keep their feet on the ground; particularly ahead of their Champions League Quarter Final 1st Leg against Chelsea on Wednesday. What a game that’s going to be, I’m tingling already. I don’t think any Arsenal fan, or player, is even remotely confident because of the ‘hoodoo’ over Chelsea; which is why that very jinx doesn’t matter one iota; it’s all about two teams desperate to make the semi-finals. The only thing that could tip it is that one team is perhaps a little more desperate than the other. Arsenal know this is their big chance, the team may not click like this again—with Bergkamp almost over the hill, Pires in his 30s, and Henry playing the football of his life. May 26th 2004 is what Arsène Wenger’s Arsenal have been building up to for seven years, and I honestly can’t see them letting Chelsea get in the way.

Lucky, lucky, Liverpool. They really are a very average side, by anyone’s standards, not just their own unrealistically high ones. To say fourth place flatters Gerrard Houllier’s Liverpool would be the understatement of the decade. I actually think the ref got ‘the’ penalty decision right; I think that although the defender didn’t get much of the ball, Heskey slowed himself momentarily and allowed the Wolves player to get in front of him without too much physical contact. I actually think that four yards out from goal, with the ball on his right foot, Heskey looked to get a penalty.

After singing Charlton’s praises, it was almost inevitable that they’d go and get beaten over the weekend. It was a fine performance from Newcastle though, Shearer still scoring goals and looking worth three Michael Owen’s—because pace and a handful of decent goals does not a World-Class-Striker make.

United got a good win against the team that rolls over and has their bellies tickled by them everytime they play each other. When was the last time Spurs beat United in the league?

Matthew Upson is looking every bit the defender that Arsène Wenger ‘let go’. A fine defender in many departments, but he’s always been too hesitant for a sharp back-line. No doubt there’ll be a gag in the comments about Upson learning ‘that one’ from Sol Campbell, so there you are; spoilt it for you. For all those that mocked Wenger selling Upson earlier in the year, who looks better now? Gary Neville’s defender of the season Kolo Touré? or Matthew Upson? Lesson to learn? Trust Arsène.

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