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All Things Footie | Tuesday, November 16 | Jordan

Goals my muse

Last week I was feeling very uninspired where football was concerned. In fact, I did begin to write an entry that began ‘I’m feeling very uninspired when it comes to football at the moment’, but thought better of it (which in hindsight was probably a good decision). Suffice to say my mind, body and soul were elsewhere. After a weekend of goals and heart stoppingly ridiculous excitement, I’m thoroughly back in the mood.

If there was one thing I didn’t need on Saturday lunchtime, after two consecutively inebriated evenings, it was being driven to lunchtime drinking by one of the most bizarre football matches I’ve ever witnessed. I don’t know where to start. Perhaps by saying that football is essentially a game to enjoy, and while I had a little trouble enjoying certain moments of the game (like watching Arsenal concede four goals to a struggling mid table side) there’s no doubting that it was a thrilling, compelling and thoroughly entertaining ninety minutes. If the aliens landed tomorrow and I wanted to make them love the beautiful game, I’d show them that match. Some lovely goals, from Defoe’s really quite wonderful run and curling, dipping shot to Fabregas’s sublime reverse pass for Ljungberg and Robert Pires’ dancing feet before slotting Arsenal’s fifth home underneath Paul Robinson. It was quite frankly breathtaking—I was exhausted by the time the final whistle went. Apparently a new record too: the most number of different goalscorers in one game with nine (for posterity’s sake: Naybet, Henry, Lauren, Vieira, Defoe, Ljungberg, King, Pires, Kanoute).

United scraped out of another hole on Sunday, with help from another dodgy penalty and a dodgy ‘not-given’ at the other end; and despite both their rivals also winning and thus being just as far behind with one less game remaining, are apparently ‘back in the title race’. What utter nonsense. Manchester United have done nothing this season to convince me that they are realistic title contenders.

Chelsea on the other hand are piling on credentials at the rate Rik Waller piles on Kilos. They were dull but effective, but ironically, since sacking a striker they seem to have added a cutting edge to their attack. Admittedly, their actual strikers are scoring less often than a team full of Emile Heskeys, but there’s no doubt the goals are coming thick and fast from somewhere. I was undecided with regards to 20 year-old Dutchman Arjen Robben before the start of the season, and I’ll still reserve my ultimate judgement until May, but he certainly looks the real deal. His running on the ball is superb, and while his excellent goal in the Carling Cup last week was more due to the fact that Chelsea’s opponents were lethargic in the extreme, there’s no doubt he has the inclination to get there, which is all that counts when you’re as good as he is.

My footballing lethargy has partially returned now, knowing that dull-a-thon internationals are imminent. Like the last England friendly, I won’t be watching it (well, maybe the highlights) and nor do I care what the score is, but if you are, do enjoy yourselves won't you.

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