If we endowed nothing else on birthday boy Hugo today, we did at least teach him an awesome song to take back to France. (“You’re F***ing Sh*t”) I make no apologies for the fact that I wrote this whilst totally off my face on gin and violet liqueur cocktails in a bar in Putney.
In the News : The fact that Crouch has scored 100 league goals is the most mystifying stat in football. More importantly, HWWNBN has played a blinder this week after failing to beat Hull. He claims they did. Morally. Because all Hull did was play defensive football. Something he’s obviously never considered doing. His players are in a comfort zone apparently. Of 5th? Everyone had an opinion on him today. Ageing with all the grace of Pete Burns pumping his face full of Botox was mine. Otherwise they ranged from Beaker (muppet alias) and his PG, yet accurate effort: “There’s something wrong with that man,” to Kalman: (He doesn’t want an alias he says if you don’t like what he’s got to say you can f*ck off “lol”) “I loved him, but now I f*cking hate that piece of f*cking sh*t.”
Speaking of insufferable wankers. Wenger says he tried to look at Kante and that obviously it was the money that made him want to go to Chelsea. Yes, because there is no other reason why someone would want to decline playing football for Arsenal is there? Like not wanting to work for a perennial loser whose achieved nothing more than the FA Cup in 15 years. Or earning 30% less than at any other top four club. Or being forced to play 600 passes when two will do. Or having remote ambition and wanting to win things. But still. Instead of signing Kante he spanked five million more on Granit Xhaka. A guy who is named after a rock. Well done that man.
I’d also quite like someone to poke Ulloa in the eye for being an ungrateful sh*tc*nt when it comes to Ranieri. But I think karma is going to take a massive dump on him first anyway, because he isn’t going to go anywhere decent. Remember what Claudio did for a club that was considered relegation fodder when he achieved the seemingly impossible, less than a year ago, when you are walking out at 0-3 down like you don’t owe him your support, Leicester fans. Elsewhere, Rafa is moaning about having no money to spend on his championship team last month. If this job doesn’t reduce him to to a dribbling smackhead it will be a miracle. Where did it all go wrong, eh? Seeing as he was recently at the helm in Madrid? I’m pretty sure right now McDonald’s would be a sideways move as opposed to a step down for him.
The Others: So after Tuesday night and the draw with us, Slippy G was jumping up and down like a mutt with fleas. The Scouse were back on track. Because this is their year, don’t you know? For a grand total of 72 hours until they got done over by Hull, at least. Huzzah. And just when you think you can’t get anymore mileage out of Fatty Allardyce… somewhere Alan Pardew is sitting in a big leather chair stroking a fluffy white cat on his lap and grinning malevolently, whilst doing a full on panto laugh. I can’t feel sorry for the Palace chairman. The writing was on the wall with this one, the outcome was more obvious than the plot in a Jason Statham film. Not since Napoleon decided to march on Moscow in the middle of winter has such a bad decision been made. Is it any wonder the fans are kicking off?
Our Game: My plan was that we score early and I can’t see them coming from behind. Barring any skulduggery, I could not see a way for them to win this. So, of course, as the first half began, there was a brain fart from Courtois. It was a bright start from L’Arse, who seemingly set out to take the game to us. But this lasted precisely ten minutes. We began to play our way into the game. Coquelin lived up at least partly to his name with a cynical foul on Moses in the ninth minute. Cahill got his head on the free kick but it was coming in at a dodgy angle and he could do little more than head it into the ground. A great shot was headed by Costa but parried by Cech, who nonetheless could do nothing when Alonso headed it over the line on the follow up. There was a collision with Bellerin, but both players were focused on the ball completely.
Brucie bonus, says Boycie, (sitcom alias) as Bellerin limps off and leaves us with the huge bonus of facing a bellend like Gabriel instead of one of their stronger competitors. Diego hit the side netting in the eighteenth minute and from then on we were pressing them. I don’t think I recall such impetus and such determination to win the ball for a few weeks. It was pretty end to end. Hazard, who frustrated them greatly in the first half, was taken out repeatedly. Alonso’s pass into the box resulted in a shot that was spilled by Cech on the half hour. Sanchez, who apparently would walk into our team was diddled twice in thirty seconds by Moses, before Pesto (yawn, autospell) broke through and promptly stumped himself just before half time.
The Lino on the west side presumably spent fifteen minutes looking for a clue at half time. Unlike the referee. Which brings me to Refwatch: I thought Martin Atkinson‘s was possibly the best refereeing we have seen this season. They should be all but invisible if they are doing their job right, which he was. He let the game flow, (if I had any criticism to make I’d say a little too much at times) he interfered at a minimum, and as far as a human being could be perfect across ninety minutes on judging things in real time, I thought he did really well by both sides as far as a balanced approach was concerned. I don’t think any team could consider themselves hard done by. Well done that man!
The Goons came out strong in the second half, but little was fashioned as a result. Within five minutes we were running at them again. Kante bombed down their end and played in Diego, who, having not one of his better days, saw it well claimed by Cech. Hazard’s reaction to being fouled was to foul them back and run round half the Arsenal team on his way down the pitch before slotting it past Cech and completely shafting them. It’s surely got to be a contender for goal of the season. A supreme solo effort. Memorable not only for the scoreline but for Conte’s crowd surfing effort that was a lot less graceful than the goal and left him limping comically. A couple of the Arsenal lot were disappointing in particular. Koscielny, who looks like a human being cross-bred with a velociraptor, was at fault, and Gabriel, who came on forBellerin after Alonso broke him, was woeful. Quote of the day came from Gonzo as we approached the final twenty minutes. After letting Walcott know that he was a slight on humanity he came up with “f*ck off you useless bog-eyed f*cker!” (No prizes for guessing who that was aimed at). Time to bring on Cesc to really f*ck them up, I thought.
I’m not saying that they didn’t get forward, that they didn’t attack, that they never looked like getting the odd goal back, but I never believed that they looked like winning this game. An outstanding save in the 77th minute saw me urged to stand up and applaud Thibaut by Alf Garnett, and rightly so. They might have played Diego out of the game, but it seemed to be at the expense of paying attention to anyone else and the net result was that Arsenal were more impotent than Wenger after half a shandy. They call us classless, but Cech gets a rousing reception and they boo Fabregas, who they declined to take back. And who then had the courtesy not to celebrate burying them. That, to my mind, makes them hypocritical ar*eholes. Zouma came on in the dying moments for Moses, and what a welcome return it was. Everyone wants to see him come good after we had front row seats to his nasty injury. There could have been many many more, but as it was a lack of concentration (and persistence on their part) saw them grab one back.
So: 3-1. Lew Zealand says Arsenal were more lightweight than her Mum, and she has a point. It was unacceptable at times, how easy they were shoved off the ball. If I supported them and I knew that they absolutely HAD to win this game, I’d be f*cking embarrassed by this showing. Where was the commitment, where was the determination? It was competent. But it was about as impassioned as a ninety year old man dry humping a lamppost. Functional. It was a standard display of everything they usually do. Nothing more. Which, if I was retarded enough to support them, would enrage me. I’d have wanted to see them come out swinging. They came out against us with Plan A and not a lot more else than humping it long to Giroud. That to me was arrogant against a team with our record. As a Chelsea fan I couldn’t give a sh*t, because we won, but if, God forbid, I was a Gooner I’d be livid that seemingly no more thought had gone into it than that. Whinger says the first goal was a foul on Bellerin. Firstly, I’m not sure you can punish anyone for wanting to elbow his rat face, but secondly can we just pause for effect in recognition of the fact that the short-sighted c*nt actually admits he saw something. The banners were out. Pork Pie (sitcom alias – Desmond’s) wants me to draw attention to one clearly made on the train. “Enough is Enough. Time To Go.” I have it on (drunken) reliable authority that this was wielded by Piers Morgan. And the guy with him was wearing a half and half scarf. I have to disagree heartily. I think he should stay. Forever. Alonso has struggled in some games in this new position, but he had some joy against this lot today that was a reward for his ceaseless effort. Pesto’s workrate was just astounding , and let it not be forgotten either just how reliable and consistently good Dave is at the back. And a word on Antonio. He’s the manager Roman has been looking for for ten years. Outstanding fit. And he looks great in his pants. I love him.
Contribution from Alex Churchill. Follow Alex on Twitter.