In the News: There’s something going on concerning two women and Nasri. Yes you heard me right, Pullen, two women are fighting over Nasri. I haven’t read it l, because I don’t care enough, but suffice to say, even though they don’t look like the brightest, the fact that he found two women to sleep with him in the first place, let alone scrap over who gets to keep him literally blows, my, mind.
The Others: We were the last to play in this round of fixtures, so let’s blast through everyone else’s week so far. United have now won six in a row. That’s nice for them. But serious winding in of necks is required in some quarters. Those games have included West Ham being robbed of being able to make a contribution to the game, Boro at home, Sunderland at home, West Brom, and Palace. They are basically winning the games that they should be if they want to be top four contenders. You could say that had they not won five of those six with the money they have spent on their squad they be patently incompetent.
Arsenal got thumped for 70 minutes. Possession, desire, skill, tactics, everything. They looked like conceding every time Eddie Howe’s side went forward. Let’s not talk about the end bit, but focus on Giroud’s beard, which, along with the notion of Nasri going at it, is one of the most horrifying things in football. It is quite literally taking over the Premier League. If he comes back from a trip home through Calais they are going to probe that for illegals.
Fernandinho’s third red since the end of November? How is there no outcry about him being an animal? Costa has been sent off ONCE since he arrived in England and gets a media reception reserved for corrupt MPs making dodgy expense claims and Donald Trump. Sigh. It was quite amusing watching Pep having a go at that crowd behind the dugout at the Etihad and moaning that they weren’t making any noise. It’s almost as if he didn’t do any research at all before opting for the biggest salary. Also, nobody has yet commented on the fact that he is downright ignorant in his post match interviews. Every. Week. Also, he has a rank habit of picking his nose in public. Now I have pointed it out you’re going to notice nothing else…
Great showing by the Scouse. I’ve always liked that Jermaine Defoe bloke. Watching MOTD, which we know always edits these games in an entirely honest way (ok, ok, they are a huddle of ruffianly blackguards bent on deception and skulduggery) Sunderland could have won that 12-1. I’ve always loved Anthony Taylor too. I’m sure I’ve never said anything that wasn’t a glowing appraisal in his favour.
Speaking of referees, they have been dire at times this week. I wonder if HWWNBN will be bemoaning everyone else being luckier than him after the ridiculous red shown to Ferghouli. Just ludicrous. And now overturned. Still. It was West Ham, so it was a little bit funny. Mike Dean hang your oddly shaped head in shame. (It’s the best we can hope for when they don’t have to answer to anybody for an awful performance) If Niall Quinn, the wettest sap in football, is calling you out, you can’t sink any lower professionally. Leicester haven’t won back to back league games this season, and their cause was not bettered by having Bobby Madeley, still campaigning to make himself the most hated man in football with another cracked out showing with the whistle. Drop them like a player would be dropped for an unacceptable performance, force them to come out and do post match interviews and own up to their mistakes like you do with the teams and I might have a modicum of respect for the gruelling, tough life the are over-paid to lead.
Our Game: Let’s not bother reliving this in great detail.
This was not unlike the City game at the point we went behind. This is what the happened at the Etihad:
All of ours played a blinder
They blew every chance they had
We clinically put away what we orchestrated at the other end
At the back our concentration never wavered
None of this applied last night.
That said, had we not fucked up twice at the back I struggle to see where else they would have got a scoreline like that. Which is frustrating.
Top three songs last night?
“They’ve won the league in black and white”
“Did you cry at Stamford Bridge”
and of course the old standard, “2-0, and you f*cked it up”
The teams pretty much cancelled each other out in the first half. Our lot are big enough and ugly enough to know what happens when you don’t close people down and you don’t mark knobs in white in the box. So they only had themselves to blame for letting that rancid little cheat take the lead just before the break.
We battered them at the initial outset of the second half, if any one of those multiple chances goes in before 50 minutes, and it is a completely different game. But last night the chips didn’t fall our way.
And of course the more you bomb forward the more you’re susceptible for the counter. What annoyed me when they scored again was how similar it was to the first goal. I don’t think it is any secret that I am not Courtois’s biggest fan, and I won’t lay all of the blame at his clown feet. But I was livid on the second. His arms were stuck by his sides as the ball came in. An unforgivably lazy attempt at getting to the ball. Punch it. Punch the f*cker. If you take the cheat’s head off his shoulders in the process so be it. As a top level keeper the only thing on his mind should be getting that ball away from the goal. Not half jumping and waving a limp hand at it after you’ve let their man get his head to it.
The Alonso change was out of necessity, more than anything. Shock and dismay about the night he had did make me giggle. We like him, he’s been good for us this season. But I think any one of us with an ounce of footballing savvy knows that he is not a top, top level player. So a night up against Walker was always going to be massively torrid for him. This is one of the positions we will undoubtedly strengthen.
I liked the other two subs, I did. Kante off for Fabregas. (You couldn’t have taken Matic off last night, carnage would have ensued) Yes we lose Kante’s energy, but at 78 minutes and 2-0 down you don’t need energy. They had just as much energy. You need killer passes to scythe through the midfield. And within thirty seconds, Cesc had found Diego, though he was offside on that occasion. Bringing on another striker too, great, showed intent to get something out of the game. But they both came too late for a two goal deficit. One, fine, but not two. Fabregas had less than a quarter of an hour to try and seize control of the game, and what Michy and Costa could fashion in five minutes is questionable. I think Conte hedged his bets for too long. I understand, I do. 2-0 is a defeat. 3-0 is a drubbing, but it was either that or he wasn’t exactly sure what to do the way the game unfolded. When the changes did come though, I think they were brave and they showed adaptability. I just wish they’d happened sooner.
Refwatch: Meh. He wasn’t awful. But he wasn’t great either. I lost count of how many consecutive, cynical fouls he watched on Hazard without producing a yellow until the 40th minute. And Victor Moses must be knobbing his wife because he got the living sh*t kicked out of him all night. (Though he called it right in dismissing the penalty claim) The linesmen were a gutless pair of flaccid morons. I don’t think I can remember a game when I’ve seen two of them support a referee less.
So: After about three years, Vertonghen has been displaced as my most hated player. Danny Rose and his thirty yards gained on every throw in, his play-acting and his filthy late tackles have promoted him to the player I’d most like to see with stumps where his legs were. Three awful, nasty challenges way off the ball in the first half hour and all unpunished. It didn’t get any better. He’s not a c*nt. He’s not even a thunder*unt. He’s a magnificent shitc*nt (c)
Actually he’s all three. And yes. He did cry at Stamford Bridge. A lot.
Reasons to be cheerful include the fact that Janice (muppet alias) and I burned nearly 600 calories on the walk too and from Seven Sisters. And didn’t get stabbed. Although it was pointed out that we passed about a dozen establishments calling themselves “The Best Kebab.” (Are the locals that stupid?) That and we journeyed past more half rotten, indistinguishable vegetables abandoned in boxes outside shops with half the letters missing from their signage than you find in Croydon on market day, which is saying something.
The wheels have not come off. We may have forgotten what it is like to lose, and it may be extra irksome that it happened against those c*nts, but let’s keep our eyes on the prize. We didn’t set out this season with the intention of breaking a Gooner record nobody could have related off the top of their head until the media started obsessing over it. We wanted top four. Now Conte has done so well and we’ve established ourselves at the top, we’d quite like to stay there and win the league. In fourteen matches, this is the first one that didn’t go our way. We are five points clear at the summit. Offer that to anyone else and they’d bite your hand off. So let the f*ckmuppets celebrate like they have one a trophy for the first time since Britain joined Europe in the first place. All they achieved last night was reducing their deficit to us out of double fingers, which can’t even touch what we did to them last year, when we could barely string two passes together. Also, good luck keeping your run up dickheads, when you’ve got those all-important Europa League fixtures flying your way on a Thursday night.
In the words of Trigger (sitcom alias) 13 in a row, well done. Now we go again.
And here is another quote for you:
“We will either find a way, or we will make one.” Antonio Conte, 2016.
OK, so he might have ripped it off from some dead Carthaginian, but we have a manager that is smart enough to quote legendary military commanders from antiquity. West Ham have got a guy who looks like Jaws from the Bond films and Palace have got, well, a man whose IQ is battling to transcend that of the knackered chewing gum he spits out in dugouts up and down the country.
Contribution from Alexander Churchill follow Alex on Twitter.