Arsene, Arsene, Arse....
What the hell is going on? That’s the first time he’s ever selected a first XI using a tombola. I’m not sure what the team instructions were either... Let’s keep it shite for the first hour? Go out and depress yourself? It struck me that while United played a fluid 4-4-2, Arsenal played a 0-10-0 with everyone in the hole.
Wenger had his head in his hands before the game started.
Seriously though, I’ve never seen owt like it. You might say the senior players never really came out of their shells at Old Trafford. Of course invertebrates live in shells and this was as spineless a performance as you are likely to see from any team this season.
Arsenal’s great strength – passing, moving, creating – the chief architects of this at present are Arshavin and Rosicky. Like a stampede of horses being fronted by a couple of fat, gelded Shetland ponies.
Andriy and Tomas take a break during training
I’m just guessing that they sit around at training until Pat Rice looks over at ‘em and then they hurriedly break into a bout of gentle trotting til he buggers off again.
Arch victim of Sunday’s debacle was the lad Carl Jenkinson. He’s 19, and looks like he’s been left at Paddington station with a note a round his neck, bless ‘im. Walcott railed at him at one point, which must’ve made buoyed him up. After all there’s not enough space in the universe for what Theo doesn’t know about defending (witness the trip on Evra).
At least Jenkinson was trying, mind, until he became the third straight red card for Arsenal in the Premier League. Each one of them was making their full debut, I believe. Which suggests that the wearing of an Arsenal shirt involves some sort of Faustian pact in which you have to surrender 90% of your brain function.
There was a mitigating circumstance (not, mind you, the one about our boys being tired after midweek – Arsene goes to that option faster that an Allardycean centre-back goes to hitting it long).
No there were eight players out – or eleven depending on who’s doing the maths. Of those the big miss was Vermaelan, the only tent-peg in Wenger’s wind-blown canvass of a defence. Even the Belgian couldn’t have covered for the dithering of Djourou. He’s got all the strength and positional sense of a fledgling sparrow that’s fallen out of the nest.
Van Persie tried to look forward to the next game – home to Swansea, which has banana skin written all over it – and said the team gave of their maximum. Really? That’s the best they could do? Jeez, that might even call an audible ripple of discontent at the Emirates Library.
There was no Song, Wilshere and Gervinho; and Sagna, Gibbs and even Squillaci might’ve helped. But United don’t have Ferdinand, Vidic or Rafael available either. It just so happens that Ferguson has bought replacements – and good ones at that. And that is why this sorry drubbing leaves you pointing the finger at Monsieur Obstinate.
His squad has no depth, except in the matter of tiny midfield tippy-tappers. He’s had the whole summer to line up his targets in central defence, central midfield, centre forward... and he’s signed the Ivorian with the head of a river dolphin and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who sounds for all the world like one of them promising English sprinters who turns to shite when he hits his twentieth birthday.
The good news is that Wenger has signed a South Korean who was very much on Fulham’s radar a couple of seasons ago. That’s where he’s at now, picking up Fulham rejects. South Korea must be the most recreational of countries – there’s Parks bleeding everywhere.
So, three days to get back on the trail of some decent players. Somehow you’ll be surprised if he manages to muscle Cahill or Samba over to the Emirates, whereas you just know Harry Redknapp’s going to be standing in front of the press on Thursday morning conjuring footballers out of every box, top hat and sleeve while Kevin Bond plays his Debbie McGee.
Not that Spurs haven’t got a worry or two. Two thumping defeats from Manchester outfits and Harry’s been bleating like a forlorn lambkin about all the transfer speculation surrounding Modric and Crouch. My heart bleeds, H. And Spurs being such a poverty-stricken club n all.
Daniel Levy appears to be the only person left in the country who thinks Modric is going nowhere. £40 million quid you’d get for him, Dan. It’s not like the money’d be wasted, is it? I mean you haven’t got Wenger for a manager.
Still while we crow about North London’s plight – HA! – it all means that the Manchester stronghold on English football has grown all the tighter. Those of us expecting Dzeko to turn from Ugly Duckling into Ugly Duck have been rudely surprised. Mancini’s got that side by the scruff of its neck and in Aguero, Silva and Nasri he’s got a little triangle of delight to rival any that you might have come across while late-night googling.
Meanwhile, Fergie’s latest vibrant rebirth, with Rooney very much at the delivery end, is a joy to behold. I’m not entirely sure about the success of the Wazza barnet, mind you. It still looks like a child has filled in the gaps with a felt-tip to me.
You can't help feeling if a comb-over was good enough for Sir Bobby then... respect the traditions, Wayne
It’s true to say that City’s success is built on obscene wealth while Fergie’s success is built on perceptive purchases and a canny youth squad. Oh, and obscene wealth.
Only Dalglish’s Liverpool threaten the Mancunian dominance, and even then that’s as a nettle threatens a carthorse. It could be a long few years for the ABM brigade.
Oh and re Usain Bolt’s false start and how we might have to change the rules... Bollocks, Mr KFC knew what the rules were and he fucked up. End of. Unless we want to give him his gold medal BEFORE the final and treat the race as his coronation.
As we say on Teesside 'Hard fucking cheese, you dopey bastard.'