Arsene Wenger cobbled together starting lineups with spit and duct tape and Denilson and somehow the team dragged its ass over the finish line in third or fourth.
Monday, November 8, 2010
Fresh Juicy Mangoes
Dan Quayle would be proud of this fellow. For the neutral observer, it was a fantastic weekend of football. As an Arsenal supporter, it wasn't so great; I'll just quickly say a few words about that stinker against Newcastle and it's this: no excuses. We put out almost as strong a squad as we could; no Vermaelen or fit RVP, but whatever, this is almost as good as it gets. Cesc, Nasri, Wilshere, Walcott, Chamakh, Song. We should be scoring. And at home, we must be winning with that lineup. MUST. OK, rant over. Now, a few thoughts:
(1) Fernando Torres took two enormous bites of the mango this weekend. And with cool, slightly sticky mango juice spilling down his handsome chin, he lit a fire under Liverpool. For the first half, they looked like the squad their teamsheet has always threatened to be - killing themselves for every ball in midfield, working hard, defending as a unit, smothering Chelsea, and letting El Nino do his thing up front. That was so much fun to watch. It certainly made the poop sandwich (with a side of Andy Carroll and Joey Barton) I had just swallowed a half hour before that much easier to digest. In the second half, Chelsea had an Arsenal kind of day, lots of possession, lots of dallying, and then, when they finally got the ball into dangerous positions, they wasted their chances or were thwarted by excellent goalkeeping. I felt their pain.
(2) Roma won what might be the most intense, ill-tempered derby in football right now against league-leaders Lazio. (Frankly, I'd be too terrified to attend one of these matches.) You know Francesco Totti is nearing the end when I'm slightly relieved to see him not on the teamsheet. Also, I'm sorry to say it, but Muslera really should do better with Boriello's miserable excuse for a penalty. Good thing they had Vucinic take the second one. Who, by the way, has the angriest, most bizarre, goal celebrations around right now. He's the best.
(3) This brings me to my next point: the Serie A is bonkers. With all the focus on the EPL and La Liga, it's easy to forget that an Italian club won the CL last year. If I'm a club in the Champions League, I want no part of Inter, Roma, or Milan this year. All three clubs, while flawed, are completely unpredictable, and I could easily see one of them going to the final this year. Don't look now, but they're all on track to make the knockouts...
(4) La Liga wants no part of the (relative) parity taking hold of the EPL, Serie A, or Bundesliga (actual parity, there). But that's OK, because Mourinho vs. Barca is good fun. Juan predicted that the title returns to Madrid this year, and frankly, it's hard to argue with him. In fact, I think I'll go one better: Mourinho wins the treble with Madrid, and then leaves within the next two years to replace Fergie at Man United. It's happening.
(5) Speaking of which... Ji-Sung Park? Surely United cannot keep this up. If they somehow stay competitive for the title, then Fergie has definitely refinanced the third mortgage on his soul.
Until next time, gents.