Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Never doing it the easy way

So, we’re off to Wembley after a night I expect we’ll hear about for a little while yet.

After a piss poor start which saw Nick Barnby, a man old enough to be my Dad, put Hull in the lead via a massive deflection of Djourou, while the goal was fortuitous the defending to allow the shot was unforgivable. We really took our time to get going and there was no urgency for the first 30 minutes, it was pretty damn poor.

Hull, to their credit, really put us under the cosh for the first 20 minutes, Manucho causing us all kinds of problems.

And then it started. Once Hull had their lead every goal kick and throw in suddenly took the best part of a minute while Phil Brown laughed it off.

Before last night I respected Brown, a good English manager whose teams played good football. But the Walrus factor was evident last night by the bucketload. But more of that in a bit.

From the half hour mark we began to turn the screw but without really troubling Myhill, Arshavin came closest with a stunning volley that fizzed past the post.

Into the second half and we started to really threaten, RVP, who I thought had a poor game last night, went close with a couple of free kicks, both well saved by Myhill, we had an effort cleared off the line before Song put the rebound wide, and RVP hit the bar with a header. Eventually the breakthrough came when a slick passing move ended up with RVP putting the ball into the roof of the net. From then on there was only going to be one winner.

At this point I had to go out, so I only had crappy medium wave radio to tell me what was going on. But with 7 minutes to go, a Nasri freekick caused havoc in the Hull box, Myhill missed his punch and Gallas nodded home from 3 yards. From watching the replay this morning he looks offside, you’d be angry if it was you conceding, but thankfully the officials remained consistently poor throughout and we won 2-1. We’re going to Wembley to face the Chavs.

Arsenalist, as always, has goals and highlights.

I’d love it if that’s what last night was remembered for, but sadly it wont be. Come the full time whistle Phil Brown was pointing the finger left right and centre, looking for someone to blame. Some say Wenger was waiting to shake his hand but gave up, others say Wenger just avoided him. One this is certain, Hull’s assistant manager has accused Cesc of spitting on him. Initially the accusation was that it took place on the pitch when it seems Cesc was at least 20ft from the Hull coaching staff whilst congratulating his team mates. Then this morning that’s changed to in the tunnel. Hmm!

Cesc has denied the altercation took place:

“I categorically deny that I spat at anybody after the match. I have never done this in my whole career on the pitch, so why would I do it when I am not even playing? I can understand the frustration of losing a game to a dubious goal, that has happened to me many times in my career as well. But this is not the fault of me or any of the Arsenal players.”

It’s true, after conceding a goal like that to cost you a place at Wembley, you’re going to be pissed off. Brown pulled no punches:

"For their club captain Cesc Fabregas to spit at my assistant at the end of the game shows you what this club is all about."

Brown felt Riley "succumbed to local pressure" in the second half after his players were jeered for time-wasting.

"Mr Wenger decides to join in and the result is my goalkeeper getting booked in the second half.

"Arsene Wenger got my goalkeeper booked. You call that good management? He was complaining about time-wasting. It's an absolute disgrace."

Asked about Wenger's failure to shake his hand at the final whistle, Brown said: "He never does."

Brown insisted: "We haven't been beaten by Arsenal, and they are fourth top of the Premier League. We have been beaten by a linesman's decision and a referee's decision for Gallas' goal." – Quotes from BBC and Sky

Here comes the Walrus link. It reeks of Allardyce, it truly does. Shows what this club is all about? F**k off, we clapped them off in September, and rightly so! And speaking of that game in September, Wenger never shakes hands?

Hmm, looks like a f**king handshake to me Tangoman Phil! Porkie pies methinks! Your goalkeeper was booked in the second half because he’d been f**king about and taking an age to take goalkicks since the 20th minute! He was timewasting and was rightly booked! And as for local pressure, isn’t that something northern teams pride themselves on, a decent, partisan atmosphere? Usually we’re f**king silent at the Grove so perhaps it was shock that persuaded the officials to book him? Beaten by a linesman’s decision and a referee’s decision, well, yes, it was the wrong decision, but the officials were poor throughout the game for both teams, the “handball” against RVP when it hit him in the chest for example. Only one person got that one wrong, and it was old Ma Riley (as usual), that’s standard for him, he’s incompetent yet somehow still a top flight referee!

Brown seems to be having a pop left, right and centre and ignoring the fact that in the second half only one team was going to score, and it wasn’t one who’s striped shirts matched his suit and perma-tan! Yes yes yes, the winning goal was controversial and I’d be seething if the boot was on the other foot, but to badmouth everyone but your own side after being outplayed, come on!

If Fabregas is found guilty, please, throw the book at him. Spitting is the lowest of the low and has no place in sport or indeed society. But if this turns out to be nothing more than uber-sour grapes (something Wenger is apparently an expert in) then Brown and his cronies will have much more than egg on their faces you’d hope. Thing is, if it’s a tunnel altercation it’s going to be very very hard to get to the bottom of it unless spotted by an FA official. No TV footage (so far!) to prove/disprove anything so it’s just Brown’s word vs Cesc’s word. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see us get punished though, regardless of there being no evidence.

Still, sod it, casting sour, fake tanned grapes aside, it’s Chavski in the semi final on April 18th. Let the quest for tickets commence!

Enjoy your day, unless you’re Phil Brown!

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