A 1-1 draw with Boro yesterday was, given the circumstances, a decent point but the game will be remembered for Mike Riley’s decision midway through the second half rather than anything else.
A tired looking Kolo Toure missed a header and the ball bounced between Senderos and Hoyte who was too slow to react. The Swiss international came across, there was minimal contact, at best, with Yakubu who went down like a shot and Riley, unable from his position to give a penalty to his beloved United at Old Trafford, did the next best thing and gave a penalty to Boro and a red card to Senderos. Both decisions were totally wrong, in my opinion. Firstly there was no foul worthy of a red card and secondly, even if there had been, Yakubu’s dive started from outside the penalty area.
Then I read a quote on ANR and they claim Yakubu said:
He didn’t touch me but fortunately we had the penalty.
So not only did Riley get it wrong Yakubu has admitted it wasn’t a penalty and as Senderos didn’t touch him it shouldn’t have been a red card. I hope two things happen now. Firstly the red card should be rescinded and secondly Yakubu should be fined, at least, for admitting he cheated. Up to that point Senderos had been playing well and Boro had done nothing to merit a goal.
I would also like very much to see someone kick Mike Riley’s teeth in then, months later, when he’s had thousands of pounds worth of dental work done to have the same person kick his teeth in again and film it and put it up on YouTube and then I’ll give that person a free Arseblog t-shirt. Honestly, he is a fucking joke. Naturally though, even in light of Yakubu’s admission, the FA will probably do fuck all and back their useless, pissbag referee. It will be interesting to see the media reaction to what Yakubu said. No doubt James Lawton will somehow find a way to blame it on Robert Pires.
After a very dull first half Arsenal were beginning to pressure Boro before that incident and I think had it been eleven v eleven we would have won that game. Arsene Wenger feels the same. As it was we showed great spirit and character to get the equaliser through Thierry Henry and that’s not the first time we’ve done that this season. In fact, we’re becoming quite the experts at coming from behind. As worthy as that is I do miss the days when we started so quickly we could finish a team in the first twenty minutes.
They did look tired though. The only fresh players from Wednesday night were Henry, Jens and Flamini who started on the right hand side of midfield. He didn’t have a great game and I know people are questioning the decision to play him there but there really wasn’t anyone else. Theo Walcott’s form has been so poor that he was never going to start the game and the only other option was Denilson who is just 18, still adpating to English football and who had just played 120 minutes against Sp*rs on Wednesday. Irrespective of Flamini’s performance he’s not the reason we dropped points.
Cesc, who makes so much tick, looked tired, Adebayor had one of those games and overall we looked like a team that was suffering from an extra-time hangover, which does make the push to get the goal back after going down to 10 men all the better. Of course, with Liverpool drawing at home with Everton today it was a chance to close the gap but it wasn’t to be. I just think a combination of a tired performance and missing the players we have out injured today cost us (on top of Riley’s bullshit, of course).
Certainly a fully fit Hleb or van Persie or Baptista would have made a difference and even Freddie, for his struggles, would have been an option on the right hand side had he been fit. Still, we now have a week to rest some tired legs, take stock and get back on track when Wigan come to the Grove next Sunday.
Actually, there won’t be rest for most of them as there are internation friendlies in mid-week. Argh. Start lighting candles now in the hope that nobody picks up an injury.
A quick Sunday round-up for you now. Cesc says the young Gunners can beat Chelsea in the Carling Cup final.Â Chairman P-Diddy H to the W tells the Sunday Mirror he thinks Arsene Wenger will renew his contract. He’s got 18 months to go but the club want to extend that and it’s the potential at the club that will keep him. He says:
I am convinced he is going to want to stay. It really pleases him to see so many talented kids come through. He will want to see them fulfill their potential and become even better. I am sure we will speak in the summer and hopefully those talks will go well and he will stay.
Get ready to Sheikh your booty as Arsenal are now the target of the man who failed to buy Liverpool. The People reports that Dubai International Capital are ready to make a Â£450m takeover bid for the club. While I can’t see a full takeover happening the fact that certain shareholders wouldn’t mind selling their shares means that some kind of investment wouldn’t be a surprise. You wake up one morning and you’ve been Tangoed.
And Bob, as they say, is your uncle. Have a good Sunday.