Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Agadir? More like Agadoo

Tim Stillman Column

What ho Arsenal fans. How do? Last week I wrote with regards to my slutiness for Arsenal victories and fortunately, my lascivious appetite hath been rewarded to the point that I may have to check myself into Arsenal’s new state of the art medical centre for a check up. Whereupon I will doubtless be told that “the chronic itching will be gone in a matter of days, not weeks.” Either that, or I’ll break my fifth metatarsal waddling to the medical room with my knickers around my ankles.

In any case, watching that deplorable bunch of gimps from the Potteries take a van Persie style tanning to the backside is enough to have me grinning demonically for weeks on end frankly. The captain’s introduction from the bench on Sunday showed, in my opinion, that the midfield is now in good condition creatively speaking. Losing a player like Cesc Fabregas is always going to be an enormous drain on your conjuring resources, a brief gander at Aaron Ramsey’s statistics in terms of ball retention, pass completion, goals scored and chances created, shows his numbers are on par with David Silva.

The struggle on Sunday prior to van Persie’s introduction, came not from a midfield unable to create – which I think has been an issue in 2011. Witness not just Ramsey’s through ball for Gervinho’s goal; but a similar lofted effort minutes before. But with Chamakh upfront, we lacked the mobility and movement that van Persie gives us in the penalty area. I’m constantly baffled by the assertion that the Dutchman’s true role should be operating as a number 10 off of a main striker given the amount of penalty box goals he scores.

A quick look at the run van Persie makes for his first goal demonstrates his ability as a penalty box striker. He ghosts past three Stoke defenders towards the front post to meet Gervinho’s cutback. It’s that sense of kinesis he brings us; the desire to try and make something happen, rather than idly waiting for the scraps to be spooned lovingly onto his plate. The bandy legged Ivorian announced his arrival properly for the first time also. Likewise, he appears to have a Ljungberg-esque desire to burst in past defences and play on the shoulder of a full back. But once R to the V to the P entered the fray, he showed that his more penetrative qualities could be used to feed a hungry striker, as well as sate his own appetite for goals.

In that respect, Ju-Young Park’s performance and goal on Tuesday night was tantalising. In the first half he eked out two shots from virtually nothing. But the manner in which he took his goal probably left us all scrabbling for our Kleenex and Thierry Henry DVDs. Conversely it made me think a little of Chamakh. I recognise that he’s a different kind of striker with different qualities. But picture him being put in the same position as Park was on Tuesday night. Could you envisage him finishing in that emphatic a manner?

I now longer know what to think of our Moroccan striker. The tendency in today’s microwave culture is to write someone off summarily after one bad game and fete them as the best thing since Raphael Meade after one good game. Chamakh showed us at the beginning of last season that he clearly isn’t a second rate footballer and that he has the ability to score goals at this level. But frankly he’s been stinking the place out so long that it might just be time to get the Febreze out. Outside of the penalty area, his ideas are often sound, but the execution is more wayward than a Mario Balotelli firework. That suggests that confidence is the issue, but one questions how long we can wait for him to rediscover his mojo before we send him off to live with Almunia in the woods.

I am hoping however, that Oxlade Chamberlain’s more muted performance goes some way to quelling some of the hysterical hype foisted onto him. He is an exciting young player alright, but he still has some big deficiencies to iron out before he can become part of the regular first team picture. Most importantly his defensive urgency. But that’s to be expected for a player his age. It just amazes me that people seem content to repeat the same irritating cycle with young English players. Ultimately it leads to exalted standards being expected of young players far too early in their careers. They are then lambasted for not living up to the unreasonable expectations we set. It’s maddening that supporters don’t seem to identify this repetitive pattern.

Whilst addressing the twin themes of the Stoke game and the Carling Cup, I can’t let Tony Pubis’ nauseating, bile inducing interview from Wednesday evening pass unchallenged. That baseball capped puddle fucker had the temerity to bitch and moan about an, ahem, “industrial” challenge from Jamie Carragher in Stoke’s defeat to Liverpool. How can one individual lack such basic self awareness? Would it have been alright if Jamie’s mum had come to pick him up afterwards?

This was Pubis’ reaction to Wenger’s assertion that Shawcross’ scythe on Ramsey was “unacceptable.” ‘He doesn’t know my players; so frankly, I couldn’t care less what he thinks.’  It’s this sort of whiny self righteousness that makes Stoke so unpalatable. I don’t care that they play hoof ball. I don’t care that their prevailing tactic is to launch superhuman throw ins towards their collection of gangly, eight foot semi atomic super-mutants.

In fact, their brand of football can be exciting in the way a blood and guts rock n roll band can be. Frankly, anything that’s within the rules of the game is totally their prerogative. But it’s this sort of blinkered, small man bollocks that makes me wish the whole club would just get sucked into a black hole. And while we’re on the subject of insufferable cunts, I viewed Chelsea Chairman Bruce Buck’s comments with interest today as he outlined his desire for Chelsea to “beat the crap out of Arsenal this Saturday.”

Fair enough really, albeit it’s the sort of rhetoric one comes to expect from that pack of Chavvy mouth breathers. Quite honestly, someone with a name like Bruce Buck sounds like he should be selling tickets to after hours weasel fighting in pub car parks anyway. But in that spirit I would like to announce my desire to see Michael Flatley Riverdance on the bridge of John Terry’s nose. Whilst wearing running spikes. With lead weights in them. I think that’s a result we could all get on board with at the Bridge this Saturday. Hope to see some of you there. LD.

Follow me on twitter @LittleDutchVA

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