The Blog that's not always wrong.

Friday, 23 December 2011

London's top, top, team

          A failed human being 
    but a half decent centre half

 We laid out our credentials; they received a rigorous examination and were eventually stamped and handed back with the words 'Pretty damn good'. Top London team at Xmas for the first time in 15yrs and 3rd for the first time in a lot longer, possibly 50yrs. Thank you Santa and a Merry Xmas to all.

We set off like an express, scored the early goal, kept and passed the ball in an almost, I said 'almost', Barcelona-esque fashion and threatened to sweep Chelsea away. Then we gave away a very lazy goal indeed. A possible handball ball set the piece up but then almost every member of the defence was guilty of ball watching or failing to cut out the cross. Which bit of  'play to the whistle' do you not understand?

Ledley, Gallas, and Friedel watched the ball pass across the 6yd. box to an unmarked Sturridge for the proverbial tap-in. Ekotto was nowhere to be seen having let Sturridge run past him on the blind side. The handball was not deliberate but it did give Cole control of the ball and enabled him to make the assist. One for the rule-book nerds there.

The scoring was all over on the stroke of quarter time but the match became more and more engrossing and combative but ultimately ended in stalemate. The referee allowed far too much physicality but this was to our advantage as Adebayor, reviving nightmares of Crouch at the Bernabeu, seemed desperate to be sent off. I think that centre forwards should be excused all tackling duties.

The dynamic axis of Parker and Sandro worked well again and the increasing hectic nature of the game did no favours to Modric who however was still the source of most of our creativity. This and the strength of Bale who set up the first goal. Czech is not the keeper he was and his hesitancy gave Adebayor just the foot of space he needed. Perhaps he just doesn't fancy another fractured skull.

In the end we could have won it but might easily have lost it. In the second half Chelsea were in the ascendant and had more shots and more clear cut chances. But in the end it was the back end of Terry, which diverted Adebayor's shot past the post that prevented us from a win. He had been set up late on by a sublimely casual ball inside the full back by Bale. Or should that be 'casually sublime'

So probably a fair result in the end. Having dominated by keeping the ball and playing quick short passes we reverted to playing the longer ball, especially by Ekotto and Gallas, which played into Chelsea's hands. Terry may be a flawed, not to say 'failed' human being but unfortunately that does not rule out the possibility that he is more than a half decent centre half. Not much more though.

Like Sol Cambell, abuse, seems to make him stronger and more determined and lately he has shown a return to form.  At least he managed to stay on the pitch this time. Chelsea are a good team and played increasingly well and we did well to match them to confirm the London Bragging Rights.

Harry's double bluff failed to work with Lampard. The old Brer Rabbit, Briar Patch scam.
' Oh no don't play Lampard, he's fantastic'.
OK, Mr. Redknapp I won't, I see through your game'.
It looks as Frank if is about 5th choice after the youngster Romeleu. He'll be looking for a new home. Quick switch off the lights, close the curtains and lock the front door.

As predicted Newcastle have fallen away, Liverpool are faltering and it's shaping up into a three horse race for third and fourth. But don't count them chicken badges just yet. On last night's evidence we are well in the race and have a points, games and goal difference advantage on our mainly London rivals. Happy days.We are winning games we might once have drawn and drawing games we might in the past have lost.

As good a half season as I can remember but just as matches are games of two halves, so seasons have two halves too. We could upgrade Pavlyuchenko in January but are going to have to add considerably to the £10 million we might feasibly get for him. There's plenty of you tube wonders out there to muse upon. But that would still leave us with three strikers and Harry Kane.

Harry, like me, tried to talk Roman up and he came on for hamstrung Van Der Vaart, with a whole half to make an impression. But he didn't and it raised doubts on Harry's tactical abilities which have been much praised lately.

Kaboul at right back and Walker in midfield might have been more effective; or Kranjcar to play behind Adebayor. Strangely neither Piennar nor the quick Townsend who has just signed a new contract were on the bench. But that's all in wide angle, 'Retrospectovision' coming to a blog near you, soon. Perhaps Harry, Pav. and me just ran out of luck.

Did I mention that Ledley played for the second time in four days and once again was not on the losing side. Well I have now. We might try giving him a seat in the centre circle when he's not fit and just play a man short.

Interesting fact that may or not have a bearing on matters:
Since re-naming their stadium Newcastle haven't won a single game. Six matches and counting.
Until then they were unbeaten.
(Courtesy of the Guardian)
The 'Ledley King Arena' anyone?

T shirts worn by Liverpool in support of Suarez.
Dubbed a disgrace by Paul McGrath but Johnson, for example, could hardly have breeched the club solidarity by not wearing one could he? Could he?
Kenny and Liverpool seem to be in a very deep hole. Throw them another shovel someone.

And now for some footage of last night's MOM.
Sandro Ranieri Guimaraes Cordeiro against Milan.
He might just make it this boy.


Anonymous said...

Anyone suggesting Cole's handball was accidental really needs to give examples of other players who run with one arm stretched straight out behind them.

Anonymous said...

The worst refereeing decision for me was the disallowed Adebayor goal for "offside". Two spurs players touched the ball goalwards, and both times Ade was clearly onside (as shown by Skysports replays). More scandalous decisions...Acton_Yid

Anonymous said...

van der vart against arsenal

IKnowAlanGilzean said...

Merry Christmas Jimmy.

I was left disappointed at how we ceded control of/or had it wrested from us (probably a bit of both) once they'd scored. We were unbalanced in midfield and their midfield three were finely balanced and played well after the initial mauling we gave them. It was too easy for them to get up to our final third down the right and we gave possession away too cheaply by playing a longer game as it went on.

We were too often moving too fast to be constructive. Shame VDV couldn't get into the game as he and Modric are perhaps the only ones who can put their foot on the ball and control the tempo.

Harry may have to go with this formation now, relying on Walker to plough that right thurrow with little protection. Sandro, Bale and Modric have to play imo and Parker has to play in Harry's opinion. Maybe he can come up with 352 or 4321 4231 or Pennsylvania 6500 or something, but we look lopsided as it stood once the going got tough on Thursday.

Still very happy with where we are and a super first half of the season and I am smiling over xmas until the 27th at least.

IKnowAlanGilzean said...

furrow I most likely meant.

JimmyG2 said...

Keep smiling and Merry Xmas.
We might have gone on to win it if we hadn't conceded that sloppy goal. We completely lost the plot.

First poster.
Everyone's arm goes behind them when they are running.
It's just natural.
But any individual incident doesn't need to dominate the whole game.
You win some you lose some.

Anonymous said...

To be fair none of us are perfect. John Terry or myself. All we can hope for is a better tomorrow after learning from yesterdays mistakes.


JimmyG2 said...

Racism is not a mistake you learn from, it's a state of mind resulting from upbringing and environment.
He might learn to keep his racist comments to himself though.
Merry Xmas.

Anonymous said...

As you say Jimmy you win some, you lose some. In seasons past though, and not that distant either we would have gone on to lose that one.

Keep up the good work matey.


Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas mate. I don't know Jimmy. People can change, sometimes though it can take finger pointing to make you look at yourself.


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