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Monday, April 18, 2005

Blackburn lose semi, friends, and self-respect; Van Persie wins the lot.

Blackburn played on the big stage on Saturday.

As the underdogs they will have had a lot of neutrals behind them in their quest for FA cup glory.

Then in a speed that the Bush administration would have admired, they squandered this goodwill through increasingly belligerent tactics that culminated in a full-on assault by the Blackburn captain on Van Persie.

The ironic point is that Blackburn had the better of the first half-hour by playing strong-but-fair football. They showed they could match the Gunners without resorting to the despicable.

Blackburn started to play loser's football after going a goal down. When a team has to resort to assaulting the opposition the ref should blow the whistle and award the match to the other team.

The Savage knee high tackle on 17 year old Fabregas has no place in a football match. The referee, Steve Dunn, did not even caution him- which represents gross negligence on his behalf.

The Todd deliberate elbow while looking the other way in feigned innocence deserves as much press attention as the Lee Bowyer/Kieron Dyer punch-up. An absolute disgraceful attack which requires the authorities to impose severe sanctions.

If a Reyes light-slap can gain a three match suspension, the FA should be looking to give at least five matches to Todd.

Blackburn lost the semi. But they lost much more than just this.

They lost friends.

And they will have lost their self-respect.

One player who grew in stature on Saturday was Robin Van Persie.

A couple of months ago he ridiculously got himself sent-off against Southampton and at that moment he had few supporters.

His football on the pitch up to that point had been ineffective.

And to acquire a second-booking with a bad tackle in a match that Arsenal had in their control led many to question his temperament.

But he returned at Ewood last month, cut out the aggression, and scored a stunning slalom goal.

Then in eight minutes on Saturday he showed everyone, not least himself, that he is a player with exceptional quality who can do it on the biggest stage.

Another slalom turn followed by a technically perfect pass into the net put Arsenal two goals up.

Then in injury time he again displayed technical excellence in swivelling to convert a Pires pull back into the far top corner.

Rightfully he was turning away in joy only to be met by the ugliness of football.

He got up and managed a painful smile after the match. He was happy because he has now earned friends and self-respect for his performances since his sending-off at St Marys.

Blackburn will need to follow Van Persie's example if they too are to regain friends and self-respect.


Blogger Skippy said...

A lot has been made of Blackburn's tactics, which they adopt in their matches.

However, when you are in their position you have to play to your strength, and that may mean being physical at times. I like the figting spirit which teams like Blackburn and Bolton show, and if at times they over-step the mark, then it is up to the officials to take the appropriate action.

I thought, the goals scored by Van Persie were a joy to watch. I don't know, which goal I like better.

4/18/2005 11:31 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4/18/2005 12:02 pm

Blogger Skippy said...


Our website does not in any way encourage name calling. If you are not willing to engage in elitefootball talk I suggest you find your self another site.

4/18/2005 12:13 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ridiculous talk again i see, why is it only Chelsea & arsenal complain about teams playing tough football against them,the Savage tackle was slightly high and marginally mis-timed and a yellow card would have sufficed,but the Todd incident was a total accident,Van Persie turned into TODD! Todd didnt not change the direction he was moving, nor did he look at Van Persie and nor did he move his elbow in the direction of Van Persie! Everybody seems quick to forget the 2 footed lunge from Lauren on Downing last week which went unpunished! Why? Simple answer: Double Standars! Its a mans game so grow up or play bowls!!

4/18/2005 12:57 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lauren was booked, Todd had pleanty of time to avoid the collision and had no need to jump or raise his elbow, anyone who has played they game know an accidental collision when they see it, that wasn`t

4/18/2005 1:05 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lol, this is funny! Arsenal complaining about our tough tackles, lets see how softly they tackle this weekend.

How many times have Arsenal players been sent off? As for Reyes & Pires I am sure Todd sneezed at one point and they both fell over!

4/18/2005 2:29 pm

Blogger T said...

Thanks for your comments- keep them coming as they are always welcome and helps the site become even better.

It is inevitable that there will be disagreements with things written on the site.

However, lets leave name-calling to the playground, and respect your opponent.


4/18/2005 7:56 pm

Blogger Abdul said...

Here, here TS. Lets keep the comments coming - but keep them classy.

4/20/2005 12:24 pm

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12/18/2005 7:21 pm


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