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Sunday, April 02, 2006

Chelsea drop pts; Spurs drop pts; Arsenal in session; Portsmouth resurrection

Birmingham City 0 Chelsea 0

Jonathan Pearce: "[Ricardo] Carvalhoooo.....Oh! What a chance! What an opportunity for Chelsea to header...7 yards out...didn't hit the target. Carvalho knows it would have taken Chelsea a step nearer the title retention, it would have been very hard on Birmingham."

Goodness, wouldn't have, and didn't, banked on this happening. Not only a draw but Birmingham kept Chelsea out of their goal. They took the game to the visitors in the first half, and then Chelsea came out in the second as if they had been blasted by Jose Mourinho. But the home fans must have been happy to see no further capitulation and a better, home performance.

Mourinho gave credit to Birmingham, felt they deserved the point presumablybecause Chelsea didnt get to score, and I agree. But the Chelsea boss was adamant the goals should have stood when in fact they were rightly cancelled, he may not have seen the replays. For the first one, Carvalho came from an offside position actively, for the second Damian Duff was offside along with Didier Drogba.

Birmingham fans: A performance just as important as the point, now Steve Bruce needs equal support, if not more, for the Tuesday home game against Bolton.

Chelsea fans: Players tried and tried but could not blow the house down. Yet considering the players around and the league position, few would hesitate changing places. Man Utd clawed back points against Newcastle in 1995-96, and Arsenal in 2002-03, to win the league, albeit it happened in the remaining three months of the respective seasons. It would be an amazing feat if it occurred in two.

Bolton Wanderers 1 Manchester United 2

Simon Brotherton: "Oh, it's an easy goal from Ruud Van Nistelrooy! It's 150 for him for Manchester United, and it could be the goal that keeps the pressure on Chelsea."

No one has won yet at the Reebok Stadium this season since the opening game against Everton, Arsenal had lost, Liverpool drew, Spurs lost, Chelsea are due to play there next. Following Chelsea's opening draw, Utd came to gain more on the Blues and keep further from the Reds. So when Kevin Davies picks up the ball by the penalty box D and cleanly nutmegs Rio Ferdinand on his way to score, it looked bad. But Mikael Silvestre and Louis Saha combined for the defender to send a through ball down behind Joey O'Brien for Saha to run onto and strike with the outside of his LEFT foot for 1-1. VNR comes on to a welcome from the away fans and suddenly Utd are in major threat of a breakthrough as chance after chance is denied, until Silvestre passed to John O'Shea, who sends a through ball to Saha, who squares for VNR's winner.

Bolton fans: Two defeats back-to-back, one in which an impressive home record is dented for the 2nd time this season, just by the single goal. Going away to a Chelsea-denying Birmingham at St Andrews could make or break for the trip to Anfield.

Man Utd fans: More delight from an eighth successive win and with Chelsea dropping pts leaves both teams on equal games. The run-in seems more difficult for Utd with Arsenal, Spurs and Chelsea to come. See last sentence in 'Chelsea fans' above.

Fulham 1 Portsmouth 3

Alastair Mann: "[Michael] Brown is going to get sent off....his challenge on Davis....automatic red for a dangerous tackle"

The proverbial football gravy train? No one at Portsmouth are getting off with Harry Redknapp driving. Yesterday they rode through Fulham's lacking defence and played as if they were the home side. An attack in the first minute up the left side found Benjani Mwaruwari on the ball and his cross eluded Wayne Bridge, who made a poor attempt to make it, and Gary O'Neil mis-hit the ball to bounce it over Mark Crossley. Steed Malbranque has turned great form recently and it was his dummy that created space for a 25-yard shot that curled enough to go in off the post. Benjani Mwaruwari collected on the right side and fed a sweet through ball for Lomano LuaLua, who, despite Zat Knight's clumsy attempt to pull him, kept upright and shrugged off enough to score.

In the second half, Fulham upped the pressure and went very close through Collins John, but it was made harder when O'Neil's shot deflected off Philippe Christanval over Crossley for Portsmouth's third. To compound Fulham's fall, Brown dives in on former cottage boy Sean Davis with what would describe as one of the few horrific two-footed lunges I've ever seen. Had Davis' leg not rolled with it, his studs caught on the grass or was trapped for another reason, it would have been broken. What in good sensed mentality possessed Brown to produce such conduct, because it was not a tackle, would put it with the mysteries of the universe in the category 'Questions of considerably immense analysis'.

Portsmouth had some fortune, I refer to John above with Dean Kiely to beat, Heidur Helguson came on John and cut inside Andy O'Brien to meet a through ball, only to be off-balance and aim high. Then with Kiely coming out to the edge of the box and failing to gather a shot, the Icelander picked it up, pushed past Kiely and seemed locked on to score, but for O'Brien's last-gasp intervention.

Fulham fans: I suspect Fulham need to reconstruct the central defence, while Volz is sufficient, Bridge is likely to return to the Bridge. Otherwise, with Malbranque, John, McBride, Radzinski, Boa Morte, Helguson, Pembridge, Papa Dioup, you could add a central midfielder too and be sharper in the league. Warner is key in goal as I feel Niemi and Crossley are going to be surplus in a couple of years.

Portsmouth fans: Early days with three consecutive wins, but the revival is feeling strong and home games are an advantage numerically over the other relegation-threatened sides. A consistent run kept up and no injuries can certainly prove Harry is better than Houdini.

West Bromwich Albion 0 Liverpool 2

John Motson: "This is becoming a one-man show, and that's not the [West Brom] goalkeeper I'm talking about, it's Djibril Cisse."

Having the advantage of seeing Man Utd play first showed Liverpool the chase continues and nothing less than three points would do at The Hawthorns. The home side thought likewise after Pompey's away win and Birmingham's draw. But it was a better start for the away side once Xabi Alonso's through ball evaded Paul Robinson, reached Cisse, who ran on and saw Robbie Fowler free on the left, crossing it for Fowler to score. First there was a question over a possible handball Cisse handball, then Cisse was possibly offside, then Fowler's position was questioned. However, none of those points concerned ref nor linesman. Liverpool's second goal came from an Alonso ball over all, for Cisse to run onto, round Tomasz Kuszczak and score.

It wasn't all Liverpool's way, Diomansy Kamara had an effort gathered by Pepe Reina, West Brom worked Jonathan Greening into good positions but two efforts from him missed the target, Zoltan Gera broke down the right and curled just away from goal, as Liverpool seemed to take their foot off the pedal. Cisse could have added a third when latching onto another through ball from Jamie Carragher, only for the Polish keeper to impressively block the shot. Mohamed Sissoko survived a handball claim that Uriah Rennie saw as more likely an Andy Johnson push on the Mail man.

West Brom fans: A setback, but from the games against particularly Chelsea, Man Utd and yesterday they have the edge to fight to come back in the game. It's the kind of spirit that would emulate last season's grit that kept them up, and it's a stern test of a run-in in the remaining games with Arsenal, West Ham, Newcastle and Everton among the opponents.

Liverpool fans: Good response without Gerrard to add to that last week and keeps us going to consolidate at least third place. The timing seems adequate enough, for I'd prefer Gerrard to miss this game and be ready for Bolton's visit. Importantly is the team effort, for it's not the same ones who shine, more are coming forward with positiveness. Alonso commandeered, Sissoko enforced well, and with Cisse, Fowler, Morientes and Crouch we have a forward line that can be devastating. Fowler could make way for another striker in pre-season.

Newcastle United 3 Tottenham Hotspur 1

Guy Mowbray: "And Jermaine Jenas with a chance...and he will score, surely......Oh my word!! Oh dear, oh dear! Well, he knew he would have a difficult day....for difficult, now read miserable."

[After another Dawson foul on Alan Shearer]: "Now there might be, er, trouble here for Michael Dawson...already booked, it's a second yellow card. Spurs' task has just been made doubly difficult."

Spurs seemed destined for another win with their luck of runs, two tight victories previously against Birmingham and West Brom, as Newcastle faced up to a fifth potential collapse since losing to Man Utd, and now losing Scott Parker to glandular fever for the season. But nothing of the sort happened, as Spurs caught contagious chills instead. Charles N'Zogbia was one I stated before as a player to watch for Newcastle, and his runs and left foot aided the cause again, combining with Shearer and Nolberto Solano to sprint down the left and cut back for the equally sprinting Lee Bowyer to score. It's the best I've seen from Bowyer for Newcastle.

Spurs replied when Aaron Lennon showed more jinks near goal to cross for the solid Robbie Keane to head the equaliser. Keane's form additional with Ahmed Mido's form and height, it's little wonder Jermaine Defoe is on the bench. But Spurs gave in again when Solano's shot was parried by Paul Robinson, and Shola Ameobi tucked away the rebound. Matters worsened when Edgar Davids, of all midfielders, showed he was having a task keeping with the ever-running Bowyer, as Solano crossed into the box. The ball came nearer them but Davids shoved Bowyer and gave away the penalty, coolly slotted by none other than the captain.

After Keane had hit the post before half-time, Jenas went further and appeased the home fans as much as he agonised the away ones. After a corner, Spurs went on the counter through home-born Michael Carrick's run, Jenas sprinting through the middle. Carrick's ball was overhit, Robbie Elliott mis-headed terribly into Jenas' path and, despite Bowyer's desperate tackle from behind and Shay Given coming out, Jenas evaded both with the open goal in plain sight and Keane glaringly free to his far right. He ended up inexplicably missing both, the home supporters booing his every touch after his choice words on leaving Newcastle, now cheered as Jeans missed in front of his former fans.

To compound Spurs' effort, Dawson pulled on Shearer as a high ball bounced over them, it was his second bookable one on Shearer and he was dismissed. I wonder if Ledley King's supervision was the reason why Spurs didn't have that solidified look.

Newcastle fans: A good answer against a top team after four defeats. There is pride and passion to play for, and the fans respect that much with little else to play for. That and the fact this is Shearer's last season.

Spurs' fans: The stability not displayed yesterday could be said to have been lacking against West Brom, leading to the opening goal then. Without King, the coordination of central defence went awry, possibly leading to Dawson's dismissal, in similar fashion to that against Fulham. Keane is to start but Martin Jol may need to have Mido and Defoe on from the start as well in a revitalising new angle to spearhead their campaign to remain in Champions League position.

Arsenal 5 Aston Villa 0

John Roder: "[Arsenal] have been so much in command in this match, Villa have been given a footballing lesson at Highbury. What now for David O'Leary?"

I started this article with 'Goodness', I need another superlative for this match. From the scoreline, it's impressive. From the host team, it understandably looks impressive. From the goals, it was mesmerising. The goals, two of which were sublime and inevitably came from the feet of Thierry Henry. He made the first, running onto yet another through ball, Thomas Sorensen came out and palmed it away, Henry turned and chipped it towards goal, it was headed away poorly by Aaron Hughes, Emmanuel Adebayor headed it back towards goal, it came off the crossbar, off Hughes, into the net. Then Henry's sublime first, Arsenal's second, came with a overhead ball from Jose Antonio Reyes, Henry reacted as usual the fastest, controlled it sweetly with a mid-air jump, then his second touch lobbed it over the advancing Sorensen.

In the second half, the two Emmanuels', Eboue and Adebayor, combined for another sublime goal. Eboue's long ball chased Adebayor and he back-heeled it to Henry as the Frenchman pulled back from attack. Henry collected, aimed and sent a dipping ball over Sorensen for no.3. It was thought Arsenal would miss Lauren, but Eboue is yet another great find by Arsene Wenger. Nuff said. Robin Van Persie came on for Henry and scored himself, chasing a Robert Pires ball down the right, tipped past Sorensen, tight angle, he then swapped the ball from left foot to right, back onto his left, shot and scored. Adebayor then dazzled Hughes to send a ball over to Vasiriki Abou Diaby to touch past the probably now despairing Sorensen.

Arsenal fans: A much revival of fortunes, very much in time for Champions League aspirations and the push for a Champions League place, particularly with a game in hand on Spurs and their defeat to Newcastle. Concern in Eboue out and potentially Fabregas for the visit to Turin, potentially Djourou will move Toure to right-back, and a stern 0-0 at the least will see the Gunners through. RVP looks raw again.

Aston Villa fans: Well, to face Arsenal in their current form and confidence, with only a point from four games now since their Portsmouth win, 10pts out of last 36, you need to reshape defensively. The midfield is good with McCann, Hendrie, Barry and Steven Davis but Wilfred Bouma is out of position on the wide. I said O'Leary is nearing the sack with recent results and this could be the straw, for a change in management could be key to changing Aston Villa. Henry is difficult for most teams, but yesterday he managed to step back from play and be free for chances with embarrassing ease.

Everton 2 Sunderland 2

Tony Gubba: "Well, he's a hero once, Rory Delap, with that headed equaliser, but my goodness me, they'd have given him the freedom of Sunderland if that had gone in."

Gone,, not yet going. With West Brom winning against Liverpool, Sunderland would have been officially relegated. I wonder what went through their minds when Gary Naysmith crossed on the left, James Beattie mis-hit it back, it missed Simon Davies but was touched by Leon Osman for the opener. But nothing seemed to effect Sunderland after, as John Stead shot an effort that was saved away by Richard Wright for a corner, taken by Grant Leadbitter, headed on by Chris Brown, touched in from yards by Stead, his first for 1,383mins, according to Mr Gubba. I'm led to believe on decent authority (my own recall and research!!) that it was Stead's first since April 30th 2005, when he scored in a 4-1 loss to Birmingham City at St. Andrews last season in Blackburn Rovers' penultimate game.

However, relief was short-lived when Phil Neville's throw reached James McFadden and he turned his marker well to score. Tim Cahill and McFadden had chances to extend their lead but they failed to make sufficient use of their opportunities. Sunderland did not. Dean Whitehead came down the right and crossed deep for Rory Delap to head in the equaliser, then the Irishman ran on to fire a shot that just missed it's target, something that could have produced a shock win.

Everton fans: Moyes rues not taking advantage last week against 10-men Liverpool and in holding Sunderland until the 80th minute, but the last time they lost and draw was to Newcastle and West Ham respectively, then wins followed against Fulham and Aston Villa. Their next games are away to Charlton and home to Spurs.

Sunderland fans: Like Birmingham, this was a good point against an in-form side, particularly at Goodison Park. Kevin Ball should push for a repeat in the remaining six games. The results maybe academic against the likes of Man Utd and Arsenal, a derby against Newcastle, and a relegation-battler with Portsmouth, but the fight would be monumental to the fans. The Championship may beckon even more, but West Brom's defeat should now give more impetus and inspiration.

Mark Lawrenson stated John Stead went 1,399mins without a goal before yesterday. Commentary stated 1,383. Also the Premiership table at the end of Match Of The Day showed Liverpool level on games with Chelsea and Man Utd with thirty-two, and eight points behind Man Utd. I'm not sure about Stead's statistics (apart from what I detailed above), but the table mistake shows that the best of us can make mistakes. To those who insist EFT is 'elite', as in 100% flawless! We do our best.



Blogger T said...

Many thanks for more powerhouse commentary Redsman.

This has been a very interesteing week of football. From my Gunners point of view it was very important that we picked up three points against Villa- especially with Spurs and Bolton faltering. Adebayor has surpassed my expectations as a player and I love the look of his enthusiastic mentality. That flying back-heel to set up Henry was brilliant- as too was his inch-perfect header. Well done the Adder!

I have been telling my bro for a few weeks now that Man Utd are not out of this championship race for the fact that there has been a noticeable drop in the level of Chelsea's play who face a tough run-in of matches- particularly on the road. My brother, and Redsman in the above review, both point to the fact that Man Utd have made comebacks before but left themseleves more time to complete job than they have now... and I tend to agree with this opinion that time should count against Man Utd. However, I am not ready just yet to discount the remote possibilty of Ferguson's side pulling off an amazing comeback.

Finally, I am so impressed by the resolve of Portsmouth who have followed up scoring four goals at West Ham with three at Fulham this weekend. Harry Redknapp deserves accolades for coaching his team to a fantastic three wins on the spin.

P.S. Robbie Keane was voted our player of the month for March (Each EFT member nominates a first and second choice player... and the player with the most votes win). I am a Gunner but I cannot hide my admiration for this player with magic ability who has had an overall great season for Spurs, and has particularly excelled in the last month.

4/02/2006 9:00 pm

Anonymous Nturtle said...

"Powerhouse" is not enough to describe Redsman's match summaries! Again an excellent piece of writing to give enjoyment to us fans of football who hadn't seen every match and us that differeing EFT viewpoint!

Well done Robbie Keane on the player of the month title. Fabregas and Adebayour no doubt were close behind (since Henry should be discounted as he's done so well!)...

I liked Redsman's comment on Robin van Persie - "Raw"! What fabulous skill to grab that goal from nothing...reminding us of his talent and audacity. Adebayour certainly is helping to challenge young Robin and hopefully this helps build them BOTH up as footballers. I'm sorry for Lupoli though...with his injuries he's missed a chance to get in...but hopefully he'll show us the way. Don't forget his important goal vs. Ajax in the Champs league to win the game last year.

As for Man U...well...quite rightly nobody should be discounting them at all. I am surprised how Chelsea have been reeled in...but it's going to be tough to catch them. From Day 1 luck was on their side with the unlucky Wigan going down. Birmingham to their credit got stuck in, and who's to say Chelsea won't actually LOSE again soon! Other teams are fighting to get good places....Chelsea haven't really been FIGHTING so to their cruising attitude might be a weakness.

The results I must add, seem to be going Arsenal's way - with injuries to Fabregas and Eboue though, it might change a little...although Diaby and Djourou seemed to be quite good substitutes...and 5 goals were scored even with Cesc gone! Seems to me that ALL players have stepped up a gear...with Reyes and Pires both assisting with good passing play, and Adebayour simply getting better and learning his trade via playing with Henry. Having seen him shoot off-target or smothered by goalkeepers...he's learnt how to pass (what a backheel!!) leading to Henry and Diaby's goals. He's turning out much better than everyone thought, and I can't decide who was the better buy now...him or Diaby? A different dimension, scrappy goals...he's there as a striker...and Diaby looks the part as a young Vieira albeit I feel with better ball control skills than the Paddy of old. Hard to choose still...

Looking forward to the result for Balckburn tonight...can Arsenal's luck hold and ALL our 4th place competitors go down with a loss??!

"The ball is round" as they say...who knows!

4/03/2006 7:41 am

Blogger BlindJak said...

Regarding Chelsea before the match on Saturday I was 100% convinced we’d retain the title and had been since we beat Liverpool at the beginning of Feb. While I do still think we will win it the first shoots of doubt have crept in and I’m now 90% sure will retain it. I think for us Sunday will be pivotal. Firstly anything less than 3 points at home to West Ham will pile on the pressure immensely and not having been in such a position before who’s to say if the players and management can handle it? Then you have Utd playing a very tough game against Arsenal who has rediscovered their verve and form. If Chelsea win and Utd fail to register 3 points then I’d be back up to 100% as this would give Chelsea added confidence and can only hurt Utd’s belief.

4/03/2006 9:46 am

Blogger RedsMan said...

Thanks chaps, the passion is felt through the article, why I feel a need to include snippets of quotes from the commentators to help place mentally how the action took place.

Blindjak, good to hear from you. I still feel that with the drive of Mourinho and the playability of the players it is still too strong a lead to throw away. It is more than 7pts difference, it is the outcry were Chelsea to capitulate quite dramatcially after holding so well during the season. Mourinho insists on standards and to throw away such a lead would be way below. His expectations are too strong for that to happen. Certainly Man Utd are making an excellent go at it.

I have wondered if Harry Redknapp could mold people out of clay. What if he were to manage England? Would he want to? I feel that he, Stuart Pearce and Alan Pardew are better equipped to manage the national side than Allardyce, McClaren and Curbishley. But for Pardew, he may wish more time in the Premiership, Redknapp may feel he is too old for it (I disagree).


4/03/2006 12:28 pm

Blogger BlindJak said...

Reds, it’s nice to know I was missed ;-) Even though I still expect us to hold on for the title I am very worried about the semi against your lot, who are also on a good run and unless we improve considerably, and in short order, our dreams of a double could go up in smoke.

I’ve a lot of time for Redknapp but can’t really see him as England management material. OK he’s good at getting the most out of some maverick players but he would lack the refined tactical nouse that you really need for international management.

Allerdyce is probably more suited to the role in terms of being the perfect modern manager using every new science available to get the best from a very average bunch of players however I’m no fan of his football, (which might well be different if he had decent players, a case of cutting his suit to the cloth?) nor his overall attitude or demeanour.

On the other hand I should think everyone likes Pearce and most Pardew but both would probably say that it’s come a little too early for them and those that have to make the decision as they can look back on 10 years of their management skills.

While I would love to see an Englishman in charge I can’t help but feel that we’d still be best served by ‘going foreign’ again.

4/03/2006 3:03 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

I'm taking a game at a time like Rafa, BJ, how many times are there going to be a Chelsea v Liverpool encounter outside the league??

But I wanted to ask you this. It was reported last week that a section of Chelsea fans booed Drogba, something I find surprising, unless it was in regard to when he dropped after being near Richard Dunne, as reported in the papers. I wondered if you had a view on Drogba's contribution to the team, whether you may have felt he was doing good enough or is hampering Chelsea's efforts with these alleged moments of diving and/or handball?


4/03/2006 11:20 pm

Anonymous Nturte said...

Not wishing to respond on Blindjak's response, I'll take a different angle on Chelsea fans booing Drogba. Notwithstanding being an Arsenal fan...I think Drogba's done immensely well. He may not have lived up to the hype initially, but in this season he has contributed quite a lot..albeit in different ways. Goals for sure, but controversy a bit as well.

Maybe it is that he kind of symbolises a section of Chelsea, where it might not be "pretty" but it gets done...through whatever technique. It gives me echos of Mourinho actually...and some of the manager also rubs off on the players. I won't say arrogance, but perhaps a certain approach is instilled in the players...and I've always thought it was "NOW MATTER WHAT" in this case...whether it is over-reaction or whatever (I won't say diving as my team are already reasonable entrenched in that discussion!). Thus, sometimes it riles the crowds when perhaps not enough is being done on the pitch to justify or prove they are "footballers." Where highlights show replays of goals...there is evidently more focus on how the individuals celebrate (like Drogba)...whereas many others have more "teamy" celebrations (Saha + Van Nisterooy for e.g. this weekend).

chelsea may be a strong team internally, but I'm not sure how the fans see them and how they connect. I'm over the argument of it's now down to performance. I can't argue with last minute winners like Gallas' recently or Crespo's (first game of season)...but there must be SOMETHING that the crowd can admire of the footballers...and though I watch with coloured glasses...maybe this is the reason why there is some dissatisfaction...

Over to you blindjak and welcome back!!


4/04/2006 3:46 am

Blogger BlindJak said...

My personal view on Drogba is that he’s not really good enough for what we aspire too at Chelsea. His touch is terrible and his finishing is patchy at best. He has had the odd game where he’s been very effective but these are out weighed by the games where he looks second rate. For all he’s contributed to us domestically he’s only scored 2 goals away from Stamford Bridge this season. Crouch has managed 4 (although two of those were against Brum in the 7-0) and despite poor away form for much of the season Henry 6. I’d say the biggest test of a players worth is who’s interested in buying him? We’ve had non stop rumours about Gallas, Lampard Robben etc but I’ve seen no offers or enquiries for Drogba and wouldn’t expect that ‘Pool, Utd or Arsenal fans are saying “I wish we had him.”

As to the booing there is a combination of factors behind this. Firstly the City game itself. With so many players out and reduced to 10 men pretty much the whole stadium expected to see Chelsea pile on the pressure second half and maybe score another 3-4 goals. But they played poorly without any real desire, just playing out time (very much nturtle’s comment about doing just enough to get a job done and not worry about how it looks). So you had already frustrated fans.

Add to this that the fans appear to be split 50-50 on Drogbas worth to the team, and his constant histrionics anytime there is even a hint of contact. While Chelsea fans are not looking the team to be loved we wouldn’t mind a little respect but how are we going to achieve that with players like Drogba putting on a dying swan act anytime anyone so much as sneezes? As fans we’ve had to deal with lots of flack from oppo supporters about his behaviour (all pretty much justified) and it’s getting very tiring. Just a couple of weeks before he whipped up a media storm with his dive at West Brom which we spent all week dealing with.

So we have all this frustration bubbling under the skin and in this last minute he miscontrols the ball, over runs it and with very little in the way of contact he goes down clutching his head like he’s take a left hook from Lenox Lewis. Clearly for a small section of fans it was too much and he was booed. Personally I’ll never agree with doing that but everyone has different ways of expressing themselves.

Strangely not that bothered about the hand ball as all players do it. Keane got one against Blackburn and Blackburn’s own Pederson punched one in earlier this year. Right or wrong it is part of the game although how the ref didn’t see it is beyond me. I was 60-70 yards away and saw it clear as day.

4/04/2006 8:59 am

Blogger RedsMan said...

Some decisions in the game do immensely beggar belief. Last night a ball came into the Wigan penalty area and John Filan had it covered, practically 95%, when Lucas Neill, perhaps on momentum, ran into the keeper, the ball spilled instantly and Shefki Kuqi side-footed for a hugely generous equaliser Blackburn did not deserve. Considering a goal apiece had been cancelled under what appeared to be legitimate circumstances by Phil Dowd, he then allowed Kuqi's goal when it seemed to all on both sides to be a blatant foul. All except Mark Hughes, unsurprisingly, that's another topic.

Point being, the referee's point of view. When playing, perhaps you will be up close on the ball and its path, and can see where it strikes. I would imagine the ref would have such good view, some have even gotten too close to the action, I refer to Mike Dean during the West Ham/Bolton recently. I would feel such a view sufficient enough to see handballs and the like but I may be asking way too much. Players always seem to have a clear view! But I do reason with if the officials see nothing, say nothing. It's not right but it puts pressure on officials now to scrutinise conduct on the field.


4/04/2006 11:32 am

Blogger T said...

Blindjak, I'll echo Redsman and Nturtle in welcoming you back... you are definitely a valued and valuable member of the EFT team!

IMO Chelsea have hit a wall after a sensational 18 months of consistency and I think the antics displayed by some players - and by Drogba (whom I have a special affection for having admired him at Marseille) in particular- stems quite a lot from a certain frustration in the general level of performance. Add what Nturtle mentioned as being the Mourinho mentality of 'win first', and the propensity to engage in histrionics is currently at a high level. For Chelsea's good they need to focus simply on playing football and cutting out the antics.

BlindJak, I found it really interesting to read that you have Chelsea as 90 % certain to win the title after being 100% sure they'd win at the start of Feb. This closely mirrors my own perspective.

Nturtle, as ever I enjoyed reading you perspectives on AFC. From now till next week I'll try to think of a better superlative than 'powerhouse' to describe Redsman's amazing reviews! :)

And Redsman, I enjoyed reading that you are in a one-match-at-a-time zone... I too have recently been completely committed to this zone following my team... great EFT minds thinking alike!?!

4/04/2006 11:43 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...


4/05/2006 4:17 am

Blogger BlindJak said...

T, you could use the Thesaurus here ;-). Good luck to your boys tonight. I can see Juve getting two but not keeping you out at their end. I'll go out on a limb and predict 2-2

4/05/2006 8:20 am


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