oh kay andy kay 21st janArsene’s foresight

Oh how we laughed at Arsene Wenger a few months ago when he said that Arsenal could still be a force with regards to the Premier League title race. The Gunners had just been beaten 3 – 0 by Chelsea and looked as potent as a eunuch at an orgy.

But following their comeback 4 – 2 win against Bolton on Wednesday night, Arsenal are indeed top of the tree. Perhaps they just needed a bit of luck here and there, as was demonstrated by their fortunate equaliser following a bad challenge by William Gallas that went unpunished, indeed, unnoticed even.

It just goes to prove how open the EPL is this season with no side seemingly able to grab the league by the scruff of the neck. Being a neutral (I’m a QPR fan – don’t laugh, I could end up as the manager at this rate) it makes for a fascinating season and far more interesting than watching Chelsea or Manchester United run away with it.

Gillett’s not so sharp

Liverpool co-owner maintains that Rafael Benitez is among the top 5 coaches in the world. He may be, but personal opinion counts for very little in the hurly burly of the Premier League, or indeed the Europa League which is where Liverpool have ended up after their dismal showing in the Champions League. Personally, I like Benitez and wish him every success but facts are facts.

He’s been at Liverpool for a good few years now, spent millions in the transfer market and currently his side are sixth in the table which by my reckoning, makes him the sixth best manager in England as opposed to fifth best in the world.

Neville v Tevez

Players never learn do they? Criticising or dissing an opponent before a match invariably comes back to bite you on the arse. And so it proved during the Man City v Man Utd Carling Cup match.

Gary Neville says United were right to let Carlos Tevez go so the Argentinean responded by scoring twice in City’s 2 – 1 win. Neville is also under scrutiny for his offensive and somewhat pathetic gesture after Tevez baited him after netting his first. Best thing, when you come up against a former team mate, is to keep your trap shut, play your opponent off the park and then tell the world that he’s not up to much.

Toothless & two-faced Fifa

Was anyone surprised that Fifa decided to take no action against Thierry Henry after his hand ball in the World Cup playoff match against Ireland? Football’s governing body said there was nothing in the rules which allowed them to punish him.

But as the Irish defender Sean St Ledger so impressively argued, there was nothing in the rules to allow Fifa to seed the playoff games. But they went ahead and did that didn’t they? It only adds credibility to those who suggest that there is one rule for the big names and big teams and another for the lesser lights.

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  1. says: Haukji

    Tevez was lucky.

    first goal from a pen that should’ve been a free kick.

    second from a corner that should’ve been a goalkick.

    Hope we hammer them at OT!

  2. says: Jaspi

    Ah, the good old case of the handballing-Henry, here we go again…

    On what grounds should Henry been punished? Even though it was a big game it was still just a hand ball. If the ref would had spotted it in the game, Henry would had been given a yellow card and that’s it. Now, because the ref failed to spot the hand ball, why should it Henry be the one to get the extra punishment? And of course there’s still the matter of where to draw the line, if Henry would’ve been punished. There are a lot of fouls that go unnoticed by the refs in every fixture, should every player then be punished afterwards?

    It once again feels that people want revenge, but there is no logic. It’s time to get a grip, no matter how much you whine, Ireland is out.

  3. says: Fenboy

    I hear what you say Jaspi but i think its interesting that Fifa said they had no legal grounds to punish him. Which rather suggests that if they had, they would have done.

    I also think Sean St Ledger’s point is well made.

  4. says: adam

    I completely agree wih St. Ledger, Henry should have been punished and he worded his case very well.

    Rafa’s time is up at Anfield, the squad is no where near good enough to challenge for anything this year and Rafa is losing the plot. Lucas has played every game this season and I am sorry but he is diaolical, Danny Murphy was much better! Maxi will be an interesting signing but Rafa has a tendancy to not play is new signings, i.e. Aquilani who has only played about 4 games, granted he was injured but come on Rafa stop picking Lucas!

    It will be interesting to see if Arsenal will still be near the top at the end of the season, the squad still is not strong enough in my opinion. Yes, Wenger has arguably some of the best young players in the league but they need some experience. They also need some new players, including a defender and a striker, possily even a new goalie to replace to average Almunia.

    As for Tevez, what a way to respond to Neville’s comments! The goals may not have been the greatest and the penalty fortnate but there is no denying what a player he has been for City this season.

    And no I am not a City fan, but a Leeds one!

  5. says: Mati

    rafa should leave for his own sake, and being sacked will a relief for him in my opinion. lets never forget he gave the EPL nando torres

    went to the emirates, arsenal weren’t convincing but won…gotta respect that!

    neville is an idiot, i mean who likes him? tevez responded to SAF in the best way possible…aguante apache!!

  6. says: MisterBroom12

    -Arsenal, will challenge for the title the rest of the season, even if they don’t manage to win it. They’ve shown the fight to win games in which they don’t play well, something they haven’t done in past years. 3 weeks from today we should have a clear view of who should win the title as Arsenal will have no more of the “Big 4” to play and if they stay atop the table through that stretch, it would be their title to lose.
    -Henry cannot be punished because the precedent it would set would never be able to be followed up by FIFA in determining what incidents should be punished when the ref misses it in game. St. Ledger makes a very valid argument though, if FIFA are going to bail themselves out by using the rules as a scapegoat, then they shouldn’t ever bend or fail to follow all the rules.
    -Rafa should be gone, he is nowhere near top 5 manager in the world, not even close to top 5 in the Premier League anymore.

  7. says: ill-d

    in regards to henry, and houkji’s comment:

    i havn’t heard one good argument against it, and an overwhelming amount in favor.
    im really sick of hearing “oh bad calls are made all the time, so and so (the receiving team of said bad call) just needs TO DEAL WITH IT”…which is funny because i know of several instances of people saying “deal with it” when their team gets the good end of the bad call, then turn around and bitch about a bad call in a later game that causes their team to lose the game.

    seriously, you LIKE a game where bad calls fu@k over a deserving team and give games to undeserving ones? personally, i like my games as balanced and fair as possible, so that the best team wins. not the team that got lucky with a bad call.

    sorry end rant lol

  8. says: SherKhan

    Interesting that you write “offensive and pathetic gesture” regarding Nevill’s behavior, because your opening remarks could be described in quite the similar fashion. Your analysis of Benitez fails to note that he did indeed win the champions league and return to the final all within the past 4.5 years and has kept liverpool in the top 4 for the last 4 seasons, nearly winning it last year. And your argument regarding the FIFA ruling is flawed; punishing Henry would require them to retroactively enact a new rule, whereas it was determined before the matter that they would use a system to seed the playoffs (albeit I didn’t agree with that). Anyway, just my $0.02

  9. says: keven

    A referee is only human, wheter it was the right call or not he’s bound to make a mistake or two. So its just part of the game. u win some u lose some.

    Tevez has the right to celebrate where ever he wants. Nevile should be proffesionall enough to keep his posture. Instead he flared up, and flipped off a former teamate. Hopefully city knocks out united. (Ima gunner)=)

    Benitez is witout a doubt a great coach. At this point in time he hit a low. U can blame ownership to players, to benitez himself. Im faithfull he will pull threw it and finish in the top 4. Liverpool should keep him.

    As for arsenals future. Well I always pray for the top of the table. and hopefully this year it can happn once more.!!!!
    Fabregas, will be considered the best player in the world within 5 years.

    Gooooo gunnerss!!!!!

  10. says: Meji

    the beauty of football is that it can be played from professional level to grassroots with the same rules

    to add video replay would destroy that

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