That was the weekend that was…
1. I was not too impressed by Liverpool’s negative tactics during yesterday’s 1-1 draw at Arsenal. I can understand that in light of their past record at the Emirates a draw would be a good result, but considering the man advantage they had for half an hour I thought they would have made more of an attempt to go for three points. Beyond Agger’s pile driver and an El Zhar header there was nothing forthcoming in that 30 minutes. This has been Liverpool’s problem for years and is the reason they don’t (and won’t) win the title. Very difficult to beat but too many needless draws to maintain a challenge.
As for Adebayor’s red card, I thought it was harsh. The first yellow was fair as he went in with his studs but the second was quite innocuous and Arbeloa made the most of the brush against his face. And before anyone suggests “If you raise your arms…” I don’t think that was the case here. On a side note at least the talk of Arsenal’s title challenge has been put to bed. Next week’s game against Villa should be the proverbial Christmas cracker. Adebayor and Fabregas will both be out, Arsenal’s defence will need to defend a lot deeper against Agbonlahor than they did against Robbie Keane…
2. Arsene Wenger must be beginning to feel very aggrieved playing Liverpool. The following are all what could be described as contentious decisions.
- Adebayor’s red card yesterday.
- Babel ‘winning’ a penalty in the Champions League quarter final second leg last season.
- Hleb not getting a penalty after being pulled by Kuyt in the Champions league quarter final first leg.
and going further back
- Van Bronckhorst getting red way back when (to be fair it didn’t stop Arsenal winning)
- Vieira and two Liverpool players seeing red in 2000 (how retro does the BBC site look there?!)
3. Talking of red cards, how did Julio Arca not get one for his filthy tackle on Andy Johnson on Saturday?
4. If at the start of the season you looked at next week’s fixture between Man City and Hull and had to guess which team would be sixth and which would be eighteenth it is fair to say you would not have been putting Mark Hughes’ side in the relegation zone. That however is the state they find themselves in after another sorry defeat, this time to West Brom. Hughes does apparently have time to sort it out, and I think he will if only because of the obscene transfer funds he has at his disposal. I’m still not really sure though how a team who were pretty solid under Sven and have since strengthened with Robinho and SWP have regressed so much.
5. Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky – Fulham’s back five. Now joint third best defence in the Premier League.
6. So, in the first of his no doubt weekly musings on the Man Utd v Inter Champions League clash (two whole months away…), Jose Mourinho reckons Zlatan Ibrahimovic is better than Cristiano Ronaldo. Now I could talk about how Ronaldo has almost as many career goals from the wing as Zlatan does upfront (CR – 107 in 290, ZI – 133 in 310), or how Ronaldo has been much more influential in winning things both for his club and for himself.
But, if I remember correctly I’m pretty sure they tried to settle this before…