Football Analyst, The Couch Expert
29 August 2011
A hurricane was blowing across the atlantic ocean towards the eastern coast of USA in the morning of today. Images of havoc and distress were splashed across the internet news and media across Europe. However, in due course the football fans in London would be singing a different tune asking for respite from a hurricane that travelled South from Manchester to London in 2 different batches and lasted exactly for 4 and a half hours.
I cozily slipped into my bed with chips on my plate and Kipcroquet alongside it for lunch to accompany an exciting prospective game at White Hart Lane, I duly expected Mr. Harry Redknapp to honor his statement from the previous evening of ‘Tottenham can win the EPL this season’. For the first 20 mins in the game, I was forced to believe in the words of Ole Harry with the performance of the 11 Londoners. As the REDS derived sadistic pleasure from the woefully looking City after a fine performance of THE REDS yesterday, mocking their spending and oil money, a puff of air passed across the White Hart Lane that took Nasri’s cross across the Tottenham defence right at the feet of Kaboul and its chosen lover of the day – Edin Dzeko – who caressed it into the goal touching Friedel’s feet on its course.
0-1 does not seem to be a worrying scoreline for a championship team and the whiff seemed to have passed away. However, it became stronger and a brilliant goal made it 0-2 at White Hart Lane with a defender challenging him as he kissed the ball with the back of his head giving the right moves on the head. The pleasure started to become an annoyance as the ball danced to the tune of Nasri, Silva and Toure with Dzeko holding it across the waist. Half time and 0-2.
Surely, Ole Harry would make changes to back his claim of the previous evening and bring the pleasure in the REDS. Changes done but pleasure never returned as Yaya Toure ran down the right side of the pitch, slapped the ball across the 6 yards box which missed the feet of Aguero as an ex-lover is overlooked in sadness and massaged the left feet of Dzeko to complete his Perfect Hat Trick. Not even 60 minutes but GAME OVER.
A header by Kaboul and there was a teeny-tiny hope like the tip of the little finger but another goal by Aguero to win back his love saw the ineffective Dawson left behind mesmerized in the wake of the run by Aguero who slammed it past Friedel. To further remove any doubts of his ability and price Dzeko finished the game with kissing good bye to the ball with another goal and in the process making the scoreline look exactly as it should have 1-5.
The noisy neighbours had arrived with a bang by beating a team at it’s home which had lost only to the champions in their homeyard the previous season. The RED half of Manchester did not want to leave for the international break without a reply to this sublime performance. To their discomfort and embarrassment, Arsenal helped them make even a louder noise than their noisy neighbours.
After a brief break of half an hour as the winds travelled from London to Manchester, it was the Gooners – the arch rivals of Tottenham – who got a lesson of football from Manchester United – the arch rivals of Manchester City. So befitting were the teams to receive the beating as the base of UK football shifts again to the northwest after a brief domination of clubs from London in the past decade.
It began as it began. A slow cautious start and within a second the gear change from Anderson and Welbeck scored. Arsenal came back with a bang and alsmost were level only for David de Gea – the much criticized young keeper – to make en excellent penalty save from Robin van Persie diving to his right. Then the natural course started to unravel the spectators. Nice, passing football from the gooners as they are renowned for but leaving gaps in the wake, making a defensive shape which had no boundaries and the free flowing speedy counter attacking football from Manchester hit them hard again and again.
Ashley Young scored a blinder of the goal bending the ball to the far right corner of the post where no keeper could have made a save of it. Rooney scored and 3-0 seemed GAME OVER at half time and taking his tally to 150 goals. However, Walcott brought some hope by scoring at the stroke of half-time making 3-1.
In such situations, one is usually asked to put the first half behind and look forward to the second half with some excellent football in order to make a come back.This is exactly what the Arsenal defenders did. They forgot how Rooney scored his free kick in the first half and let him score a free kick again in the second half in exactly the same manner.
Subsequently the game became a statistical bonanza after Nani scored the 5th and geeks turned out their laptops looking for what was the best defeat inflicted on Arsenal by Manchester United. A late consolation by van Persie could not stop from a humiliating display of lights on the score card and the opening gulf between the teams in the premier league.
Critics may make as much noise as they want about the closeness of the league and other facts and stats in order to keep the spectators interested but however, the truth is much concerning and grey for us REDS. With the vast spending power of Manchester City and the influence of Sir Alex Ferguson in the English football game, there is very little left for the other teams in the form of Carling Cup and FA Cup to look forward to in order to achieve silverware.
From being touted as the season of Big Six, after the departure of Fabregas, Arsenal remained in no contention but as bad things come in pair so came the annoyances of Modric in the headlines and Tottenham are no contenders for the top 4 that became pretty evident and completely transparent after todays performance.
For us REDS as dazzling as Suarez and the teams performances may have been this season so far, it it pretty evident we need some more creativity pace. Some more concentration at the defence would have given us the honor of being the only team with 3 clean sheets after 3 games.
As much buying Abramovich wants to do he can do but he will not reach the squad depth of Manchester City nor will AVB have the influence of SAF or the character and attitude of Mourinho. As disciplined as their teams’ performance looks after the scoreline, the fact of their ageing squads and slow movements on the pitch are exploited by teams like West Bromwich and Norwich.
With the above consideration and concerns, it is pretty evident for the league title to go to Manchester this year again.
PS – As I sleep tonight I will pray for Wenger and Harry to still be managers of their teams tomorrow or that Wenger finds a pot of gold to invest in his young squad as his owners won’t let him buy big which he must do in the next 3 days.