Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Red Robbie guns Gooners

Good man Robbie. Not bad for the €20m flop that he's been labeled. It was an astounding finish, not one from a player who has looked out of form and short on confidence at times this year. Together with van Persie's strike, there were some great goals on show for the neutral. 1-1 keeps us top but with Chelsea facing Everton, we'll need the toffees to do us a favour in order to stay there.

With Rafa back on his sick bed after his operation, Sammy Lee was the boss. He was disappointed with the draw. As was I Sammy. The win was there for the taking after the red card to Adebayor. John Giles on RTE said that the red card was fully justified for a studs up over the ball challenge which would have broken Arbeloas leg if it had made full contact. Graham Taylor on BBC 5live said it should have been a straight red. But our team seemed to respond negatively to the boon and Arsenal fought like Lions to preserve parity. Fair play to them but I think we could have caught them if we really pushed hard enough. We had them on the rack for most of the second half. We were the better team overall and created some great chances but as per usual this season, we didn't make them count. I do feel that if we had a fit Torres then there would clear daylight between us and the chasing pack rather than a point or two.

Aurelio was still injured as was Dossena so Insua took the left back berth and made it his own. He was superb and my man of the match. It was a really impressive display from the 19 year old. He raided down the left and delivered some great crosses. I would be quite happy so see him get a run of games there now.

Another who stepped up was Lucas in the midfield. Javier was struck down with flu so the Blonde Brazilian came in and put it up to the Arsenal midfield. He did have a few hairy moments in the first half but improved as the game went on. He will be happy with himself after that. It probably helped him that Fabregas went off injured at half time. You do need to have a squad of quality players in order to compete at this level and Lucas is improving as our fourth choice midfielder. I hope the crowd give him a chance.It's time to bash Bolton on Stephen's day. They are the kind of team that we should be able to put away easily but we've struggled badly against this season. I expect Javier will be back but we could have an even great boost if El Nino is fit enough for a place on the bench. It's very important that he's right when he does return so I wouldn't be in favour of rushing him back for Bolton.

Slovak hero Martin Skrtel is back in training. Be prepared for premier league defenders to develop sudden injuries before kick off at the thought of facing mighty Martin. He could feature against Bolton on Stephen's day.

Riera admits that we've been nervous at Anfield this season. This is an area in which we really need to improve if we're going to win the league. We need to make teams fear us rather than us fearing dropping points against inferior opposition.

The Mirror speculates that Pennant may be on his way to White Heart lane in a player plus cash deal for Aaron Lennon. Given that he can leave for free in the summer, Pennant isn't worth much more than about £2-3m now. Glen Johnson is due to be sold in January as Portsmouth have massive debts and has been linked with a move to L4. He would be a good signing for us and would provide cover and competition for Arbeloa. He's improved since he went to Portsmouth and seems to have left his toilet problems behind him. Plus the fact that he's English helps with the law changes for homegrown players.

The Champions League draw matches us with Real Madrid for the first time since the 1981 final. This is a classic tie against two European heavyweights. It won't be easy but Real aren't in great form now. Ramos may make a difference and they seem to be spending a lot of cash in Jan.

This is why the Keane to Spurs speculation is rubbish. It goes against Premier League rules. That seems to have slipped the minds of some of the hard working journo's who've been stirring this story recently.

Richard Williams has a really badly written piece in the guaridan on Rafa's tenure at LFC, full of half truths and speculation. Does anybody else feel that standards are dropping at the Guardian or is it just the sports dept?


JJ said...

That Glenn Johnson move could be a good one actually, hadn't seen that rumour. At least rafa will know what he's getting for his money as opposed to bringing in dossena.

Mal said...

I'd be in favour of Johnson too. He's improved at Portsmouth and would give cover/competition for Arbeloa. I hope it happens.