Wigan v. Arsenal; Liveblogging some silly video stream

I found a stream if you want to join in. If not, then I recommend jumping out of the fire before you know the final score.

30′ – Fabianski claims an easy ball off a Wigan free kick.

32′ – Beautiful day at the JJB, I’ll give complete lineups at the half. Right now, both teams are poking the ball around with Wigan coming in on the counters and Arsenal sort of tentative going forward.

34′ — Djourou is being stretchered off the pitch, and Sylvestre comes on for him. FUCK. I think there was some tackle on Djourou but I missed it.

37′ — It’s no exaggeration to say that Wigan are in complete control of this game. Arsenal can barely get the ball out of their half, Wigan has had half a dozen free kicks in the Arsenal half and are completely dominating the game. A draw would be a good result. Especially down 1-0.

39′ — Stream has frozen. Likely someone’s mom told them to get off the computer.

Well, that was fun. I got to see part of the score and Djourou get stretchered off. I love steaming videos!

EPIC FAIL

It’s back up, just in time for the second half. Hmm… maybe I should just let it go and catch the second half tonight.

49′– Yes, we’re in the 49th minute of the first half. Kieran Gibbs has a moment of madness, tries to head the ball back to the keeper, doesn’t put enough pepper on the ball, and as he’s getting beaten by the striker, hauls him down from behind. Just to make this clear, Gibbs was the last man, hauled someone down on a very VERY clear foul and gets just a yellow card.

The ensuing free kick nearly results in a goal as Wigan hit the inside of the cross bar.  Looks a lot like Arsenal decided not to show up today.

Lineup in a second…

Bendtner is leading the line, Cesc is on the shoulder, Arshavin out left, and Walcott out right. Song and Denilson are supposedly patrolling the midfield but they are getting overrun by Melchiot and Titus Bramble (who’s combined age is 107).

Second half

53′ — This is as poor as I’ve seen Arsenal play. Gibbs clears a ball off the line off a Mido header and Arsenal were really lucky not to concede there. Fabianski had come out and tried to beat Mido to a header outside the area. A clash of heads took place and Mido is a bit groggy.

Before that Denilson committed a stupid foul and then Cesc committed a stupid foul and Arsenal are reallyt lucky that Wigan hasn’t made this 2-0.

56′ — I thought I saw Adebayor warming up on the sidelines. Anything would be better than Bendtner leading the line. Meanwhile, Cesc is dropping back a bit and covering the two covering midfielders. So with Bendtner basically non-existant Arsenal are playing a 4-3-2

60′ — YES!!! Some interplay between the two strikers (Arshavin and Walcott, see’s Walcott score a goal after Arshavin is hauled down in the box. Way to stick with it, young fella!

van Persie is warming up and looks set to come on.

63′ — WHOA.. Denilson makes room for van Persie. Yep, it’s a 4-4-2 now. Arsene has abandoned the 4-2-3-1 that was an utter failure. Robin comes on brightly and gets stuck in right away. Come on Robin, stay healthy!

Some Wigan c*nt kicked Cesc in the knee, he looked to have gone down a bit easy there.

68′ — Some Wigan c*nt named “Scharner” is sporting the Freddie Ljungberg look. Arsene surprises by removing Theo and putting on Adebayor when everyone knows that he could just bring Ade on for the empty space occupied by Bendtner.

71′ — Ok, this team is full of surprises. After a yellow card foul by some Wigan player, Arsenal’s free kick winds it’s way to Sylvestre who scores a decent goal. 2-1 to the Arsenal and suddenly they are playing well. This team is so unpredictable it’s not funny.

But you know what they say? “Champions find a way to win.”

74′ — I take it back, “Scharner” has blue hair with a big red stipe. GHEY.

75′ — Ade plays a beautiful touch to Song who just doesn’t quite have the final touch to play Ade back in. That is quickly followed by a brilliant pass from Cesc to Gibbs to Arshavin who’s shot hits the post. Robin follows up but is judged to be offside. Arsenal are all over them now.

78′ — I agree Geraldinho, his defense is cringe worthy (he just played a header straight up in the air.) I bet that’s why Cesc was moved back.

80′ — SHAWN WRIGHT PHILLIPS IS WATCHING ARSENAL (why???)

83′ — Robin van Persie is judged to have fouled on the edge of the box and earns a yellow card. This was all set up by some poor clearances by the Arsenal defense who, between Sylvestre and Gibbs, can best be described as “desperate.”

85′ — At the risk of being too negative, Arsenal’s free kick goes into the empty space that Bendtner occupies and is tamely headed sort of in the direction of the goal. This happens again two minutes later.

89′ — Adebayor makes a great run in the counter but plays in a poor ball to Cesc that is easily cut out by Boyce who makes a school-boy error and lets Ade take the ball back off him. Arshavin is the lucky recipient of the poor defending. As I type that, SONG (of all players) makes a MAZY run and scores a great right-footer, low and in the side net. Undefendable, Arsenal 4, Wigan 1.

This Arsenal team is truly amazing. Play like utter shite for 50 minutes and then turn it on for half an hour and beat the shite out of opponents. I don’t understand it, I really don’t.  Youth? Maybe.

Oh well, it’s a win, and a damn solid win at that. Next up Villareal in the Champions League and we’ll need Sylvestre and Gibbs to really be on their games in that one if this match was any indication.

See you tomorrow.

Oh, and I have a surprise post coming up in just a few seconds.

CHEERS!

Diarra of the Mouth/ St. Totteringham's Day

Good day to you! I don’t know why my opening sentence is so chipper, but there it is. Wenger gave his Friday “press conference” but I haven’t had a chance to watch it because I spent all afternoon yesterday taking care of a 1 year old with an ear infection. Owing to that I’ve had about 5 hours sleep and I have to get to work so it’s a short blog for you, I’m sure you’ll survive.

I’m not Lassana Diarra’s psychologist but judging by the constant swipes he takes at Arsenal, there is obviously something deeply disturbed about this guy. This month’s bon mot has Diarra saying that Wenger basically destroyed his self confidence. This guy really has nothing to complain about as far as Arsenal. He was NEVER going to get a game in the Chelsea system as he was 4th on the list behind Maka, Essien, and Obi. So, he bitched and moaned until he got transferred for dirt cheap to Arsenal. Once he got to Arsenal, he seems to be under the impression that he should have jumped straight into the first team and been best buds with Wenger who would give him a daily Dutch Rudder before massaging his ego.

Yes, he’s technically more proficient than Flamini but the problem is that Flamini had put in 3 years of hard work to EARN his spot and was a crucial part of that Arsenal team’s psyche. Wait… why the fuck am I explaining this? He was given a chance at the Arsenal and he fucked it up because he is a huge pussy who refused to put in the requisite work to EARN a spot on one of the greatest clubs in the world. Now he’s taking a swipe at Arsenal because, basically, he needs a scape goat for his own actions and knows that the Brit Press will run with this story.

I am very happy he’s gone and even more happy that he’s over in Spain ruining the dressing room for Real Madrid. Anyone who would act this unprofessionally, after three English clubs gave him everything he asked for, in such a brief stint, is a cancer and will eventually turn on his current employers and teammates. This is a man who has no character, who cannot overcome even the smallest obstacle, so no matter how technically good he seems, in my estimation Real Madrid were jobbed in that transfer.

On to the real news: Wenger talked about Gallas today and while Gallas is going to be out for the rest of the year, Wenger does not see him moving on in the summer and I’d like to think, took a swipe at Diarrhea:

He has a year left on his contract. I envisage him to be here next year.  He had a challenging season but I believe he had to cope with a major disappointment. You have to give him a lot of credit because he came back with great performances so he dealt well with the situation.

Totally, tons of credit to Gallas. If he does move on, I’d be surprised if it was anywhere near as acrimonious as the Diarrhea transfer has been: and Gallas is a man who was publicly taken down by the boss, ravaged in the press, and stripped of his captaincy.

So, tomorrow, there will be an early blog, and then some work around the house, and the game, and some beer, and hopefully a win for the Arsenal. More on that tomorrow.

UPDATE

I meant to look this up first thing before I wrote the blog so I apologize for having an “update” but I have great news! With only 7 games left (and a possible 21 points) and Arsenal on 58 points while Spuds are on 38 points, tomorrow could very well be St. Totteringham’s day!

For those who don’t know, St. Totteringham’s day is the annual event marking the day after which it is mathematically impossible for Spuds to finish above the Arsenal. With just 21 points to go and 20 points between the two any combination in which Arsenal win makes Saturday April 11th, 2009 St. Totteringham’s day.

We are young, heartache to heartache we stand

Football’s a battlefield and Arsenal are warriors.

Think about it: Arsenal lost their most important defender and their first choice keeper and went on to keep a clean sheet after. Not bad.

I didn’t give Djourou any credit yesterday, it was hard to give credit to him because Senna and Adebayor overshadowed everything else. But to come on, in a Champions League quarter final, under fire, hostile territory, down 1-0, and to just put in a solid performance would normally deserve at least a mention.  Same for Fabianski, all he did was come on for an injured keeper, without warm-up,  down 1-0, and promptly make two key saves. No wonder then that he thinks he should be a first choice keeper.

You’ll forgive me I’m sure, my oversight, especially now that they have been duly recognized for their contributions. Maybe Arsenal are warriors?

Cesc too, deserves some credit. He’s out there, playing in a CL 1/4 final, not 100% fit. It certainly shows the requisite desire for him to be out there, even if it does leave us vulnerable to the types of goals Senna scored.

The answer there is for the team to take a good look at the tapes and say “ok, the Captain needs our help, and we need his brilliance, we all need to step up.” Certainly Titus Bramble and Lee Cattermole aren’t going to take it easy on Cesc this weekend. They’ll be looking to exploit just this kind of weakness. So, while I don’t count the Wigan game as that important in the race for 4th place, I do see it as important for solving some of the tactical weaknesses that Chelsea and Villareal will try to exploit over the next two weeks.

Throw in that Gallas is out for the rest of the season, England’s Future Number One is out for 3 weeks with an ankle injury and now it’s being revealed that Clichy picked up a back injury and more than ever the team will need to circle the wagons and plump up our team work. Will Kieran Gibbs feature against Chelsea and Villareal or will Wenger put in Silvestre? Tough choice there and I suspect we’ll get a preview into Wenger’s thinking against Wigan.

Wigan Wigan Wigan… Maybe Wigan will be important after all. It’s an away game, against a tough team that can’t be taken lightly. It’s a real shame that we can’t catch the game live here in the States: FSC has the rights to the game and have decided to replay it… at Midnight Eastern Time.  I can’t, for the life of me, figure out why: it’s not a retardedly early kickoff and there aren’t other, better, games on at 7am. I mean, come on, Chelsea v. Bolton over Wigan v. Arsenal?

Sigh

Honestly, I think us American Gooners are just a bit spoiled by the veritable cornucopia of games we get to watch.  Just a bit. We have so many options as Gooners that when one or two weekends a year aren’t broadcast we get a bit… uppity.

Imagine if you were a Spuds fan? Ok, besides spending a lifetime commemorating that one win over Arsenal, the only time you’d ever get to watch your team live would be when they play Arsenal.

That would suck.

So, Arsenal face Wigan on Saturday at 9pm local time (tape delay) and I guess I’ll have to do something else with my Saturday until I can watch the match. It’s supposed to be nice, I  think I’ll mow the lawn and get a jump on the garden.

See? It’s good that Arsenal are on tape delay!