City, Adebayor, Clattenburg, and the fans under the magnifying glass

The FA have confirmed today that they will investigate both Adebayor’s stamp on van Persie and his goal celebration which sparked a near riot among Arsenal supporters. Not explicit in that statement, but implicit, is the fact that when they look at the files they will almost certainly have a look at the conduct of the handful of Arsenal fans who threw objects on the pitch and I’m sure the head of referees will want to know how Mark Clattenburg missed a deliberate handball in the box a vicious elbow to the face and two stamping incidents.

As I have maintained since the Eduardo incident against Celtic, the fact is that any punishment meted out now will be a case of too little, too late. The facts are that had television replays been allowed Emanuel Adebayor would not have been on the pitch to score his goal and then would not have been there to perform his shameful goal celebration.

If you have any doubt about what was in Adebayor’s mind, Gunnerblog has compiled a series of animated gifs and a youtube clip which prove, conclusively, that Adebayor intentionally stamped Cesc, van Persie, and that he was not “celebrating in front of home fans” as City boss Mark Hughes has comically stated.

Here’s the first stamp on Cesc:

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Note that he’s A) over the ball and B) looking at Cesc’s ankle. That this was a deliberate act of violence there can be little doubt. In fact, Clattenburg had words with Adebayor after, telling him to calm down.

The way that referees in the EPL justify behavior like this as “heat of the moment” or as “he’s geed up” has always been a source of tremendous frustration for me. More often than not they allow this first type of attack, but then will punish the retaliation. In Saturday’s match Adebayor stamped Cesc, elbowed Gallas, raked Robin’s face, and then attacked Alex Song from behind with a vicious kick to the back of the knee. When Song retaliated immediately, yellow card to Song.

I’m sorry but that’s the kind of refereeing discrepancies which allow refs to get away with illegal activities such as what happened in the NBA betting scandal. I’m not calling for perfection, but a semblance of balance would be nice and would prevent people from complaining about the refs so much.

Oh, and cue the “Arsenal are whingers about the refs HURRRRR” comments.

Irregardless, I do expect that Clattenburg will come in for some questions about why he chose to call the game the way he did. I doubt that anything will come of it. Heh, maybe he’ll apologize to Wenger as Mike Dean did for wrongly sending Wenger into the stands during the last Manchester match.

The second stamp (hey why not have a second bite at the apple?) was even more vicious as Adebayor felt aggrieved that van Persie had the temerity to take the ball off him and clearly looks down and lashes out at Robin. Make no mistake that was a deliberate attempt to stamp, Robin’s hand. Of course, as most of us are used to with Adebayor, he missed the target and instead hit Robin’s face.

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Robin van Persie has released a statement about the incident and to his credit he didn’t use the words “huge,” “fucking,” “scabby,” or “cunt.” There is no doubt in my mind that he will get a 3 match ban for this… well, unless Clattenburg intervenes and says that he saw the incident and judged it to be “incidental.”

I know a lot of Arsenal fans are expecting further punishment to be meted out for Adebayor’s goal celebration but I’m not so sure we’ll see anything from that, at least not for Adebayor. If you look at the history of these things you’ll see that the FA is reticent to act in these cases. The only person I can remember getting a suspension from the FA for a goal celebration is Robbie Fowler for snorting the end line. Given the fact that Clattenburg gave a yellow, it would take an extraordinary action on the part of the FA to do something here. Normally, the club would fine the player but given the fact that Mark Hughes is talking out his ass about Adebayor wanting to celebrate in front of home fans, I think that is highly unlikely.

What I do think is likely is that there will be a huge stink about the Arsenal fans’ reaction. First of all, though, this wasn’t a “near riot” as some folks would like to make it out to be. There were a few folks who over-reacted and I expect that the club will receive some sort of censure for it. Second, I would not be surprised to see at least a few identifiable supporters banned for throwing chairs. But only if they are clearly identifiable.

And what did they react to?

Disgraceful, but no less that you’d expect from a guy who blames the fans for being caught offside 40+ times last year. Yeah, it was all their fault that you couldn’t be arsed to get onside.

So, the FA are promising to look into all this and have also promised to rule early next week. Good, the sooner we can get this ugly incident behind us the better.

Man City 4-2 Arsenal; the Good, Bad, and Ade

Adebayor is an Elephantine Cunt

What is good at City is that the fans are truly fans. They love you. Arsenal have a lot of fans who are not fans. Arsenal have fans from America and Jamaica. Today they are Arsenal fans, tomorrow they will be Liverpool fans and after tomorrow they will be Manchester United fans. — Emanuel Adebayor.

Match Reports:

ESPNSoccernet: Man City shoot down Gunners

Telegraph: Emmanuel Adebayor could face a double FA probe after marring his goalscoring display against former club Arsenal with a stamp on Robin van Persie and incendiary goal celebration in front of the travelling supporters.

Match Video:

Hmmm… check back later.

The Good

A fine goal from Thomas Roskicy and one from the chocolate leg of Robin van Persie had to be the highlights of what was always going to be a tough match for the Arsenal. Regardless of the flattering scoreline I think Arsenal fans can take a few positive things away from this match.

First is the fact that Rosicky came off the bench and had an immediate impact. Having a player of his quality available for the whole season, whether to start some games and give a rest to Cesc, or to come off the bench and add impact to the game when needed, is massively important if Arsenal are going to have any hope of winning something this season. His supply in the midfield and his goal scoring prowess, as demonstrated today, in his first match back after 16 months out, is immense.

Second I thought that Song was absolutely massive in this match. He completely neutralized Adebayor when he was on the pitch, filled in for the center halves when they went forward, and controlled the midfield making Barry and Ireland look like the second class players they are. In fact, had Barry been rightly sent off for the intentional handball in the box I think Song would have had a good shot at man of the match. People will point to the goal by Bellamy which immediately followed Song’s yellow card and his loss of concentration on Richards which set the goal up, but blaming Song there would be very harsh.

Watch the replay, Adebayor kicks Song from behind, hard, and I think Song is right to show Adebayor that he’s not going to take that from him and kicks him back. It’s a poor decision by Clattenburg to give a yellow there. More importantly, who was supposed to be marking Richards? Diaby, who was literally jogging back as Song was left one-on-one in the box.

It was no surprise to me that once Song was removed, Adebayor scored. He had been keeping the big cunt at bay for 77 minutes. That’s my strongest proof that Song was bossing the City attack.

I also want to give credit to Nigel de Jong who basically kept Fabregas in his pocket all day, but especially in the first half where Arsenal only managed one shot on goal. In fact, it took the introduction of Rosicky, a second creative midfielder, to break up de Jong’s control of the creative end of the Arsenal midfield.

The Bad

Gael Clichy will want to forget this match. I’m not sure if he was lacking match fitness, or if he’s got swine flu, or what the deal is but he was being routinely beaten on his side, by guys like Micah Richards to boot. Plus, when he got forward his crosses were, erm, less than useless. Uselessless?

Chesk, too, seemed to have a real struggle, especially in the first half, when the combination of Adebayor’s stamp and de Jong’s relentless shadowing gave him fits. That could be chalked up to the fact that Denilson and Diaby weren’t supporting as well as they could.

And Diaby… He clearly has loads of talent, but talent doesn’t mean shit if you won’t work hard. Call me old-fashioned, but, I just can’t stand to see an Arsenal player jogging or walking back on defense. I don’t care if you feel like you’re being played out of position on the left, you still work hard, on both ends of the pitch. It just seemed to me like he felt defense was other people’s job. This in turn put a ton of pressure on Clichy and the others, which could explain why Clichy had such a bad game.Whatever the case, I’d like to see Wenger address this with the lad. We need all the players on this team to be 100% committed: you’re either with us or you’re against us.

As for Almunia, he’s a divisive figure among supporters. A lot of people think he’s just not good enough but I know a few folks who think he’s got what it takes. For me, he’s had a poor couple of matches and you’d have to wonder if Fabianski was healthy would he be pushing Mooney for the #1 shirt? Man City managed just 5 shots on goal all day, and Almunia made just one save. That’s not going to cut it, bro.

The Ade

I remember last year when some Liverpool supporters were watching an Arsenal game and Howard Webb gave Adebayor a yellow card for a step over move he liked to do which shielded the ball and took it away from his opponent. I remember them remarking that Adebayor is a dirty player and that the card was likely because Webb knows what a dirty player Adebayor is.  At the time, I remember defending Adebayor, in fact, I think I was pretty much the only person on the planet who believed in the big cunt.

But I do have to wonder now if maybe my loyalty to the Arsenal doesn’t blind me sometimes, because today Adebayor was very clearly one of the dirtiest players I have seen. And that’s saying a lot since I have seen Kevin Davies play rugby disguised as a footballer.

Adebayor’s first act of maliciousness was direct at Cesc’s ankle. When Arsenal’s captain had the temerity to take the ball off him with a wonderful tackle, Adebayor simply stamped on his ankle.

Next up was the intentional elbow to the head of William Gallas. Clattenburg called the foul but still hadn’t amassed enough evidence to give him a yellow card.

And then, in an action that will certainly garner an FA charge and hopefully at least a three match ban, after another perfectly timed tackle, Adebayor again leapt into the air, and this time looked down at his target, and with what looked a lot like intent, stamped on Robin van Persie’s face.

To be perfectly fair, I think he was just trying to stamp Robin’s hand and he’s just so profligate that once again, he missed. After that action, he should never have been on the pitch to score his goal and even if the FA take extraordinary action against him it will be a case of too little too late.

Two stamps and an elbow, what could he possibly do to follow that up? How about a 100 yard sprint down to the Arsenal supporter’s end for your goal celebration? What an elephantine cunt. That’s the kind of guy who would say that Arsenal’s American and Jamaican fans aren’t real fans, and blame them for his 40 offsides last year.

It was a disgraceful display and proof that money can buy lots of things but it can’t buy class. Good riddance and here’s hoping he gets syphilis of the AIDS.

Conclusions

“Manchester City have never lost a match with Mark Clattenburg in charge” said the color commentator before the match and at the final whistle Clattenburg’s 100% record remained. Still, despite the fact that he missed several crucial calls, like the Adebayor stamp(s) and the Barry handball, we should have won. Arsenal had 60% of the possession, had 23 shots, and only managed to score 2 goals. Clattenburg’s hardly to blame for the fact that up front we looked like that Arsenal team of three years ago who couldn’t score in a whorehouse and at the back we looked like the arsenal team of last year who basically allowed the opponent a goal for every shot they managed.

That said, I still think Arsenal have a solid team. Last year the 3-0 loss to City in the same game sparked a renaissance on this team and they managed a 21 match unbeaten league run. Looking at the competition ahead we’re due for a solid run of good form and they should be just the ones to give it to us.

Wenger said that the start of the season was crucial and Arsenal fans have to have seen these first four matches and see two losses on the spreadsheet and start to wonder. Yes, they were tough matches, but they were tough matches where we should have gotten points.

We didn’t.

And now, the team need to respond. Personally, I’m hoping for a good old fashioned hiding of Standard Liege on Wednesday followed by an ass whuppin’ on Saturday and then maybe some of the boys will start strutting around again. We’ll have to see, right now, they’re probably feeling pretty low. I know I am.

Eduardo, Children, and Man City v. Arsenal: are you ready for some football?

Ahoy, kickers. Before we get started today I’m going to just take a moment to quietly remember the 8th anniversary of 9/11.

Ok, kicking on, Arsene gave two interviews yesterday and today, one to the press hounds and one exclusive to the dot com, and so we have got a lot to cover. He talked about Arshavin, Eduardo, academy players, oh yeah and the threat of City, which I guess we play tomorrow. Is that true? Is there football tomorrow? Oh hey, look at that there is!

Now, my regular reader knows that I never brag. In fact, I have never said “I told you so.” This is not because I am the most gracious person on the planet, but rather because I’m never right. It’s true! Go back and look, I’ve been blogging for almost 2 years and I am NEVER right… except now. Suddenly I’m right about everything and by gods I’m going to let you know about it.

It’s actually kind of uncanny how many talking points Wenger hit between the two press conferences that I have talked about in pretty much the exact same way on this blog. So, for once “I told you so!”

Man that felt good.

Anyway, as we all already know Andrei Arshavin is out for 3 games, at least, with a groin injury which he aggravated playing 90 minutes for Russia against Wales. The press like to stir things up and are saying that Wenger is pissed with Guus Hiddink, but if you watch the presser it’s pretty clear that he lays the blame at Arshavin’s feet. The fact that Arshavin chose to play, knowing that he was injured, ahead of the City game, pisses me off to no end because I’m sure he knew that we needed him. He also knew that Russia needed him and he chose Russia over Arsenal and that’s what makes me mad. Now, with the absence of Vela, Nasri, and with Rosicky having played but certainly not match fit, Arshavin’s injury leaves a bit of a creative hole on the left of the 4-3-3. The only saving grace is that Arsenal have Eduardo and he can slot in there. Which means that we should see a starting front three of Eduardo, van Persie, and Bendtner, who all scored during Nationalism Week. Ever the optimist, I’m hoping that those three have broke their ducks and get a hat trick, each.

If they are healthy! I’ve been holding off as long as possible in order to make sure I have the latest injury news but none is yet forthcoming. So far, Arshavin is the only casualty of Nationalism Week, fingers crossed it stays that way.

One bright spot in Arsenal’s Infirmary is that Theo Walcott has “shaken off the back injury” and is now just lacking match fitness. Wenger will get him into some training sessions this week and expects to have him available for next week. That would be Wigan at Emirates, expect Theo to get a run out then if everything goes as planned.

Djourou on the other hand is pretty much done for the year. Initial estimates had him out 6 months and now Wenger puts him at 6-8 months, which means he’ll be out 12 months. Funnily enough, Wenger finally admitted that Arsenal were not looking to sign anyone despite the fact that they knew about Djourou’s injury. I say “funnily” but I’m sure a lot of my readers will be irate at that news. Wenger thinks that Senderos can do the work and even me, the optimist, wonders if that’s him just blowing smoke or if he truly believes that. As far as I can tell Senderos hasn’t played in a competitive match since AC Milan’s loss at Udinese on May 16th. Four months is a long time to be out and I have to wonder where Wenger’s going to get him games.

As for Eduardo, the boss is adamant that there are real problems with the way that UEFA are charging Eduardo. Wenger maintains, as I have done since Hleb raped Murty’s face, that there is a fine line between outright diving, where there’s no contact and the player goes down as Rooney did against Blackburn and then against Arsenal last week, and the sort of simulation we see every week, where there’s light contact and the player “makes a meal” of the challenge, like when Mascherano got Aliadiere sent off with his antics after Ali touched his face. Wenger is admitting that Eduardo “made a meal” of the contact between he and Boruc, but is insisting that there was contact, which is going to be their defense when they go in front of the magistrate:

We all want to fight against diving. This case, though, is not a clean case. Did he make a meal of it? Yes. But we have proof that he has been touched and that he made more of it. But do you not find every week players who make more of it?

There’s a fine line between being shrewd and everybody supports you and diving and everyone says you’re cheating. That’s why in this case, if you want to use it to instruct, that’s fine, but I’ll find you 5-10 cases every week.

Wenger, though, doesn’t see a one off hypocritical two match ban as the biggest worry. The biggest worry is that Eduardo might not get a fair shake from here on out:

The situation has been created by the media impact of his case but that [booing] is not the worst. Now he is not given penalties when there are penalties. Like against England last night.

I think everyone needs a break from this diving issue, so lets leave it at that and take whatever punishment the fucknuts at UEFA dole out.

Speaking of fucknuts, Wenger spoke at length on the issue of players under the age of 18 moving from club to club and Platini/Bleater’s plan to enslave kids to whichever club picks them up before they are 18.  A clearly passionate Wenger had the following to say:

I have fought for a long, long time against people who have regressive ideas. To expose your local players to top, world class players, does not harm your players. It improves your players: the best, to become better, have to play with the best. And if you [England] have a good national team today, it just proves that.

If you ban players from moving before the age of 18, you know what will happen? The players will be sold anyway. To whom? Agents. At what age? 13, 14. Where will they go? Not to top clubs with top level education, they will go to clubs who have been bought by business people at a very low level and will stand by there waiting to be sold.

If you have a child, who is very gifted in music, what is your first reflex? You will try to put it in a good music school, not in an average one. So why should that not happen in football?

I penned an article about this issue last year when Platini made his ridiculous statement about Arsenal engaging in “child trafficking” and hit everything that Wenger said above. Moreover, like I said earlier in the week, Platini is not siding with the kids on this, he couldn’t give a rats ass about the kids. This is about empowering little clubs over players and creating what I see as indentured servitude.

Right, enough of that, we’ve got a match tomorrow and the return of real football has me completely stoked. The ESPN2 High Definition match here in the states is Liverpool v. Burnley and unfortunately that conflicts with the 7am kickoff of the City v. Arsenal match. Our match is being shown on Setanta here in the States and, as usual, that means that I will be traveling down to Doyle’s for the viewing. Come down and have a sausage and some coffee.

Arsene is looking at this match not as a revenge match but rather as an opportunity to show how much the team has grown since what he felt was a harsh loss against City last November. Along with showing how much stronger we are, getting a good result tomorrow along with the way Arsenal played during  Saturday’s unfortunate loss to Manchester United will show that this club can beat anybody. I feel that way as well. I thought Arsenal far outclassed United last week and that it took an intentional and cynical dive on the part of Wayne Rooney (who has a proclivity to dive when United are behind) and several other horrible calls from the referee to get them back into the game. I have such a high belief in this team that I don’t even think it’s fair to say “on their day they can beat anybody” because I think they can beat anybody any day. Hopefully, I can say “told you so” again tomorrow.

City for their part will be missing Tevez but Adebayor will be fit and obviously he’ll be itching to score. Plus they have, I think , £100m in strikers sitting on their bench. Wenger is wary of the threat there as well, saying that Adebayor is “on fire” and that we will need to put out his fire, by pissing on him. Ok, I made that last bit about pissing on him up, Wenger didn’t say that. I think I dreamed it.

If Adebayor does score the odds are 100:1 that he will kiss the Manchester City badge and 10:1 that he and Eboue (confused by what’s going on) will reprise their chicken dance.

All eyes right now are on Adebayor and Toure but for me the real match up to watch tomorrow is Denilson/Song against Ireland/ Barry. That’s where this game will be won or lost and that’s where we’ll see how much Arsenal have progressed. Denilson and Song made Man U look like shite and now they need to do the same to their City counterparts.

Tomorrow I won’t do an early blog but rather will do the Good, Bad, and Ugly after the match. That means a 10-11am (PST) post tomorrow.  Until then, UP THE ARSE!