Arsenal 3-0 Hull; the Good, the Brown, and There Will Be Blood

I'd like you to tell me that you are a false prophet... I'd like you to tell me that you are, and have been, a false prophet...

Match Reports

ESPNSoccernet: Arsenal moved back into third place in the Barclays Premier League with a comfortable victory over relegation-threatened Hull at the Emirates Stadium.

Telegraph: Arsenal moved back to third place with a functional victory over Hull City that went a long way to erasing the sour memories of their controversial defeat by the Tigers at the Emirates last year.

Goonerholic: ‘This Is The Best Trip, I’ve Ever Been On’, Sing Up Brownie

Match Video

Arsenalist has all the video that counts, including Nasri’s yellow card love tap which caused Hull’s players to bring out the handbags.

Quote of the Day

Denilson is not a free kick specialist. I was quite surprised, he was not specially named because it was Nasri who was going to take it and he took it well. I thought first he wanted to cross the ball but he scored. It changed the game. — Arsene Wenger

The Incident

There’s a little bit of talk right now about the incident mentioned above, mostly being overshadowed by Mark Hughes’ firing and “Wengergate” but there’s some talk none-the-less. Talk which I suspect will be re-dredged when we go to Hull later in the season. But before this whole incident gets blown out of proportion I’d like to point out a few things.

First, the values in English football are completely screwed up if there are people who are saying that “Nasri was lucky not to be sent off.” For what? For a cheap little foul? Yeah, it’s poor sportsmanship, I suppose, but a little kick on the foot is not a straight red card, ever. Besides which, where’s the outrage at Stephen Hunt, who has already maimed one keeper in his career, and who yesterday tried twice to maim Mooney? Not one cheap little foul but two full on barging into the keeper and then yelling at Almunia as if it was his fault. Seems to me like a little kick on the foot is a lot less dangerous than, say, kneeing a keeper in the head and effectively ending his career. I dunno, maybe it’s one of those English things I don’t get like how they spell color with a “u.”

Second, and I’ve said this many times before but for my money players who get a little touch and then go down as if they’ve had a career ending injury are cheating. Garcia was not injured, he was trying to con the referee and it is cheating. And yes, I’ve called out Arsenal players for this.

Third, and finally, Steve Bennett was never going to have an easy job refereeing that match but he made life very difficult for himself by not taking control of the match early on. He could have done it easily too, Stephen Hunt was involved in several dangerous plays right away one yellow card to each side would have calmed things down considerably. But instead he let Hull get chippy (it’s all they’ve got after all) and the match got away from him. It’s but one of the catalog of nightmares Steve Bennett had last night.

Man of the Match

You could have your pick. Nasri’s shift was absolutely brilliant and everything good that happened in the first half went through him. Almunia’s save was crucial and more importantly after the save he looked like the keeper we’ve needed: he was strong in the challenge, won crosses, and distributed OK (though he still lumped the ball up to Arshavin inexplicably). Song was having a tough first half but then he started getting stuck in and was instrumental in keeping the clean sheet and in getting the attack started. Vermaelen was outstanding, as usual.

But for me, Man of the Match has to be down to either Denilson or Diaby. Denilson is seen by many as the replacement for Cesc and I can see some of that: he’s not quite the same kind of midfielder, he doesn’t create time and space like Jesus can, but on his day he is a solid midfielder who makes a lot of the right passes and has a scoring touch that pretty much no one in this side has at the moment. All of his goals this season have been brilliant and the fact is that he is the first Arsenal player to score from a free kick since van Persie did it… last season! It was a critically important goal as well, breaking the back of Hull just  at the moment where they might have felt like they were getting under Arsenal’s skin.

But Diaby was the Man of the Match just by an edge because he was the player who surged forward and got Eduardo his goal to put Arsenal up 2-0 and just when Hull had some hope of maybe getting that all important 2-1 goal, killed their game off with a thunderbolt to put Arsenal up 3-0. He was also strong in the midfield, shielding the defense when needed, in fact, if there was ever a game where I thought he reminded me of Patrick Vieira, it was yesterday. High praise, I know, and he was only shades of Vieira, but still it was shades enough to win him MotM.

The Good

Clean sheet, Almunia seems to have some mojo back, and we vanquished one of the most despicable teams in the EPL with aplomb, after a hard week of games. As for those games, Arsenal took 7 points from two tough away trips and a fiery home match against a team who pride themselves on “getting up our noses.” Even better, we got the 7 points when Man U slipped up leaving us just 2 points off second place with a game in hand, at home, to Notlob. I’d say the boys have done exceptionally well and deserve the 8 day’s rest before they host a hungry Villa side on the 27th.

The Brown

What could Phil Brown possibly complain about after this match? He got a handshake, though I’d have rather that Wenger pull a “sike” on him or just plain diss him in general. His side were awarded the most dubious penalty I’ve ever seen, then they encroached after it was saved. Stephen Hunt could have been sent off for a dozen different infractions but wasn’t. And his team were comprehensively outplayed by a clearly superior Arsenal side.  What could he possibly complain about?

The referee

God, this man moans like a drain doesn’t he?

There Will Be Blood

Mark Hughes was given the wealth of the Pharaohs and what did he do? Signed Robinho who immediately started talking about going back to Spain. Tried to sign Kaka, who rejected him outright. Signed Bellamy who is a damn good player but is a ticking time bomb. Signed Gareth Barry so he could pursue his dream of playing for a different mid-level club. Signed Tevez which was as obvious a signing as you can imagine. Tried to tap up Toure who showed true class to stay until the end of the season for Arsenal. Signed Adebayor, who to be fair, is just a huge prick. And tapped up Lescott while getting rid of stalwart defender and City lover, Richard Dunne. He’s created such a disastrous squad that Mancini is doomed to failure until he blows that team apart and starts all over.

None of which touches on the downright awful manner in which he has treated fellow managers like Moyes and Wenger. He has treated them with contempt, disdain, and at times has variously lied, manufactured outrage, and trumped up false charges to deflect away from the fact  that at best he’s a mediocre manager and at worst he’s a charlatan.

No, Mark Hughes will never manage again and rightly so. Given the money he plunged into Manchester City and the results he’s garnered over  the last 18 months Mark Hughes has been exposed. He’s got thee tactical nous of Sam Allardyce, the training regimen of Hull, and half the scouting ability of some teenager with a copy of Football Manager.

Actually I take it back, maybe he’ll take over for Sven when he quits Notts County. Until then I fully expect him to be Match of the Day commentator and Sky Sports pundit and continue his distinguished career as the worst mind in football history.

Liveblogging Arsenal v. Hull

Morning all and welcome to the Arsenal v. Hull Liveblog.

Arseblog has already tweeted the lineups and it looks like Almunia keeps his #1 shirt, Eduardo gets a start, and Walcott drops to the bench.

Arsenal: Almunia, Eboue, Vermaelen, Gallas, Silvestre, Song Billong, Denilson, Nasri, Diaby, Eduardo, Arshavin

Subs: Fabianski, Sagna, Vela, Walcott, Ramsey, Wilshere, Emmanuel-Thomas

EPL Scores

HOLY CRAP!!! Man U loses 3-0 to Fulham and Liverpoor lose the plot 2-0 against Pompey. I watched the latter and I have to say Liverpoor look very down at the moment. It’s really sad but I have to brag that I picked them as most vulnerable to drop out of the top 4 this season mostly on the back of the loss of Alonso but also because I thought Carragher looked as if he’d lost a step LAST year and this year he looks like he just needs to retire.


1′ — Hull start out looking for an early goal, good defense stops that.

5′ — Silvestre gives away a poor foul in a dangerous area and Hull’s free kick is dealt with by Mooney

8′ — I’ve now counted 4 long balls in to our towering 5’4″ Center Forward, really guys?

10′ — A Hull throw down the left side exposes Silvestre, again. Denilson and Song are really going to need to contain that side. Or maybe move Arshavin off to the left to keep the Hull attack in check.

13′ — As long as Hull keep the ball centrally, Arsenal are pressing well. Spell of pressure here by Arsenal as a Diaby shot is deflected back for a couple of corners.

15′ — Nasri in a great spot, shoots tamely and dealt with by the keeper. Nasri is the brightest so far for me, on the end of everything positive for us at the moment.

16′ — Stephen Hunt, who caved in Chech’s skull, intentionally crashes into Almunia and gets a talking to. How many keeper’s careers is he going to be allowed to ruin?

19′ — Cesc is shown wearing an arctic parka. It’s a departure from his normal hoody and spit sink.

20′ — We need to stop putting in high crosses and find a way to run at their defense or put in low crosses. They will deal with those high crosses all day.

22′ — Song having a poor night, his passes finding too many Hull players.

23′ — Arsenal finally stop crossing the ball and Eduardo shapes a lovely shot which is just wide.

26′ — Arsenal corner, Diaby header?

27′ — @WC, yes Rosicky is injured, again.

29′ — Eduardo makes a great run after some determined midfield play from Arsenal and is muscled off the ball by Hunt. He comes up limping a bit, fingers crossed he’s ok…

31′ — FUCK OFF CUNTS, the announcers are taking the piss out of Wenger who is complaining that McShane shoved Diaby, they change their tune a bit after they see the replay.. only to say he should be complaining about the pass, Do they do this same thing to Ferguson, I wonder?

34′ — Long ball claimed by Mooney and Stephen Hunt crashes into him, again.

38′ — “The old hand up tried to con the referee — well done.” So cheating is OK?

41′ — Song with a brave header wins a corner, which is dealt with. Bit of pressure from Arsenal.

44′ — Garcia dives after Nasri gives him a little love tap and then Stephen Hunt tries to start a fight. All kinds of stupidity there. Nari and Hunt get a yellow. This is quickly followed by Nyate picking up a yellow for standing on Vermaelen’s foot. Hull is now fully cheating and thugging up this game. I want a 6-0 win now.

48′ — FUCK YOU CUNTS. Denilson with a wonderful free kick and Arsenal now up 1-0, 5 more goals to go. Hey Wenger, why don’t you offer Phil Brown a high five?

Half time — Ugly scenes continue, Hull are moaning and pointing fingers at Arsenal players as they head into the tunnel. I’d put money that there’s at least one sending off in this match, hell there might have been one as the teams headed down the tunnel. The cock-munching Hull-loving announcers are complaining about Wenger at every moment, calling Arsenal crap at every moment, and basically showing their bias with remarks like the one above where the announcer APPLAUDS Hull cheating. Don’t turn the sound off, turn it back up, you really need to hear the absolutely hands down xenophobia on display here.

45′ — I thought I saw  yellow, was that to Denilson? Also, Hull shit  the bed and made a bunch of changes at half-time.

48′ — UGH, wonderful touch and spin by Eduardo buut his shot is dreadfully wide. He needs a goal, badly.

50′ — Diaby starting the second half bright, good to see.

53′ — Hull look broken, we need to really put the screws to them now. Crush them, crush their season, crush their club.

56′ — Steve Bennet gives a bullshit penalty and Almunia saves. FUCK YOU HULL, FUCK YOU STEVE BENNET.

59′ — EDUARDO, Arsenal finally get their perfect goal after a ton of passing in the box and it falls to Eduardo. 4 more please.

63′ — Fagan goes to ground easy again, trying to con the referee, again, and gets called for handling the ball. Isn’t that an intentional hand ball? And if so, isn’t that a yellow card? Speaking of yellow, Phil Brown is smiling so hard on the sidelines that his skin now has a yellow hue. Jaundice?

67′ — Rambo on, Nasri off, good sub, Nasri was looking a bit jaded.

71′ — Eduardo’s put in a good shift, bring on Vela before Dudu get’s a hamstring pull or something.

74′ — Or Theo, whatever. MOAR GOALS!

75′ — Silvestre with a lumbering, speculative shot, finds the side netting. Diaby’s been brilliant this second half.

77′ — Yes, it’s only a foul when an Arsenal player does it. When a Hull player clatters one of ours, or cons the ref, it’s good play.

80′ — Diaby with a great run and exchange with Arshavin get’s Arsenal’s well deserved 3rd goal. 3 MOAR PLEASE

81′ – Xabier, you heard it here first! Diaby as CF! WC, Theo still looks rusty but the whole team is trying to get him involved. Arshavin off, Vela on. Will the cult of Vela take another blow?

85′ — Good strong claim from Almunia as the crowd is in great cheer. Stick around Gunners there’s more goals tonight I guarantee.

87′ — Nathan, the only way I’d shake Phil Brown’s hand is if I spit in it first.

88′ — NOOOOOOOO, ugh, Walcott with a blown shot after a fine save from Almunia and great counter attack. THAT WAS MY 5th!

90′ — Beautiful football between Vela, Silvestre, and Rambo whose shot is just a bit high and that should have been Arsenal’s 6th. Clean sheet is what I want now.

90′ — Theo looks  lively and misses widely to end the match.

Whelp, Phil Brown got his hand-shake so I guess Hull got something out of this match, eh? Frankly it was a well deserved win and if anything the scoreline flattered Hull. Their penalty was one of the softest I’ve ever seen. Almunia was huge. Song had a rough patch to start but cleaned up. Denilson made Geovanni look second class. Diaby has a huge shout for man of the match and the young guns came on in the second half and but for their youth and profligacy Arsenal would have won 6-0 easily. The worst part, though, for me was all the conning and cheating that Hull put on out there. I’ve always hated Hull but now I hope they don’t just get relegated, but go into administration, they are a despicable pack of Fakin’ Hunts.

Tune in tomorrow for the Good, Bad, and Ugly until then it’s a good three points today.

Football Picture of the Naught-ies

The decade ranging from 2001-2010 is being called the “naughties” which considering some of the things that went down is pretty accurate I suppose. Much is being made of “teams of the decade” and whatnot and that’s all well and fine since it starts debate, but I was looking for something simple. Something elegant which would explain the decade in football in just a single image and I think I found it:

Zidane headbuts Materazzi

Think you have a better, more iconic fooballing moment than that?

Prove it.