Sunday, 14 August 2011
Joey! Long time no see mate, how's it going?
It's like football has never been away. You would think we'd ease into the season, no full-blooded affairs just yet. No 100mph matches, just players getting into their stride. I guess though that when Joey Barton is on the field, that thought could never be a reality.
Of course, in many ways it's good that we're starting the season like we're in mid-season; the play was extremely fluid. So before I get onto Barton, let's talk about the good parts of yesterday.
Firstly, the defence was solid. Yes, Newcastle didn't exactly throw 10 men forward at all times, but in many ways that's not our problem. Defensively our issues come when we dominate a game then let one or two stupid goals in from the opposition's very few forward ventures. That didn't happen, which was pleasing.
The Verminator being back is obviously a huge part of this, but Koscielney was excellent too. The Frenchman was good overall last campaign, a few sterling performances in big games just about outweighing the calamitous outings with one Monsieur Squillaci. Speaking of him, I hope never to see him in the red and white again. Everyone was going on about how terrible our pre-season was. Let me say it is no coincidence that in every game we lost/drew, we were playing well and leading until he came off the bench. We would've won every game if TV/LK/JD had stayed on the pitch.
Anyway, back to Kos and last term he played many more games than the boss had planned, coping well with the demand. I think this season he'll push on and, disappointingly for Johan, will cement his spot in the starting XI. During the summer, many players had talked of the added work on set-pieces we were doing and if yesterday was anything to go by, the work is paying off.
One of the stars to state that case was Woijech Szczesny, who is pure class. He just oozes that feeling off safety that we've missed for years. Any time that Almunia was called into action, many gooners had near-heart attacks, fearing what he may do next. With Szczesny, you always have that feeling that noting idiotic will happen - always a plus point for a keeper.
On to the offensive side of proceedings and well, it was much of the same unfortunately. Like I said towards the back-end of last season, our defence was not necessarily the major downfall of the side. It was more the fact that we created 20 chances a game and struggled to put away even 1 of them. Last night did nothing the alleviate that point of view.
There was some brilliant play in the middle of the park, as always. Passing was mostly crisp and as mentioned before, the fluidity of our game was an encouraging sign. Yet again though, when we reach the area, players legs turn to jelly and the passing/shooting just isn't as incisive as it should be. Gervinho's debut (until you-know-what) was very bright.
Constantly changing wings, making good runs with and without the ball and generally being in the right place at the right time. However, as is symptomatic with the rest of the side, end product let him down on more than one occasion. A couple of goals were up for grabs yesterday but either through wrong decision or poor execution, the Ivorian failed to score or assist. Penalty box aside though, this was a very strong start by the new signing.
Now comes the section of the blog about our good old friend Joey Barton. I'm not going to analyse the stamp from Song or the stone-wall penalty/blatant dive from Gervinho. This end to the blog is just about the antics of Barton. I'm going to have to stop for today after that, as I will get into a furious state of depression if I keep thinking about it.
Barton knows exactly what he's doing. On various occasions previously, most notable of which was last year, the **** gets players riled and subsequently sent-off. The ******* **** pulled Gervinho up aggressively, which was there was no need for and if he didn't do that, no red cards would have been brandished.
After he did it though, the ****** should also have been dismissed. He then goes down like a sack of spuds after having a fit about Gervinho diving! Talk about hypocrisy. Especially when this guy considers himself a "hard man" and has done time for street brawls. Yet a stroke of a stick-thin hand lays him flat out. Ridiculous.
The ************ then takes to twitter and complains about our lads saying the referees job is hard enough. Give me a break you ******. You're the one who made his job 10x more difficult by doing that. ********. He then defends himself all evening, having arguments with equally pretentious *****, Piers Morgan & Robbie Savage.
Lastly, but by no means least, he calls Gervinho, on twitter, in the public domain, a "cheating b*****d". How idiotic to call a fellow professional that. No matter who is in the wrong, you just don't do that. He will get away with it though, because, as much as I hate to say it, he's English.
As much as we embrace foreign players into our league, there is no doubt English players get away with murder whilst foreigners don't. One example is serial divers such as Gerrard & Rooney never punished for it and key players such as Terry & Ferdinand putting pressure on refs on a regular basis.
You wouldn't call someone that in a press conference, so why on twitter? The ******* **** should be punished. Another thing that baffles me about this, it has gained 0 media attention. Everybody is too bust blaming Song.
Rant over. If I'd written this last night, it would've been a lot longer and with the actual letters rather than asterisk's.
I'll be back in midweek with a Udinese review/Liverpool preview. As for transfers, I'll have a review of the window up in early September, so no views on Fabregas just yet.
Until next time gooners, keep the faith,
Posted by Raj (@JattGooner) at 18:54