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Rock the Crossbar

Wednesday, May 17

Oh no!

Truly sorry for you Simon. Think your back four acquitted themselves well. That should put you in good stead for next year. Realise being man down but very ineffective counterattack. Why was Ljunberg the only one it seemed that could advance the ball forward along with Henry? Ljunberg took a beating battling for the club. Tommy idiot boy kept banging on about Henry yelling to Wenger to bring on Reyes. It has to be concering if those two fall out. On the brighter side, since Campbell's goal didn't win it, no small furry creatures will die tonight most likely following celebrations.


  • Thanks Chris, right now I am sad but I do appreciate those of you who can see above their Prem bias to want a team to win for a mate - those in NY and those in Boston/elsewhere who wont publicly admit it .. well I appreciate it.

    As for the game, the best team won the game and the competition. It hurts as well, for I began to believe we might do it... we didn’t. Our club isn’t meant to win it but by God we came close. As for the crucial decision - as the red you do this: a) give a goal and no red.... b) Give the red and no goal... c) See nothing which is a travesty .. d) Worse, a red and a goal.

    If I am honest : Its a goal and no red. We may never have come back from it though - in the pub I was in, it was debatable and people's views very much changed after Barce's second.

    Me: my view at the time and after a s a football fan is you play the advantage and the yellow card. We go a goal down. But at the end of the day, the very best team in the competition won - it sucks but that’s life.

    By Blogger Simon Burke, at 6:52 PM  

  • Didn't understand the call myself - I think the ball was in the goal before the whistle?
    Lot of respect today for Cole, Ljunberg and Henry. They battled hard. Arsenal started brightly but going a man down was going to be rough. In retrospect, I think pulling Pires was a mistake. Gliberto and Fabregas were invisible. Did Flamini touch the ball?
    Poor man management by Wenger.

    By Blogger Chris P, at 7:18 PM  

  • For me it was a game of "what could have been" -- up until Jens went off it was electric. I would have preferred to give up the goal and stay at 11 v 11 because at least we would have seen a better game, and personally I feel we could have made a go of it. Going up 1-0 with a man down to me is the worst place to be as a supporter. I love the commitment we showed but in that scenario it is sheer agony - every minute is stretched out and becomes nearly unbearable. When the 2nd half started we were 3 minutes in, the 48th minute, and I turned to a friend who was there watching with me and said "have only 3 minutes gone by?! It seems like eternity!" It seemed inevitable that Barca would score, yet when 70 min came I thought to myself "we are in with a chance here!" -- and they scored minutes later. I can't fault anyone in the side, it was a Twilight Zone scenario and in the end Barca were the better side, although the extra man didn't hurt. Despite the disappointment the classic Red Sox mantra "Wait 'til next year!" comes to mind. I was very pleased to see Henry's passion for the side and am hopeful that is a sign he will stay. But if not, I trust in Wenger's ability to develop players out of nowhere. 7 years ago TH was a Juve reject we thought might be useful out on the wing, maybe. Wenger turned him into a top 3 world class striker, and I can't wait to see how he guides along Walcott. The future is bright. The future is Arsenal.

    By Blogger Patrick Devitt, at 8:27 PM  

  • I put on an Henry kit this morning. I have never worn a stitch of Arsenal gear in my entire life, nor have I wanted to...until today. I sat in a cheesy sports "bar" at the Marriott in Boston with a bunch of jackholes, all rooting blindly for Barca (and not being able to name any players other than Ronnie), to view the match. Not the worst place on earth, but close to it considering so many convention-goers in suits with nametags looking in to check what the yelling was about.

    I yelled, for Arsenal. I yelled for the EPL, for England. I threw up when I heard Balboa comment on anything. I couldn't believe the cross-promotion of having an ABC tv actor in the booth at halftime (is nothing sacred with that company?). I closed my eyes and imagined ManCity in this match. I opened them and realized that would probably never happen in my lifetime.

    Hey, at least the Gunners got there. They deserved better than to play a man down for that much time. Sol scored too early. Henry muffed two that could have been finished - not saying they "should" have been, but they could have been. The referee clearly did not call fouls evenly, nor did he judge severity appropriately. Cesc needed to touch the ball more, etc.

    The future is bright for Arsenal. Just look at the ages on the roster. Scary. Congrats on a good run!

    By Blogger George Cuddy, at 8:42 PM  

  • Sorry Patrick. You didn't spoil it for me. Watched it at 6pm.

    As I said, I don't hate Arsenal. Never have really. Despite what Sky have tried to build up over the last 10 years, the historic rivalry just isn't there like it is between us and Liverpool/Leeds. At least not for me. I did feel sorry for them at the end.

    Ref ruined game. Fuckin idiot. Is he supposed to be the best in Europe? If that happened in the bssl I would be sending a complaint to Patrick and co about the ref not giving advantage. Should have been a goal and maybe a yellow. Funnily enough (I refrain from saying ironically this late at night but maybe it is?) with 20 minutes to go this decision looked like costing Barca and not Arsenal. If Arsenal hang on, Barca are going on about that decision now.

    I notice nobody is pointing out that Eboue dived for the free kick for Arsenal's goal? Fair is fair. If you are going to bitch about the ref this should also be mentioned.

    You do have a very good young team but it is so hard to get into a European Cup final (see United since 99, Chelsea ever etc) that I think this had to be your year.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 12:26 AM  

  • It's OK that he dived. Marcello Balboa said he had to "sell it" so that settled it for me. He later called for Deco to receive a yellow card for diving which was totally a different situation because Barcelona were down a goal late in the game.

    There's a reason I watch the WC on Telemundo - to avoid eejits like Marcello

    By Blogger Chris P, at 7:35 AM  

  • I was hoping that Tony Lapaglia showed up at half-time to announce that he was opening up a "Without a Trace" investigation into the disappearance of Gilberto from the first feckin' 45 minutes! God-Damn that no-name twat from Sunderland that broke Diaby's ankle because he'd definitely been a better option than Gilbo.

    When I saw Lehman pull Eto'o down, it was obvious what was coming next. After all, the same guy, Hauge, had been in charge of the Chelsea Barca game and sent off Del Horno for clattering Messi. Deserved in both cases? Probably, but it's interesting that from UEFA's view, they're content with having a guy like Hauge ruin their marquee spectacle by making it a contest of 10 v 11. Especially interesting in light of the controversy that Hauge's handling of that Chelsea game. His selection to take charge of the final can only be be considered a reward for his performance.

    I miss Collina. The guys that have stepped into his place as reputedly the top practicioners are Nielson, Hauge, Merck, the Russian. And while they are all capable of following the Chinese take-away school of applying the law--goal keeper hacks opposition forward you get red card, moo-shu pork and crispy beef, you get egg-roll-- there seems to be a fundemental loss of common sense that Collina brought to his application of the law. Maybe he'd have sent Lehman off too, but thinking about it, don't you think he'd have let the follow-on goal stand and given Lehman a yellow?

    And perhaps that ability to finesse the laws of the game so that you end up with a great game of football can only be learned when when even the run of the mill game is one at the highest level. Of the 4 guys seen most often in top matches, only Merck gets to referee week-in, week-out in a high profile league. Hauge, Nielsen, and the Russian are mastering their craft in leagues that lack quality and more importantly, lack exposure to how they're doing, what their decisions are.

    I think that they've been promoted because of their respective country's neutrality or lack of teams in play, but for all we know, Hauge, Nielsen, and the Russian are as hopeless as Uriah Rennie or Andy D'Urso week-in, week-out. If you could see the guys who are going to ref these top games over and over and see how they do week-in, week-out, it would be better.

    By Blogger gooner71, at 9:05 AM  

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