After a third or fourth pint my old mate Spanner would complain about how dull life was. He’d pine for some excitement to stir things up in his predictable suburban existence. Then he walked in on his Eileen bent over the cooker with Big Dave in attendance.
And so to St James’ Park.
The Geordie Army wanted free flowing attacking football. They demanded it. They said it was better to lose such games than win playing Big Sam’s way.
Well southerners applaud actors from the stage after a fine performance, so why did the Magpies not stand and applaud Rooney and Ronaldo from the field after their 5-1 master class? I guess for the same reason Spanner ended up serving eight to twelve at Her Majesty’s pleasure.
Football isn’t fun when played so freely in your own box.
So is there any chance West Ham fans might take note?
It seems the Irons never watched Charlton before hiring Curbishley. And who could blame them? Athletic were dull at the best of times. But now confronted with Alan’s ‘The best form of attack is defence’ philosophy, they don’t like it.
They won a tedious 1-0 this weekend against almost relegated Fulham, and the fans have started voicing their displeasure. So who wants to bet they too fail to hire Harry Rednapp in the near future and so resort to a former boss to return them to the exciting days of second tier football?
Not that dull football is always so bad. Just ask Wenger.
Eduardo caught the wrong end of a mistimed tackle, the likes of which happen across the country every week. And the the not-quite-first-teamer hit the deck just like countless players across the country every week.
Unfortunately for the Brazilian, Croatian hopes of winning a trophy he shouldn’t be eligible for this summer were dashed by the fluke that the lad wasn’t just another prancing ninny. With the sort of break that even Terry Butcher might have needed more than a bandage on, Eduardo went to hospital wishing he’d been on the bench.
And apparently so did Gallas.
The Arsenal Captain sulked down the field as ten man Birmingham leveled from the spot at the finale. Some witless pundits complained at his lack of team spirit for not preparing to defend a possible rebound or rally his troops. I on the other hand criticize his lack of spirit for not lamping Gael Clichy after such piss poor defending that the great Tony Adams would surely have sent him for an extended stay in the bed next to his not-quite-Czech teammate.
And so to the chase for fourth place.
How is this for unwanted excitement? One of Liverpool, Everton, or Aston Villa is now likely to miss out on a European Tour next season by finishing sixth.
That’s right. Spurs are languishing in eleventh but have won the Floodlight Cup. And that means they go into next season’s UEFA Cup draw ahead of those in sixth place.
At the moment the unlucky team is set to be Aston Villa, who won an easy three points against free-falling Reading. The margin should have been greater than 2-1. But with a relatively easy run-in I wouldn’t bet against the geeky Irish chap finishing one place higher than his team is right now.
Next up are Liverpool who face the toughest run in of the three. They beat Middlesbrough 3-2 thanks to a phenomenal hat trick from Torres, who has shown a top class striker can adjust to English football in his first season. Some one should tell Kuyt.
And then there are Everton. Anyone that hasn’t bet on this belligerent group of battle hardened bastards doing well should get their money down now. The odds will only shorten and they demolished Manchester City in a 2-0 win that was at least as comprehensive as poor Newcastle’s drubbing.
They are rough, cynical, tactically astute, and have the sort of passion behind them that has become all too rare throughout a league they should this year finish fourth in. Indeed if Chelsea don’t snap out of their reported post-final crisis quickly the Toffeemen may look to go one better than that.
And so to teams for whom excitement is a relative term.
Blackburn beat an unlucky Bolton 4-1 in a game that never deserved that many goals. Two penalties, one of which was an awful decision, won it for Hughes’ side before the later and rather pointless extras were added.
Pompey won a rubbish game against Sunderland with a late penalty. That shot from the spot was the only one worthy of note. Frankly had both sides lost that would have been fair.
And finally Wigan went to the formality of taking three points from Derby. Any more detail than that is as unnecessary as telling poor Spanner that Big Dave was just that night's winner of the Eileen Raffle that the lads held in the Goose before he got off work.