De Futebol

My guys from Arsenal saved their sorry assed season with a huge 2-1 FA Cup win over ten man Chelsea.

The Guardians Paul Wilson wrote: “Amid all the euphoria for Arsenal, there are bound to be people who wonder if these might also have been the ideal circumstances for Arsène Wenger to announce he was stepping aside and assure himself of a happy ending. His team had won, thrillingly, against the champions of England, making Wenger the most successful manager in the history of this competition. It was his seventh victory and, whatever his faults, a man with that record of achievement surely warrants the opportunity to go out on a high.

Equally, these are the moments when Wenger must be reminded what it is about football that makes it so addictive. It is not easy kicking the habit, particularly on the days when everything falls into place and this for Arsenal was undoubtedly one of them. They picked a good time to put in their best performance of the season, denying Chelsea the double on a day when Victor Moses joined the list of players to suffer the indignity of being shown a red card in an FA Cup final. Moses had collected two second-half bookings and the fact the second one came from a choreographed attempt to win a penalty probably summed up the state to which Arsenal reduced their opponents.

The only question for Wenger’s men is this: why can they not reach these heights more often? Arsenal were quick to the ball, strong in the tackle and, defensively, they played as though utterly determined not to let the fact they were missing key personnel influence the outcome.

More than anything, they were free of the self-doubt that has often infiltrated their performances against Chelsea. Mesut Özil, for instance, seemed absolutely determined to leave his imprint on the final. Alexis Sánchez, possibly making his last appearance in Arsenal’s colours, shimmered with menace and now has 30 goals for the season. Danny Welbeck brought a mix of speed and directness and when Olivier Giroud came on as a substitute, just after Diego Costa’s equaliser, it was his first touch that set up Aaron Ramsey for the game’s decisive moment. The cross was delivered so expertly it would have been almost impolite for Ramsey, with a stooping header, not to accept the chance.

By the end, it was starting to feel like a trick of the mind that the winning team had actually finished 18 points behind Chelsea in the league. Costa’s bouncing shot did briefly conjure up the possibility of an improbable comeback for the team with 10 men. But this was a poor day for Chelsea and it was rare to see N’Golo Kanté, for instance, finding it so difficult to keep up. Ramsey’s winner arrived within two minutes of Costa’s equaliser and when it comes to the first half it began with possibly the most torrid 30-minute spell Chelsea have endured all season.

All of which was some achievement for Arsenal, bearing in mind the issues Wenger had approaching this final and the list of absentees that meant this was Per Mertesacker’s first start for more than a year (and his first appearance in a three-man defence). Wenger experimented with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, with lingering questions about his fitness, on the left. And then there was the perplexing choice of David Ospina, with Wenger deciding his loyalty should go towards a second-choice goalkeeper who will leave this summer while leaving out the one, Petr Cech, who will stay. Unfortunately for Ospina, it was a weak attempt to keep out Costa’s goal, though he did make amends later on with a splendid save to prevent the same player taking the game into extra time.

A goal at that stage would have been a reminder of Chelsea’s power of endurance but it would also have been largely unwarranted and Wenger was not exaggerating when he said his team should really have won by more. As it was, their first-half superiority brought only one goal and Chelsea are entitled to question whether it ought to have stood, not because of the argument about whether it was offside but more for the handball from Sánchez before he was in a position to shoot. There was no doubt Ramsey was in an offside position as Sánchez charged the ball down. Yet the Welshman had the presence of mind to step aside as the Chilean ran on to the loose ball, firing past Thibaut Courtois with the outside of his boot, and if the argument was purely about offside the referee, Anthony Taylor, and his assistant, Gary Beswick, did eventually get it right. The handball had not been noticed, however, and scoring so early, with only five minutes played, undoubtedly helped Arsenal settle more quickly than their opponents.

Chelsea’s struggles in the first half were epitomised by their carelessness in the buildup to the goal, when Costa managed to get in the way of Kanté and the ball was lost. Arsenal, in contrast, used the ball effectively and it needed a brilliant clearance from Gary Cahill to prevent Özil from doubling the lead after Sánchez led one of their quick, incisive counterattacks. Four minutes later, Welbeck’s header from an Özil corner came back off a post, struck Ramsey in the chest and ricocheted back against the woodwork before going out for a goalkick. Later, Özil hit a post himself. Arsenal could conceivably have made it a far more resounding win.

helsea did not lack adventure but it was not until the start of the second half that they seemed to remember they were supposed to be the best team in the country and, to be fair to Ospina, he made a fine one-handed save in that period to keep out Moses. Costa was a challenging opponent for Rob Holding, eluding him for the equaliser, but Moses deserved to go for his deception and Chelsea’s defence was strangely dishevelled as Giroud crossed from the left, Ramsey headed in and the most difficult, acrimonious season of Wenger’s managerial career ended happily.”

38 thoughts on “De Futebol

      1. If Arsenal seeks to make changes , then it has to come with the improvement of the squad and not the firing of Arsene Wenger. Fans calling for his dismissal are delusional and damn well crazy.


      2. I don’t have a problem with an owner being ambitious , but what I do have a problem with , are owners who bitch and whine, plead poverty , yet these are the very same owners who have the use of taxpayers monies to build stadiums . Meanwhile , we have fake @ss , dumb as fu#k fans , whining about political ideology , remaining fu#king clueless as to what is happening in-front of their every eyes . A case in point , is the current mess with the Miami Marlins and the two bidding groups wanting to buy the baseball franchise.


      3. I agree. Most are products of a dumbed down education. Most teachers couldn’t wipe their butt with hands left alone find it with a CPS system


      4. Baseball in South Florida is doomed to fail , because fans don’t come out to watch the Miami Marlins and it’s the same with the Tampa Bay Rays. Simply look at their home averages and it provides you with enough of a clue , along with these teams (Marlins and Rays) not being profitable or being able to market themselves .


      5. A combination of both plus the product on the field has a ton to do with it. See the latest post


      6. Over the last eight years both the Marlins and Rays have been absolute joke . They are not competitive enough. It was rather asinine of Miami to make Giancarlo Stanton the highest paid player in baseball by way of his contract . Consider the fact , the Marlins ‘ roster remains a damn joke and where they now stand within their division. I cannot believe Jeb Bush and Derek Jeter (consortium) are dumb enough to want to buy the team. The other interested party seeking to buy the Miami Marlins is a group led by Tagg Romney , son of Mitt Romney . Tagg has joined forces with Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Glavine and former Arizona Diamondbacks’ GM Dave Stewart.


      7. Baseball is on a downward trajectory and that’s even with last year’s feel-good story of the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series. This season the Cubs are atrocious and their division has become one of the worst in the Majors .

        Tiger Woods remains an entitled irascible and amoralistic human being . He was placed up on a pedestal . Woods and many of his contemporaries are very much alike and I can tell you , he wasn’t the only player on the PGA Tour with those set of sexual tendencies and other types of irrational behavior . He will never win another Grand Slam Major Tournament, because he is no longer good enough.


      8. Tiger Woods hasn’t sought help . In the aftermath of his divorce , his subsequent relationships were as before , led to his cheating repeatedly. Now he has a problem with sobriety ( something I believe which is not new at all ). Woods may well have given back with his philanthropic efforts , but he remains such poor role model on so many levels .


      9. Probably true. yet help is available. Before one can get help they must bottom before seeking help


      10. Tiger Woods has been enabled by his entourage of ” yes men ” , many of whom might well be fellow players on the PGA Tour. If his agent and management team aren’t steering him clear of his stupidity , then what else should we expect ? This would be a whole new conversion , were we talking about his having killed someone while he were driving behind the wheel of his vehicle. I don’t believe Woods or his people are taking this incident seriously .


      11. It’s not weak character. It is being a human being and so one must make a choice to stop following their own will, change their mind, turn away and follow G-d’s plan for us. It is easy? NO! It is the only way. Many have done it


      12. Everything we were led to believe about Tiger Woods, was in fact false. His persona was carefully manicured by IMG , a string of agents and publicists to maximize the golfer’s earning potential in terms of endorsements . He still makes more money than any other golfer on the PGA Tour by way of endorsements .


      13. So true this what the media and management companies do. they mold false images. In the end it comes back to Tiger- he in the allowed this. he is not a victim.


      14. Woods attended Stanford University and clearly , he learned not a damn thing while he was there . The university with its multi-billion dollar endowment program , while also being a large stakeholder in Google will simply sit on their cash pile , live off the continued idiotic praise heaped on the educational establishment.


      15. FYI the photo of Tiger woods that is passed around was photo shopped by ESPN. With that said Tiger is made in the image of G-d. he is made his choices. Is he guilty. Yet Tiger can repent and turn back to G-d. it is his choice.


      16. The composite pictures of Tiger Woods side by side , of-course were photo-shopped , especially the before and after arrest photos. Even if he were not guilty of being under the influence of alcohol at the time of this incident. He is guilty of utter stupidity having gotten behind the wheel of a vehicle , having taken prescription medication as he now claims . I don’t believe Woods’ story to be plausible at all , because , why refuse to take the breathalyzer and field sobriety test when you have absolutely nothing to hide ? Instead , he was combative , questioning the officer’s authority and right to arrest him.

        Tiger Woods if the reports of the law enforcement agency are to be believed , demanded the names of senior officials within the West Palm Beach Police Dept as well as the Sheriffs Dept and that of the Jupiter Police Dept. His public statement in the aftermath of the incident has been apologetic , but it has not been really contrite.


      17. It is his right. Let’s just see what happens. Check out the latest piece on the Huddersfield getting promoted


      18. Tiger Woods and his publicists won’t play the race card like Alex Rodriguez , but they will seek the public’s empathy and sympathy , while trying to portray the golfer as someone with some deep personal problems.


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