Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Samuel Eto'o for Barcelona (vs Arsenal), May 17 2006

No happy ending this year then...
but not for want of trying.

Poor old Arsenal gave it a damn good shot. They started like they were on fire & were unlucky not to be leading within 2 minutes. What was looking like being a thrilling display between two great footballing sides all changed when Jens Lehmann brought down Eto'o on the edge of the box & promptly & correctly saw red. The game changed instantly.
Sol Campbell scored a with giant header & Arsenal were ahead.
From then on Arsenal were like steel. All 10 players gave everything & the back four in particular were immense. It looked like it was goona be a case of the old school Gunners; Rock solid at the back & ready to sing the old 1-0 to the Arsenal song.
They were undone in five minutes as Barca turned the game on it's head.
And that was that.

Does it not speak volumes for the strength of the Premiership that Arsenal had such a massive campaign following Liverpool's amazing triumph last year?

Now football is done until the wonder that is the World Cup is upon us, right?
It's play off time. For likes of Barnsley, Swansea, Grimsby town & my own beloved Leeds United there is an enormous amount still to play for.
I have always been a strong advocate of the play offs. I believe that it keeps the season alive for so many more clubs than it would without them. On top of that, the play off final for the last premiership place is often a fantastic game, worthy of it's place in the grandest stadium on offer.
How do I feel?
I'm bricking it! Obviously the prize for winning is huge, especially for a club such as Leeds who surely not many would argue are a big, big club who belong in the top flight.
On Sunday I shall probably go through at least one packet of cigarettes, a few pints & any remaining fingernails will no doubt be gone by the final whistle.
Defeat is unthinkable & yet perfectly realistic.
I am hoping & praying that I can go into work on Monday morning wearing my colours & shouting out that were back.
Watford fans aside, cross your fingers for us, won't you?


Sarah said...

Ok - just for this Sunday and just because it's you - I'll keep my fingers crossed, Flash. Are you going to Cardiff then?

I watched Stoke win the 2nd div playoff final there in 2002. It's a great day out - even if the opposing supporters only fill a third of their allocated seats...

SwissToni said...

did you not think that the referee made a MASSIVE mistake by not letting that first goal stand? He should have booked Lehmann for the foul and let the goal stand. Definitely. Can't say the best side in Europe didn't win though, can you?

I *hate* seeing players waving imaginary cards at the ref as the Barca players did tonight though.



(Morning Runner were good, by the way!)

Lord Bargain said...

I'm not crossing my fingers for you, I bloody hate Leeds United.

sorry. Nothing personal, mate.

and I agree with ST. Let the goal stand and the keeper doesnt have to get a red card as he hasnt denied a goalscoring opportunity.

El Tel said...

Barca Arser. I was gutted. The deep loathing that Pujol and Marquez inspired was immense. I hope that Mr Henry paid close attention to the antics of his potential new clubmates with their card-waving gestures... most sincere.

And as for ye olde play-offs, I too saw Stoke triumph over Brentford in 2002 - my only trip to the Millenium Stadium, and I can only imagine that with a full house (roof closed) you are in for an amazing occasion. Got to say though, I thought Watford's movement against Palace in the first leg semi was really rather good. Leeds fans to prove to be the important twelfth man?... Shirts off and all? One can but hope. I shall cross fingers for the northern element.


ps/ You want to try some of that stuff you paint on your nails to stop you biting them. Tastes like a Tottenham lunch, apparently.

weenie said...

Yeah, Arsenal were valiant - shame.

Between Watford and Leeds? I'll be cheering for Leeds I suppose, for another northern club to go up.

Personally, I'd wanted Preston NE to make it but it'll be another long campaign for them next season.

adem said...

I was fuming at the referee who decided he didn't want to book any of the Barecelona players....C**T! I was happy that after the game Henry gave his honest opinion about the ref.

As for the play-off I really should be supporting Watford as the southern team but I like what Leeds have done since they were stripped bare a few years ago and had to start off with loads of free-signings. I think they deserve to be back in the Premiership.

Ben said...

Sorry Flash, I'm good mates with a Watford fan (as ST and Lord B could tell you) so I'll be rooting for them I'm afraid.

El Tel: "Tastes like a Tottenham lunch, apparently" - brilliant!