|photo by twm1340||via PhotoRee|
Lots of fans disguised as empty seats at the Emitates on Saturday to watch Arsenal vs Blackburn. Is it getting too expensive for the regular guy to see the games, or the sign of a burgeoning protest against Arsene Wenger and Ivan Gazidis? -- to paraphrase a certain Sir Will, That is the question....
o They absent fans missed quite a game. I'm not certain if Correspondent Ed watched, but Theo Walcott took the Arsenal offense out for a drive on Saturday, teeing up Robin Van Persie for a couple of tap ins. The Flying Dutchman will rarely have an easier hat trick than he grabbed on Saturday, and he made our decision about which man to name Player of the Week rather easy, too.
o Not for nothing, but Arsenal 'keeper Wojciech Sczcesny looks slightly like Archie, of American comic book fame.
|photo by Jason Grote||via PhotoRee|
o Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks? Arsene Wenger doesn't learn. Last weekend, Arsene Wenger took off Alex Oxlade-Chamberlin to a round chorus of boos from the crowd. So this time when he was ready to replace his superstar newsboy after 70 minutes, Andrei Arshavin was nowhere on sight. Welcome, Thierry Henry.
o Pitch invasion seems to be the new trend in the BPL. Last week some guy handcuffed himself to the goalpost at Goodison Park; this week, a cat on the pitch interrupted play at Anfield. While the ESPN cameras lingered lovingly on said kitty, I kept wondering if the publicity might encourage other felines to try the same trick....
o Stoke played Sunderland in a winter Wonderland, like a game played entirely within a snowglobe. It was pretty to watch on television, but I'm not so sure I would have wanted to be a fan sitting and watching in the stands. It was difficult to see the ball, and the players were slipping and sliding all over, but the weather made for some compelling viewing -- from Florida, where it was 80 degrees farenheit.
o Everton scored their goal on Saturday. I say their goal, because the Toffees never seem to score more than one at a time. And I'm fairly certain that no one was more thankful than American 'keeper Tim Howard that Victor Anichebe popped up for the late equalizer, after his second half misplay of a wickedly spinning ball almost handed Wigan all three points.
o We discovered that Adam Johnson's a cheat and Mike Dean's a stooge on Saturday at the Etihad. Actually, we already knew that Dean was a stooge -- he's proven it time and again -- but when Johnson stuck out one of his spindly legs in the box, he was clearly looking for a penalty -- either that, or he was practicing a new yoga move. The resulting penalty shifted the tide toward a City side that looked strangely nervous in the opening minutes while playing in front of the home crowd.
o Mike Dean ordered a stoppage in play to bring out the shovels and clear the lines in the game's second half, due to the buildup of snow on the pitch. Dean He may have also asked the groundskeeping crew to see if they could find Martin Jol's play book, which was as seemingly invisible as the snow covered lines.
o Back from the African Cup of Nations, Demba Ba just can't stop scoring. Didn't take him long to reacclimate, either. Just 30 minutes by my count. That guy is good, and the big question remains: will he leave in the Summer?
This is farlieonfootie for February 7.