Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Standup Comedy: Round 37 in the BPL

Roy Díaz: Stand Up Comedy

o So where are all the critics hounding Wojciech Sczcesny?  Impersonating his teammate Lukasz Flappy Handski, the Pole was entirely unconvincing against Norwich on Saturday, waving wildly at the first ball into his box and then kindly showing the second the quickest route to goal, much like a crossing guard making sure his charges make their way safely to the other side of the street. The southern dominated media in England were only too happy to hop on David De Gea for the slightest mistake, yet they continue to extol the virtues of the young Arsenal 'keeper. Can you say 'double standard?'

o Referee Anthony Taylor must be a huge fan of the World Wrestling Federation, as he saw nothing wrong when Laurent Koscielny took down Norwich defender Russell Martin in the box like he was in a no holds barred cage match. Meantime, fourth official Lee Probert laughed hysterically on the sideline, treating Paul Lambert's protest as if he was watching the latest routine from standup comedian Jerry Seinfeld.

o No worries, Taylor made it up to Norwich in the second half. Continuing a completely forgettable 90 minutes in charge, the referee somehow also overlooked Kyle Naughton's mugging of Super-Goon Robin Van Persie as time momentarily ran down on Arsenal's grip on third place. Memo to Taylor: evening out your missed calls does not mean you had a good game.

o Sign o' the Times: For the first time this season, I didn't watch the United game live when I had the opportunity to do so. Instead, I watched the Manchester City vs. Newcastle game on tape (I had missed the live broadcast due to a family obligation), such were the season-defining ramifications of the Toonside contest.

o As it was, the title could end up swinging on the width of Gael Clichy's foot. The former Arsenal man came up with a huge block when Newcastle's best opportunity fell in the box to Demba Ba late in first half. If only the ball had fallen to the Demba Ba who played for Newcastle from August through January rather than the significantly paler imitation of the striker who has worn the number ten shirt for the Magpies for the last four months.

o On the other hand, you've goth to hand it to Roberto Mancini. His team was well prepared for their encounter at Newcastle, didn't panic, and played the kind of defense that never allowed Newcastle -- the in-form team in the League -- any clean cut opportunities in front of goal -- virtually the second week in a row that the City defense held their opponents to nothing. And all this occurred at the home of a side which could have moved into a Champions League spot had they won, a team which featured Papiss Cisse, Hatem Ben Arfa, and Yohan Cabaye, and a side which had only lost only one time in their last eight matches - no easy feat that.

o And who more fitting to take the winning opportunity than Player of the Week Ya Ya Toure. The heart and soul of the City engine room, the big man pushed on for City all season long, popping up time and again at key moments for the Sky Blues and seemingly singlehandedly willing them to victory on more than one occasion. All arms and legs akimbo when he runs, the game changed when Toure moved further forward for City after the hour mark. It's likely no coincidence that Toure is also one of the few battle tested men on the City squad -- having previously won a La Liga title at Barcelona.

o Liam Rodgewell scored the goal of the week, slotting in perfectly to wrong-foot the 'keeper.  Unfortunately for Ridgewell, the 'keeper in question was his own, the original red-headed stepchild, Adam Bogdan.  The resulting goal could just be the one that seals the Trotters' fate and sends them back down to the Championship.

o Djibril Cisse may not be as prolific as his better known namesake, but this Sunday he scored a late late goal -- something his compatriot failed to do -- that may lift his team up and out of the Relegation Zone. QPR will still be fighting for their lives next week, but if Bolton fails to gain a vistory, the red-card specialist may have just done enough to guarantee QPR's top flight status for one more season.

o Everton score two in the final ten minutes at Old Trafford and can't put even a single goal past Wolves at The Molineux?  It's a funny old game....

o Spurs drawing at Villa Park of all places, with third place there for the asking?  They don't deserve Champions League football. For allowing Villa to stay up, if nothing else.

This is farlieonfootie for May 9.

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