Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Via Carrier Pigeon

Columnist Ed's Preferred Messenger Service for Timely Delivery of his Blogs
photo by A Gudevia PhotoRee
Correspondent Ed's new, more timely column finally arrived, via carrier pigeon direct from Italy:


Great to see Spurs beat AC Milan last evening with what is effectively their JV squad, even though the pouring rain really ruined my totally awesome new hairstyle.  Spurs also looked very professional in doing so, meaning they followed their game plan and finished with confidence.  Here’s some thoughts on the match of the evening:

1.        I was surprised to see Kranjcar start on the bench (I bet he was as well).  I expected to see him with Pienaar (hah) playing central, with Palacios and Lennon wide.  But it seems Uncle Harry was playing for a very defensive midfield with Palacios and Sandro.  This makes sense in light of the fact that AC Milan simply doesn’t go wide, but just stays in the center of the field.  It also makes sense because AC Milan isn’t going to dazzle you with creativity in the midfield, but will try to bludgeon it up to Abrahimivic and Robinho.  Why doesn’t AC Milan go wide?  Might I suggest:  (1) No speed wide; (2) Bad Italian coaching.

2.       VDV runs himself ragged at the hour mark of every game he plays in.  That’s all he can really give, a good hour, which is fine.

3.       Lennon’s surge in play has been needed.  All evening he looked as if he was going to do some damage.  What is inexplicable to me is why AC Milan didn’t have their only fast defender, Ignazio Abate, shadow him left to right.  Clearly, Antonini was completely feeble when it came to defending him.

4.       If Bale was opposite of Lennon, I think AC Milan may have been run out of the building.

5.       Crouch continues his run of creating lots of trouble for teams that aren’t familiar with him.  But AC Milan having the bizarrely petulant Gattuso play him (and, at times the shorter still Abate) was such a height mismatch it defies explanation.  Another example of AC’s poor coaching.

6.       Pato made a big difference when he got in the game.  But it was too late.

7.       Assou-Ekotto and Gomez both seem to raise their games in the big matches.  Each has the ability to be great, but greatness only comes when you also do it against West Bromwich Albion also.

8.       Wilson Palacios was a fierce and tough competitor all evening.  He did what Gattusso was trying to do, only he did it well.  I often criticize him, so he deserves some praise considering how he usually plays.

9.       Pienaar is good with the ball, but wow is he slow.  His lack of speed made it difficult for the defenders as they could never go long to him, allowing the defense to bottle them up on the left side.

10.   Everyone thought the tackle by Flamini should have ended in a red, as seen by the frantic reaction of even the AC Milan players after the foul.  I’m not sure why the official handled it otherwise. This was his only miss of the game, but it was a big one.  It’s something that also can and should be handled post-match by UEFA in the style of the NFL.  There’s nothing wrong with a post-game review that ends in a fine or a suspension.  We’ll have to add that to our Rule Changes section.

11.   If I’m an AC fan, I would like to ask Robinho and Ibrahimovic why they didn’t feel like joining the game until the second half.  Nice hustle guys; you can tell you really wanted a win.

12.   The EPL is looking like the best league in the world – at least until Barca takes on Arsenal.  That said, I still think they’re best top to bottom, especially with teams like City able to dump money in the franchise.

13.   I questioned Modric for VDV late in the game, as I think Modric is suspect on defense, but then again, who was left?  Plus, Modric is very good at playing keep away.

14.   Dawson and Gallas played physically and intelligently all game.  Gallas continues to be the best bang-for-the-buck pickup in the EPL, coming to Spurs at the cost of, well, nothing.

15.   Nice to see Robinho return to the same player he was for Manchester City in the game, that is, virtually non-existent.

16.   So who’s going to play defense for Spurs now?  I heard that even our dear leader farlieonfootie has put down his Choco-Pork and started to stretch with the hope that he might get a call.  I know what you’re thinking:  there’s simply not enough hair product, tattoo artists, or mirrors in any one practice facility for both Beckham and farlieonfootie.

This is a second-column-of-the-day special for farlieonfootie for February 16.

No comments:

Post a Comment