Thursday, January 6, 2011

Arsenal Celebrate The Holidays In Style, Mets Still On Holiday

Theo and Cesc restore order in London
(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

 The "Festive Holiday Period" as the pundits call it in England, is a crazy time for fans of English football.  Arsenal had four games in a space of ten days and while not picking up maximum points, they did make a case for their title credentials.

Normal order was restored in London as Arsenal finally kicked Chelski's overpaid blowhards all over the pitch.  The final 3-1 score in front of the home crowd was highlighted by Arsenal's mastery of the midfield.

Arsenal's main shortcoming, central defense, was the reason they drew with Wigan 2-2 when they should have won.  Sebastien Squillaci was the
hero for Wigan with a boneheaded own goal.

Away to Birmingham, Arsenal ran rampant.  The 3-0 final score could have easily been doubled.

Wrapping up the holiday period, Arsenal dominated title pretenders Man. City at The Emirates and won the contest in every way but with goals.  While a 0-0 draw was a disappointment based on Arsenal's great play, it was clear that City came to "park the bus" and pretty much played an 11 man defense.  Carlos Tevez had about three touches on the ball in the entire game.  City were an embarrasment and Arsenal showed class that will win them future fixtures.

I still refuse to say that Manchester United are going to win the league.  Yes, they haven't  lost yet, but they still look unconvincing.  Every win seems to come in the last minute (Fergie time as it's known - the extra time it takes for Man. U. to score), the opposing team doesn't get a penalty when a Man. U. player clearly handles the ball, or some butt kissing manager fields a crap team and almost wills his team to hand the game to Fergie (sounds like you Allardyce).

The team that really has me chuckling, however, is Chelsea.  They were steamrolling opponents and once they let their assistant manager go, they've been in free fall ever since.  It's like each player has aged ten years in the span of six weeks.  For all their arrogance and money, it's been kind of enjoyable to watch their amazing fall from grace.  Drogba, Anelka, Terry and Lampard don't look so smug anymore.

Man. U. do have the upper hand, but in looking at the remaining games for the top 5, Arsenal have already played the tougher schedule and could benefit from this.  Let's hope.

As for the Mets...Spring Training is about one month away and with all of baseball pretty much awarding the championship to Philly before the season starts, the Mets head in to the season with no expectations.  They've shown they can't live up to pressure when it's expected, let's hope they can do the opposite now.

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