Sunday, November 18, 2012

Mind Games

Just a quick p.s to yesterdays football and I couldn't help wondering about the part Bacary Sagna played in the sending-off of Adebayor.  Nothing to do with what happened on the field but rather what happened in the tunnel before the game.

Reminded me of that classic Vieira-Keane-Neville ménage à trois at Highbury in February 2005 when the big Frenchman tried to upset the little Englishman and the Irish rover stepped in and told Vieira that a) if he was half the player he thought he was he would be playing for Real Madrid (that must have hurt as Real had made overtures the previous summer) and that b) if he wanted to pick a fight he should do so with somebody his own size. The result of course was that the Frenchman disappeared for ninety minutes and United won comfortably.

Yesterday in the Emirates tunnel before the game Adebayor was clearly pumped up, he was Gascoigne before the 1991 FA Cup Final, all wide eyed and fist pumping. He was looking for somebody on the Arsenal side to shake hands with, embrace, give a brotherly high five to, but couldn't find anybody. Three times he looked at Sagna, once even crossing from the Tottenham to try and get Sagna's attention, each time the French full back kept his composure and stared straight ahead - Adebayor was losing the mind games and getting wound up tighter and tighter.  

Having scored for Tottenham Adebayors first reaction was to celebrate in front of the home fans, only the intervention of Gareth Bale seemed to prevent his booking, but Bale could do little about the tackle that saw Howard Webb produce a straight red, Bale's reaction appeared to consist mainly of trying to throttle Jack Wilshire - understandable on most occasions but a tad over reactive in this case.

Over at Loftus Road the most expensive relegation certainties ever assembled seem not to have heard their managers plaintive cries before the match and played like the bunch of over paid journeymen they are. Good article on Mark Hughes in the Independent yesterday about how at each club he has managed they have started poorly and improved once the players have become familiar with what is expected of them by Hughes and his group of travelling support staff. Surely though simply explaining to the defence that their job is to keep the ball out and to the attack that their job is to put the ball in should be the basics - or is that  too complicated for players who decided that joining QPR was a better career move than staying at Inter Milan, West Ham, Fulham, Real Madrid, Man Utd and Chelsea (among others) - or was it the huge wads of cash that made the prospect of Championship football after one season in the Premiership so enticing, or am I being to cynical?

Well done to Chris Hughton one of the nice men in football who seems to be turning the fortunes of Norwich City around at last. Early in the season one radio pundit suggested that Mike Ashley was being proved correct in replacing Hughton with Alan Pardew and that the Canaries would be back in the Championship come the end of May. That may well be in the case but this morning the table shows Newcastle and Norwich separated only be goal difference.


8 comments:

Span Ows said...

Yes, a couple of scalps for Norwich in the last few weeks. Poor old Adebayor...or maybe not, the ONLY reason he wasn't liked was because he was a lazy shit.

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