The draw for the semi final of the FA cup is complete and Arsenal will face off against City at Wembley while Chelsea and Tottenham lock horns in the other semi final.
Chelsea beat 10 man United at the Bridge tonight, it’s now 2 0 to Conte against Mourinho this season and I am definitely looking forward to Chelsea visiting Old Trafford where United have mastered the art of drawing. On the red card I still don’t understand why some pundits and fans are complaining about the validity of the foul and the subsequent second yellow for Herrera. It was clear from the onset that Hazard was the target and the instruction from Jose to his men was to persistently foul him , he was being kicked all over the place, Herrera has himself to blame and not Michael Oliver. Just after the Referee had warned two of his mates to stop the persistent fouling he goes and foul Hazard immediately right in front of the referee. The better team up until the sending off was Chelsea and you could say the best player for United at the time was De Gea pulling off those ridiculous saves. For all of the 90 mins United had just one shot on target and that was the Rashford attempt in the second half with 28% possession you are never going to win a game with those stats unless you are West Brom with Tony Pulis in charge. I got to read the comments from Mourinho’s post-match conference and my conclusion as it has always been; Mourinho the manager has a lot to be admired but Mourinho the man is lacking in character and has very little class, it always has to be about him. He is not lucid enough (borrowing one of Arsene’s favourite words of late) to detach himself from situations and not make it about him, anyways he is United’s problem now. I also hope the Rojo stamp is retrospectively punished just like Mings of Bournemouth was.
So the semi final is set and I am hoping Arsenal find a way to get through a City side finding form because the present Arsenal is an ideal opponent for this City team.
Arsene was ridiculed in some quarters earlier in the season for making Sanchez a striker, most interpreted it as him not wanting to splash the cash especially by that Morgan dude who never ceases to let us know at the slightest opportunity that he has Arsenal shares. This weekend Sanchez more than Justified Arsene’s decision to play him upfront as he has been doing most of the season scoring goals. His all-round performance against West Ham together with the hattrick was a thing to behold, and when you see tweets like this from one of Arsene’s most annoying antagonist, yes that Morgan dude again;
One is grateful he has absolutely nothing to do with footballing decisions at any club let alone Arsenal. To think he ever thought Fellaini was world class???
Whatever it takes to keep Sanchez Arsene do it! The Ox had a good game, if he can get his decision making better he will be one heck of a player. Coquelin continues to impress me in the middle and with Cazorla needing surgery I still believe Wilshere was hasty going to Bournemouth where he has been ordinary. All in all a good weekend for the boys in red, they still remain unbeaten in the Premier League and now lie second behind Chelsea.
Chelsea continue to surmount every obstacle before them, City being the latest one scaled. It’s now 8 straight wins, bagging 24 points in the process which has rocketed them to the top of the table. Conte has got it right and with no European distractions I think they will take some stopping.
Meanwhile the former “special one” has now become the drawing one, the 1-1 one or the fighty one as I call him is still making excuses all over the place with another draw at the weekend, it’s his default position as long as they continue to draw. When they begin to win he will start taking responsibility. It’s Spurs next week at Old Trafford and I am thinking those consecutive draws could be interrupted by a loss with Pochettino coming into town.
My fantasy league has been infused with a bit of Jose magic it seems and I have stalled the last two weeks, the West Bromwich trio in my team worked a treat the other week though.
Congrats to Gareth Southgate on his England appointment and I hope the British media, fans, the FA and everyone concerned gives him time and let him do his job.
Another game weekend and it’s another change at the top of the table with Chelsea replacing Liverpool at the top of the league table, I have a feeling that’s not the last time we are going to see a change at the top. Chelsea seem to be the form team right now, 6 straight wins and no goals conceded and it gladdens me that David Luiz is at the heart of that miserly defence. I get a break from the over exaggerated phrase ” if Terry was there they wouldn’t have conceded that” from the pundits particularly on Skysports. They seem to be averse to anything that breaks the mould of a “typical English defender”.
Chelsea and Spurs face off next week at the Bridge, the form team versus the only remaining undefeated team in the Premier League this season. As an Arsenal fan I am a bit conflicted but would rather a Chelsea win I kinda like Conte, he almost makes the boys in the blue more likeable since the “fighty one” moved up North to Manchester.
Talking of the fighty one it was ironic to hear him talk about respect before the Arsenal game. I am not sure he knows what that is even if it hit him right in the face! I could go on about this but there really is no need, the internet is awash with this irony when it comes to his antics in every league he has been in.
Yaya came back with a bang scoring two goals in City’s win at Crystal Palace, makes Pep look like he got it right with the timing of his re-introduction after the very belated apology, lets hope Yaya has his employee his mouthy agent on a tight leash going forward. Yaya’s value is directly related to his pitch playing time unlike his agent who just needs a phone and contacts.
I don’t know where Pochettino keeps getting them some other Harry scored for Spurs at the weekend on his debut, the guy has a thing for developing youth. It’s Monday night football today and I have three West Brom players in my fantasy league, don’t know what I was thinking! It’s gameweek 13 next week here’s hoping Arsenal get back to winning ways.
Pep drew first blood in an exciting Manchester Derby and I am still bemused by people who continue to doubt his management credentials and ability to win things playing the Pep way in the Premier League. So far it’s 4 in 4 and he has been to Stoke on a rainy day and Old Trafford too without the compliment of his full squad if I may add.
I was surprised to see Pogba playing in the CDM role in the derby a role he struggles with if i go by his performances there at the Euros. Fellaini alongside Pogba in midfield in my opinion negates all the attacking attributes Pogba possesses, he is better in an advanced position where he is not shackled with too much defensive responsibilities. For Pogba to be all he can be he needs to know that he can play how he likes to play and not be berated when he makes errors, herein lies the problem with Jose as his manager.
Jose does well with finished attacking articles and makes the most of defensive talent/potential , but he is not the man to make the most of young promising attacking talents as his go to mantras are defence and discipline. John Terry was 23 going on 24 when Jose took over at Chelsea, Michael Essien was 23 going on 24 when Jose got him from Lyon, these two are just examples of young defensive minded potential that developed to be great at it under Jose. I also remember Varane who everyone raves about now was given his first team opportunity at Real by Jose although Zidane was responsible for his recruitment. Contrast that with Mikel Obi who broke out in the same youth tournament as Messi and was second only to Messi at that tournament. I wonder what would have happened to Mikel if he had opted to stay at United under Fergie instead of going to Chelsea where his attacking instincts were curbed under Jose as a 19 year old. I look at Arjen Robben who did well under Jose but struggled with the defensive work ethic at Chelsea but thrived at Bayern. Then you have Hazard who did well initially then lost his zeal under Jose but looks like a new player under Conte because Kante and Matic are dealing with the defensive side of things.
Paul Pogba has talent although not 89 million pounds worth of it, time will tell if the choice to go back to Old Trafford being managed by Jose in his bid to someday win the ballon d’or is the right one.