Weekend Preview: Curing the Adebayhangover & Arsenal Flirt with Lady Luck

I don't know about the rest of you, but frankly I'm pretty damn sick of hearing about and from Emmanuel Adebayor. I just went over my last two posts, and they are almost entirely about the same scumbag. That being said, what do we open with this time but the same lanky Togolese dirtbag.

The FA handed down a three-match ban to the man we all love to hate but would love even more to push into the path of an oncoming train, and the ban was accepted by him and his classless club, for his stomp of Robin van Persie. Apparently, if Adebay'dliketokillyouyoufucker had continued with his appeal, the ban would have been even greater. The news is worse for City fans, as their club will be missing their big signing for their most important match, the Manchester Derby against United. What I would like to point out to City fans is that this is your first taste of the selfishness of Adebayor, but it won't be the last. He had his own agenda last weekend and followed through regardless of the consequences. Enjoy, you're beginning to reap what your Arab patrons' money has sown. The FA will also be reviewing his goal celebration, which incited the Arsenal fans and resulted in a number of underpaid stewards being injured. I doubt we'll see another match tacked on, but I'm still hopeful.

And that's all I have to say about the cunt. I'm Ade'd-out. No more to say about him until we host City on April 24th, although I'm planning to be at the Emirates for that, so the blog may go begging for that post. Or longer if I manage to get my hands on Ade himself and get myself a ticket to the pokey, the hoosegow, the clink, the crowbar hotel. Hopefully before then, we'll see him at least on the receiving end of this.

On to more pleasant subjects, such as Arsenal's midweek Champions League match at Standard Liege. Okay, maybe pleasant isn't the right word. I have rarely watched an Arsenal team play such poor football, and even fewer times have they won such a match. It appeared that once again this Arsenal team had felt that merely showing up would be enough to win. We've seen such performances backfire in misery in displays like those against Fulham, Hull and Stoke last season.

Taking nothing away from Standard Liege, who were Exceptional Liege for about three-quarters of the match, but Arsenal were bad, consistently let down by poor passes and touches on the ball. They looked like Tottenham out there for fucksake. Cesc, Song, Gallas, Clichy, Eduardo and especially Diaby had rather poor games individually, while conversely Bendtner, Rosicky and my man of the match Vermaelen worked hard and played quite well. The Belgians scored twice in the first few minutes, the first coming when Eduardo decided to try a backheel to Fabregas at the edge of the Arsenal box instead of just clearing the ball. It was obviously intercepted, and the raw Arsenal 'keeper Mannone was beaten at his near post. Am I being hard on the Italian? Perhaps, but a more seasoned keeper would have positioned himself better, so ultimately the fault lies with Arsene for not having sufficient cover in goal.

The second was a penalty given when Gallas apparently breathed a bit hard on the Liege striker Jovanovic, who flopped to the ground like a marionette whose strings had been cut. He converted, and Arsenal were down 2-0. Things looked bleaker and bleaker, until on the stroke of halftime Diaby pulled his head out of his ass long enough to find Bendtner in the box, who finished coolly. A fine goal to keep hope alive. I do hope haters of the Dane will give him a little less stick going forward. He's a special player, no matter what color his footwear.

Arsenal nearly bungled another into their own net to begin the second half, but escaped. After that, Standard began to be pushed back and Arsenal started to control the ball, although mistakes were still rampant and they did little in the final third of the pitch. Finally, the Gunners got a break from their recently-cold mistress, Lady Luck. Cesc played a ball into the box, which was basically caught by the offside Song and rolled forward, finally pushed into the net by Tom Vermaelen to equalize.

After that, Arsenal smelled blood and continued to press for a winner, which came shortly after from Eduardo, who nudged in Cesc's corner. There were a few scares at the end, but just as many near misses for Arsenal, and the final was Standard 2-3 Arsenal. I think the result was best summed up by Gilberto Silver of Gunnerblog:

We fell behind due to some defensive sloppiness, our midfield were outfought and often outplayed, and our front three looked as toothless as Robin van Persie could have been if Emmanuel Adebayor’s foot-eye coordination was a little better. And yet we won. Is this how Man United fans feel most weeks?

As promised, due to my own personal laziness and importance placed on drinking and screwing around, we at TMR continue with our commitment to letting others do our work for us. So, here to complete our latest edition of Celebrity Pick 'Em is one of the stars of the hit sitcom, How I Met Your Mother, The Sultan of Saudi O'Labia, Mr. Barney Stinson!

Thanks Ted. What. Up. Tired of your average celebrity picks letting you down? Cheer up, Broseph of Aramathea, because Barney's here to spread some Chicksmas cheer. My foolproof method will pick only winners because that's what I am and it's what I do. But don't ask me, just view this short film detailing my awesomeness in all its glory.

Burnley v Sunderland
Now, I know what you're thinking, "Barney, they named an English team after you and intentionally misspelled." You would be correct. The Barneys host Sunderland, who have been known to poison their opponents before a match, and THAT, my friends, is the ONLY REASON that the Burnley Barneys have ever lost a match. Look it up.
Prediction: Barneys 1-2 Sunderland

Aston Villa v Portsmouth
It's a difficult call to make. On the one hand, Aston Villa sounds like Aston Martin, and if there's one thing apart from a fine suit that makes the ladies melt, it's a fine automobile. On the Bro-ther hand, everyone loves a good mouth. But ports = sailors = diseases. Stick with the car, A-Bro-ham Lincoln.
Prediction: Aston Villa 2-0 Portsmouth

Bolton v Stoke City
Bolton, as we all know, is in Brazil, and Brazilians are amazing soccer [He means football - Ed.] players. Which reminds me of a story... Plus 'Stoked' is such a bad eighties term. Not good-bad, like the DeLorean, or Gordon Gekko in Wall Street, to whom I have a shrine in my home; just bad-bad, like big hair and giant earrings on the ladies. It's a synonym for flaccid.
Prediction: Bolton 1-0 Stoked City

Hull City v Birmingham
This Hull City manager, Mr. Phil Brown, has zero sense of style. Orange skin, the cheap suit. This is a man who obviously has never made love to a woman. And Birmingham, as we know from geography, is in Alabama, a place full of ugly women and racists. AND BARNEY STINSON DOES NOT DRINK WITH RACISTS!!! Or ugly women.
Prediction: Hull City 1-1 Birmingham

West Ham v Liverpool
Liverpool is where the Beatles came from, and until The Barney, no man made women scream in pleasure before meeting him, like they did. They have their own Rock Band game. They were gods among men, like The Barney. Ham sandwiches are nice, but they hardly compare.
Prediction: West Ham 0-2 Liverpool

Man United v Man City
Man United, it brings images of hope [Not me - Ed.] When we work together, we can accomplish just about anything. Plus, Man City just sounds like a city full of men. And that's just icky.
Prediction: United 2-1 City of No Chicks

Wolves v Fulham
Is this over yet? Ted, it's clearly time to suit up, find some ladies of the pole and get some drinks. What, I only said my method was foolproof, I never said I like doing it more than I like having adventures with the ladies, Bro bro bro your boat.
Prediction: Wolves 0-1 Fulham

Everton v Blackurn
Seriously Ted, we need to get you, in a suit, drink in one hand and a girl in the other, it's gonna be LEGEN...
* My name is Brett, Barn--
*Oh forget it man, go suit up, I'll finish the picks and meet you in the bar.
Prediction: Everton 2-1 Blackburn

Chelsea v Tottenham
Chelsea meet a top opponent for the first time this seas---PFFFHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA... hahaha... *sigh*. Couldn't get through that with a straight face. Tottenham, top... hahaha... Tottenham are shit, which means Chelsea will probably need a 93rd minute goal to beat them. Seriously though, there is one area where Tottenham rivals Chelsea, and that is at being a pack of complete and utter cunts.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Tottenham

Finally, Arsenal host Wigan, and praise jeebus for that. I can't deal with more trips to Manchester and bloody Belgium. No, a home match against Wigan is just what we need to shake off two controversial defeats in Manchester and an ugly-ass win over Standard. Arsenal now begin a stretch in the league where we face, in order: Wigan, Fulham, Blackburn, Birmingham, West Ham, Tottenham and Wolves. If life were xbox, we'd simulate these matches and be done with them. Except Spurs and perhaps Birmingham. The good news for the Gunners (apart from playing Wigan at home) is that Robin van Persie is likely to be back. In not so good news, Denilson remains sidelined with a back complaint and Almunia with some kind of chest infection, possibly alien in origin. Vito "Ayyyyyyy Vito!" Mannone will step in between the sticks again, hoping for a better defensive effort than the back 4 gave him last time. Arshavin will likely not return yet however, so others will need to step up.

Prediction: Arsenal 3-1 Wigan

That's all I've got, and my head is pounding from this Adebayhangover. I think I'm going to drown in in spirits tonight and in Arsenal tomorrow. Until next time, you stay classy, Gooner nation.

- B, a Gooner.