Weekend Roundup: Bring Me the Head of Adebayor!

I have never had so much hate for a person I have never and likely will never meet.

Emmanuel Adebayor has done the impossible. He has made Arsenal supporters everywhere forget all about Ashley Cole. With a number of fell swoops, the Togonian bastard has undone any and all credit he may have had left with the red side of north London. Let me count the ways...

Pre-match, Ade thought it would be a good idea to give an interview, in which he claimed that City's fans are "true fans" and that Arsenal's are not, because they are American and Jamaican. I don't know where to begin... 1) City's fans are English because they've been shit for so long, no one outside of Manchester ever took notice; 2) Now that City have pumped uncounted millions into club signings, City will soon have the same international, and as they're brand new, completely plastic, Chelsea-style fan-base; 3) I've been supporting Arsenal since 1998, long before that lanky twat was plucked by Wenger out of obscurity on the bench at Metz. On behalf of Arsenal supporters, English, American, Jamaican and otherwise, here you go, Ade.

And that was BEFORE the match. My god, I already wanted to see this guy gang beaten. Several incidents, and three in particular, have warranted post-match investigation by the FA. These I'll go over one at a time before going into the match action properly. Early going in the first half, Cesc and Adebayor were challenging for a ball, when he stomped on Cesc's ankle.
Now, I'm a reasonable man. It was early, both players were going for the ball, it may not have been intentional or it may have been. But whether it was or wasn't, it was a rash challenge, it was dangerous, and should have been a booking. Instead, referee Mark Clattenburg had a quick word with Ade, and allowed play to continue. Arsenal were very lucky to escape without a serious injury to El Capitan, because it could very well have happened due to ade's action.

The second act was certainly the ugliest and most classless act I have ever seen on a football pitch, and I've seen Roy Keane play. Robin van Persie made a sliding tackle to knock the ball away from Adebayor's feet, and I'll let the video itself explain the rest, so as not to further bias anyone who has not yet seen it. All respect to Robin for playing on afterward.

Now I have seen that clip perhaps over 50 times as of this writing, and have yet to see any way in which that could be anything but an intentional act meant to injure another player. Whatever may have gone on between those two players while at Arsenal, they are both professionals, and this should never have occurred. This, taken along with the stomp on Cesc and going back to head-butting Niklas Bendtner during a match while they were teammates at Arsenal, points to a pattern of behavior. Ade has never been called on this sort of action before, and, to the complete discredit of referee Mark Clattenburg, he was not disciplined on this occasion. There was no red card, no yellow card, not even a whistle, and for this, I may be expressing a personal bias, but Clattenburg should be censured. He allowed for several dangerous plays during the course of the match, so that by halftime I couldn't tell if Arsenal had mistakenly shown up to a rugby match.

Adebayor should have been sent off for his stamping of RvP, but was not. The outcome might have been different if he had been. One thing is for certain, Adebayor would not have scored, and would not have had the opportunity to run the length of the pitch to celebrate in front of the travelling Arsenal supporters, nearly inciting a riot, which finally earned him a yellow card. A classless act from a classless man. It appears his insecurity is a sufficient enough excuse to attempt to incite the travelling fans (who, unlike some of the home supporters, were always supportive of him in his time at Arsenal) to the point that people could have been seriously hurt.

An aside right here: you can't see it on this video, but some of those fans threw bananas at Adebayor. This is sickening to me as an Arsenal supporter. It was racist and despicable. I am ashamed of those fans, and every one of them ought to be ashamed of themselves.

It appears Ade is facing action from the FA over these actions, but what comes of them remains to be seen. I've said before I'll be shocked if the FA come through with any kind of ban, as they're more than likely to hide behind the "referee's decision" mantra, as is their usual objection to video evidence. I hope I'm wrong.

As for the game action, Man City took the lead midway through the first half, from a header from a seemingly offside Micah Richards that Almunia swatted at, which subsequently clanged off the post, off Almunia's head and in, for an OG. Almunia seems to be quite susceptible to errors of this kind. In this case, my feeling is that he didn't fully stretch for the ball, wary of the post, which affected his attempted save. Without anyone pushing him for playing time (and even if Fabianski were healthy, that's not really the case), we're probably going to see more of this than less.

The rest of the first half showed City playing like a bunch of gorrillas, but Arsenal were still unable to find any rhythm. It wasn't until the second half, after Little Mozart Tom Rosicky was introduced that we saw Arsenal sustain any attacks, and an equalizer. Robin van Persie hit a low shot into the left corner past Given, a brilliant goal with his "chocolate leg," and things were looking up for the Gunners. Shortly after came the Ade stamp, which seemed to take the wind out of the Arsenal sails, followed by Song's booking for a seemingly retaliatory tackle of Adebayor. That Clattenburg reached into his pocket for Song but not Ade speaks volumes about his quality as a referee.

Then the wheels fell off. Clichy and Diaby were both absent from their posts at the back, Song (who otherwise had another very good match) was beaten on the dribble and a pass in to Bellamy saw the Angry Welshman finish cleanly past the overmatched Almunia to give City back the lead. City quickly added 2 more, the first a cross in to Adebayor who headed in well then decided to run 90 yards to do the equivalent of yelling FIRE in a crowded theater, and finally Shawn Phillips (I'm keeping the Wright part) chipping over Almunia to make it 4-1.

Arsenal waited until 3 goals down to play with any sense of urgency, and in the last 10 minutes or so, created about 10-15 chances. Van Persie was unlucky to strike the post on a wonderful curling free kick, Gallas had a fine header saved by Given, and Adebayor cleared one of the line. The most egregious was an obvious handball in the box by Gareth Barry, which was a clear penalty, but no call was made. Rosicky did manage to claw one back with a brilliant goal set up by Cesc, and we're all glad to have him back on the scoresheet.

So, 4-2 the final, a tough loss for the Gunners. But you'll have to indulge my Arsenal bias here for a moment. Adebayor should clearly have been sent off, which would take one goal off the City score, making it 3-2. Additionally, Barry's handball in the box should've been a penalty, and Given or no, RvP finishes those in his sleep. 3-3. Finally, Adebayor cleared what would've been another Arsenal goal off the line. Now my mom always said that life isn't fair. If it were, Arsenal win this one, 4-3.

Well I don't know about you, but I can't wait to stop talking about this match already. So let's take a look at Vinnie Jones' Celebrity Pick 'Em results, shall we?

Blackburn v. Wolves
PREDICTION: Blackburn win, dey's a bunch o' dirty buggas. Oy loike dat.
REALITY: Blackburn 3-1 Wolves. Also reality: both of these teams suck balls.

Liverpool v Burnley
PREDICTION: Scouse c*nts 3-0 Burnley
REALITY: Scouse c*nts 4-0 Burnley
Liverpool find an opponent they can handle in Burnley.

Portsmouth v Bolton
PREDICTION: Portsmouth 1-2 Bolton
REALITY: Portsmouth 2-3 Bolton

Stoke City v Chelsea
PREDICTION: Stoke 0-2 Chelsea
REALITY: Stoke 1-2 Chelsea
Chelsea get another lucky late winner against a team they should be crushing. Can't wait til they play a non-minnow.

Sunderland v Hull City
PREDICTION: Sunderland 2-1 Hull, and maybe some noice broken bones.
REALITY: Sunderland 4-1 Hull... no broken bones, however.
Sunderland are a better team than people think, and you've got to respect the job that Steve Bruce is doing with a team that Roy Keane quit on.

Wigan v West Ham
PREDICTION: Wigan 1-1 West Ham
REALITY: Wigan 1-0 West Ham
Another tough one for the Hammers, who couldn't get much of anything going in this match. My preseason pick for them looks increasingly inaccurate with each passing week.

Tottenham v Man U
PREDICTION: Tottenham 1-1 Man U
REALITY: Tottenham 1-3 Man U
Man U are the first team to knock off spurs this season, but based on the way this one went, they sure won't be the last.

Birmingham v Villa
PREDICTION: Brum 1-2 Villa
REALITY: Brum 0-1 Villa
Villa grind out a result in the Midlands Derby... they're on a bit of a roll now, which has got to make Martin O'Neill happy. Or drink. Whatever, what am I, his mom?

Fulham v Everton
PREDICTION: Fulham 1-1 Everton
REALITY: Fulham 2-1 Everton
Fool-ham pull off a nice win over a decent Everton side, and Phil Neville gets injured. Hooray. Side note: I turned this off at Fulham 0-1 Everton to play a quick game of FIFA, and Fulham had scored twice when I got back. Maybe their own fans should stay home and play FIFA. There might be some connection. I say go with it.

Arsenal open up the Champions League group stages on Wed. against Standard Liege away. The only shame is that they're not playing In Bruges. Arsenal have a nice run of softer opponents coming up and no further trips to Manchester, so we'll hopefully see the Gunners put together a string of wins. It's time for Arsenal to go on a Squishy Bender of wins.

I'm frankly exhausted from this weekend, but I'll have more on Friday. So until then, as always, you stay classy, Gooner Nation. And, Go fuck yourself, Manchester City.

- B, A Gooner.