Former Tottenham Hotspur striker Garth Crooks made a legitimate analysis on BBC Sport’s post-match analysis of the fiery London derby between Chelsea and Arsenal on Saturday, which the Blues won 2-0 courtesy of a Kurt Zouma header and a deflected Eden Hazard goal early and late in the second half respectively.
Before the goals however, it would not have been much of a surprise if the match had gone on to finish goalless, or to have seen either side steal a win with a fortuitous goal. Arsenal were hardly at their fluid best at Stamford Bridge but nonetheless were holding their own against a Chelsea side that can probably be seen as on a resurgence having secured back-to-back wins for the first time this season, scoring six and conceding none to boot.
In another realm of reality, Zouma scoring his first Premier League goal against a rival could have been the major talking point. Another realm of reality could have chosen to ponder on whether Hazard’s so far form is on the mend having scored, albeit off Arsenal defender Calum Chambers.
Perhaps we could have been going on about how Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger managed a (rather frosty) handshake before kick-off but ‘forgot’ or were too occupied to share another at full time, with Wenger walking right down the tunnel while Mourinho, understandably, shared a warm hug with a man he still trusts completely, John Terry.
As we would have it though, in whatever realm of reality you choose to exist, the major talking point had to do with two Brazilian born players, each on either side who threw up what perhaps has been missing in a lot of so-called derby matches in the English top flight; tempers!
That happened just before halftime and imagine after such altercation, both players remained on the field for the rest of the encounter, all riled up and just itching for the other to as much as glance along their path for a proper brawl to break out and perhaps for more slaps to be served two or three involved faces.
Arsenal fans and many neutrals can go on all week about how
insert your feelings about the striker’s behaviour here disgusting, despicable, unacceptable, unsporting, irritating and appalling Costa’s part in getting Gabriel sent off was but what is a derby if neither side has at least one player being a tick in the skins of his opposition all game?
Didier Drogba held a psychological card on Philippe Senderos and Arsenal for a long time, same hold Costa seems to be having on a lot of opponents in the Premier League having previously been involved in confrontations, but somehow not getting sent off in his ‘two’ seasons so far in the Premier League.
Which is why I agreed 100% with Spurs fan Crooks, ironically riled about an injustice to an Arsenal player when he said, “We all want to see 11 against 11. It’s a great game” and indeed it was, until referee Mike Dean felt it appropriate to send off one party in the altercation and leave the other on the field with just a yellow card for his troubles. Would not have been the 11 on 11 one wanted, but 10 on 10 was not a bad option at all. Alas.
Dean’s only fault as it turns out, was not showing that red card to Costa as well when he showed it to Gabriel for if he had, we probably would be scrambling for the best resolution footage of a classic tunnel bust-up between both players and possibly their teammates off the field and bench… along with the coaching staff… and both managers, tantalisingly.
However, showing just one red card brought an imbalance to what was – to that point – a contest of two sides looking to bounce back for different reasons. Instead, we were left to consume a largely one-sided second half (inevitably) which saw Santi Cazorla get himself sent off to add a feeling of injustice for Arsenal fans and a need for justification for Chelsea fans.
Good old days, one would have had a good time or held a proper grudge (depending on what side of reality you existed) at Martin Keown for (in)famously rubbing Ruud van Nistelrooy’s penalty miss in the final minute of that match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford in 2003.
After the incident (between Costa and Gabriel that is), Keown tweeted he would have loved to play against the Chelsea striker. That tweet reeked of an emotion missing in current Arsenal players and a whole lot at others club who have to be ‘appropriate’ or risk being farcically charged by the trigger happy FA for the comment deemed ever so slightly inappropriate.
The Arsenal manager and others of his kind should not always expect the opponent to play nice and allow the other team be the better team. That is not how the football gods (not Messi and Ronaldo but their mythical ancestors) ordained the procession to go, otherwise they would be a bunch of bored lawmakers who doze off during once-a-quarter sessions.
But all of that is for another feast of sporting battles.
Admittedly not every Mike Dean can be Pierluigi Collina great, not even Collina’s compatriot Nicola Rizzoli who saw PSV Eindhoven’s Héctor Morono get his Ryan Shawcross on and do a Ramsey on poor Luke Shaw during a UEFA Champions League encounter, which Manchester United eventually lost 2-1 with Morono scoring one of those goals for PSV.
Excuse me while I do a Crooks complimenting Dean before slating him, Rizzoli is a top official otherwise he would not have been named Serie A Referee of the Year in 2011, 2012 and 2013 nor would he have been chosen to officiate the final of the 2010 UEFA Europa League, the 2013 UEFA Champions League final and the 2014 FIFA World Cup final.
But in the Champions League group stage match in Eindhoven, Rizzoli covered himself in all the aforementioned adjectives for Diego Costa when he (for the benefit of doubt) forgot to book Morono for his rash challenge on Shaw. Had he done so, and given the player the red card he deserved, would PSV have won?
So, one must disagree with Crooks when he implied that referees should not try to be in the spotlight. In fact, they should have the spotlight right on them as much as the one beaming on Costa’s [insert adjectives] behaviour in order to make the referees realise how much their decisions actually impact on results.
A lot of Black people in the United States can’t trust their lives in the hands of a police officer, hundreds have died in the Nepal earthquake, the Middle East remains embroiled in unrest, the Nigerian army (coincidentally) rescued about 500 women from the Sambisa Forest in a week…
… shit, the Queen of the United Kingdom was blessed with a fifth great grandchild but no, Romeo’s great concern was his facebook love making the simple request of having her first date with him at an eatery.
Could it be that Romeo was insulted by Juliet’s choice of eatery? No. Romeo had been searching for an ‘ambassador’ for a time ‘he is not around’ and Juliet making such a request fell well short of ambassadorial standards.
Was Juliet being a material girl by making such a request? According to Romeo, the yes to that can’t be more blatant but like the (in)famous 4-4 draw between Arsenal and Newcastle United, there are two sides to a story.
Before concluding Juliet is a Madonna, maybe Romeo should have considered ‘she wants us to meet on neutral ground first rather than somewhere (my abode) where I have home advantage and could have her fall in the ‘trap’ of sex on the first date’.
It could also be that Juliet had never been to said eatery and simply considered it romantic if she met you, her prince charming before the wolf emerged from sheep wool, in there.
And, admittedly, it could also just be that Juliet was just being ‘a material’ rather than a ‘wife material (1,000 yards)’, and a rachet one too considering how said eatery isn’t top 5 on a list by 9 out of every 10 people who have lived ‘uninterrupted’ in Nigeria for at least seven years.
Who knows, all she would have ordered if supposed date went ahead could be a bottle of water. You should have just gone ahead with the date (in faith) rather than assume she was out for your money.
Assumptions kill, still you went right ahead and posted your personal grievance on social media, perhaps hoping to serve a warning to bachelors out there on the ways of rachet women with zero wife material. All based on an assumption.
The part that got me irked enough to write this post was the Linda Ikeji bit that came afterwards.
You want to sue Linda Ikeji for ‘intruding on your privacy’ by ‘posting your (hormonal) rants on her blog’ after you posted it on a tool of social media, facebook… and you don’t see the irony and hypocrisy of that? No wonder.
Miss Ikeji is no saint like, for instance, Michael, but would Jay-Z sue an established gossip called TMZ for publishing a video supposedly showing his Solange going street on him in an elevator while Beyoncé watched on?
Complain about the scarcity of PMS, the hot weather and erratic power supply. Complain about bride price in Igbo land. Complain about ”boring Chelsea” if you must. But when you post your dirty personal business on a public profile… don’t whine, just take it!
In unrelated thoughts, Mr. Biggs slice bread is not bad. Cactus is a cool place. Pizza is between N1,800 and N4,000. Underground has branched from bakery to mini-eatery. NYSC allowance for the month of April hasn’t been paid as at the moment this was posted and it would be thrilling if Paul Pogba joined PSG.
Firstly, Professor Attahiru Jega and INEC deserve your ‘general’ commendation for their conduct through this delicate period of Nigeria’s political history.
Despite many instances in which the process of electing you into office could have been perilously scuppered, Jega and his officials personified expensive composure to quell such.
Especially, had Jega reacted any manner lower than the esteemed standard he did when confronted by Godsday Orubebe during the announcement of collated results from each State, who knows if your party and the opposition would be contacting your lawyers and bracing for court days and more smear campaigns.
Instead, it’s congratulatory messages you and yours are getting at the moment, as you prepare for that time at the end of May when the -elect suffix would drop and you become President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Before then, did you notice how the phrase in the penultimate paragraph read ‘… your party and the opposition’? Just on the flip side of the week, you and the party you represent were the opposition. Turns out, c’est la vie.
Now that you have the people’s mandate to be resident at Aso Rock along with your lovely wife and lovelier daughter Zahra (oh, you have other children?), let the good work begin.
No miracles, though one or two would be much appreciated. All man would love to see happen is concrete signs of progression and a government that actually can be ‘bothered about it’; whatever it could be.
‘It’ includes a closure to the Chibok girls’ issue. Can you bring them back? Perhaps, perhaps not. Are they dead and gone? Or alas, have they been turned by their captives? Whatever it is, a closure on the matter is necessary.
Next, man would so much appreciate if you don’t allow he who is also known as Jagaban to have any negative influence over your decision making. Otherwise, you’ll start putting up toll gates at every available State border in the country for the sake of ‘projects’.
The projects that man would rather see materialise include refining of our crude oil and more crucially, selling most of the refined products here.
Power supply is another project you could work upon and the logic is simple; the halo effect from regular power supply would directly result in the sanity of product prices since fuel – refined locally – won’t be smoked off by industrial generators at our Cadburys, Lafarges and Dangotes.
Aliko Dangote, every pseudo-orphan’s long lost father, grandfather, oldest brother, mentor and what not, and supposedly one of the financiers of Goodluck Jonathan’s campaign. What now for Africa’s (official) richest person?
Honestly, couldn’t be bothered what happens with cousin Aliko now, what is more pertinent is providing widespread opportunities for the youth to take up various forms of entrepreneurship and help boost the economy from the oil-dependent brat it is at the moment.
Bringing us to the likes of Diezani Allison-Madueke, Femi Fani Kayode, Stella Oduah and more who have questionable clouds over them, loudly grumbling thunderous demands for answers by way of some form of their persecution.
The general expectation is that the General would go locking up the corrupt, like he got the Harvey Dent Act got enacted by the Nigerian constitution.
So many more things really, jobs, security, better telecoms, two Kopiko for N5 rather than one, a dearth of Dokubos and Shekaus, academic competitions having prize money equivalent to or greater than those won on ‘talent’ hunt shows and more.
But, just as Nigerians made their votes count and succeeded in handing an incumbent the quit notice, the onus remains on us all to continue where we began with the elections and make Nigeria the better country we wish it to be.
Try not to litter the roads or gutters with empty wraps and bottles of gala and LaCasera, no matter how horrid the traffic you just endured was.
Finally, and I honestly don’t know why this has been hovering on my mind long time, but sir, you’re not allowed to pass away any time soon, for country’s sake and Zahra too.
Last thing Nigeria can deal with ever again is having another good man suddenly find himself with a nation to lead in the midst of scheming bloodthirsty wolves ready to mislead the unassuming shepherd astray (read: to the ‘slaughterhouse’).
God bless Nigeria and Nigerians. Amen!
And God bless Professor Otu, the Rivers State INEC C. O. who came up and went Alibaba on the nation.
Prosperity knits a man to the world. He thinks he is finding his place in it while really it is finding its place in him.
Imagine the ‘Sermon on the Mount’ pausing for an hour-long interlude of jokes. Imagine Jesus getting off his rocky perch with a flourish and switching on a baritone WWF announcer’s voice to introduce the joker. Imagine words like: “with an earth-shaking, heaven-pounding round of applause, ladies and gentlemen, join me as I welcome to the podium, the award-winning (smattering of applause); rib-cracking (rising applause); tongue-talking (applause echoing through the hills and valleys); comedian-general of Jerusalem (everybody now on their feet clapping enthusiastically).” Imagine that Jesus continues. “He is a man called of God to give life to that proverb that says ‘laughter doeth good like medicine’. He will knock you off the grass with Holy Ghost anointed sucker…
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Beautiful. May Charlie rest in peace, amen!
One sunny Sunday morning seven years ago, shortly after we moved into our new home in suburban Kansas City, I noticed that my neighbor across the street was busy in his driveway. Wearing only a pair of shorts, his barrel chest rippling, he was using a sponge and a garden hose to wash his girlfriend’s purple PT Cruiser. Did I feel a twinge of envy at all that this scene implied—the Saturday night romance; the love-interest perhaps dozing languorously inside as her man basked and flexed? No comment. With a glance at my own battered minivan, with its sticky cup holders and booster seats smelling faintly of baby puke, I went inside.
What made the scene especially memorable was that my neighbor was 102.
When you meet a man who is 102, you don’t expect to know him very long. Yet my friendship with Dr. Charles White—Charlie—wound up lasting seven…
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Punkenstein: ”With the World Cup under 48 hours from kick-off, I’d like to write on something else.”
_num: ”If you had a thousand people listening, you just lost 998 of them.”
Illuminatish: ”When all he does is listen to Eminem!”
Leksyd: ”Are you minding the air-head?”
_num: ”Later you’ll bring your phones to my room to charge right? It’s cool… ”
Leksyd: ” … *cough*… what has brought Eminem to this matter?”
Illuminatish: ”f*****g b***h *a** c***! Changing mouth because of cheap watts? F*****g a** kissing g** b*****d!”
_num: ”Oshey Naomi Watts. Homo-erectus b****u!”
Leksyd: ”Someone can’t even pull your legs in peace. N****t primadonnas!”
OmoAfonja: ”Ibinu yin wa gbona ju Mercury, ahahn!”
PaGe: *censors imagery*
Mikho: ”The Avexers!”
_num: ”The what?”
Illuminatish: ”Ignore the f****t… or not.”
_num: ”I’ll let that slide.”
PaGe: *pauses imagery*
Alcohorlick: *sigh* *smh*
d_oA: ”She hasn’t even posted what she’s going to write about instead though, ogbeni estimator.”
Mikho: ”He too de Beletti, that guy.”
PaGe: ”Why is a scorpion calling a snake poisonous?”
_num: ”Tu es malade Mihko? Qu’est cet tout?!”
Mikho: ”Kindly **** out of here, three of you!”
PaGe: ”Kindly have some painkillers… or not.”
OmoAfonja: ”Ta lo ko ni French?”
Alcohorlick: ”… wrong French at that!”
Punkenstein: ”Must your brain always live up to the homonym of your name?”
PaGe: ”Eternal Rock of Ages!”
OmoAfonja: ”Mercury o!”
d_oA: ”Oh my days… definitely not me!”
Illuminatish: ”Mehn… a rhyming insult… ”
_num: ”Punke, me? It’s cool.”
Mikho: ”It’s always cool.”
OmoAfonja: ”Awon Arctic Monkeys l’omo!”
Alcohorlick: ”Especially now that Breezy’s… nevermind”
Illuminatish: -_____- ”Dunce!”
d_oA: ”Don’t call my bro a dunce, cretin!”
Illuminatish: ”That was for the other dunce, you dunce!”
_num: ”The dumb twin is obviously hurt.”
d_oA: ”Please rest, numb head!”
OmoAfonja: ”Mà da French Montana loun jere.”
PaGe: ”Mikho’s not used the painkillers by the way… ”
_num: ”Someone’s daughter needs a leash!”
Punkenstein: ”Please use the one holding your sense!”
PaGe: *cackles The Wall down*
Leksyd: ♫ This is way too much, I need a moment ♫
Illuminatish: ♫ No one man should get all these in-sults ♫
d_oA: ”My… wow… goodnight abeg!”
Alcohorlick: ”That’s how we won’t know what Punke wants to write about instead?”
Punkenstein: ”Bless you. Bucketlists. I’d like to write about everybody’s bucketlist.”
PaGe: ”So who’s kicking things off?”
Leksyd: ”Well, I’d love to tamba in Tampa.”
Leksyd: ( ‘,’)
Mikho: ”I’m sure we know what tops _num’s list though… ”
d_oA: ”Haha! You like trouble sha… but… ”
Leksyd: ”… it’s cool!”
Mikho: ”… it’s always cool!”
*_num has left the group*
Admin: *sigh* ”You guys ehn! That’s enough for the night.”
d_oA: ”Haha! But, bucketlists… ”