We wuz robbed

Once again Newcastle came from behind to clinch a point, this time despite playing 10 men against 12. I’m not blaming Manchester City, they didn’t bribe Rob Styles. The guy’s just a useless **** who falls for the AS Roma style of football every time it’s played. You know, fall over and you get a free kick. Or a penalty.

How come 50-odd thousand people in a stadium, plus the TV commentators and every other person watching can see a perfectly good defensive tackle, yet one fuckbag stood 10 yards away seems to miss it? Mind, it’s the third red card he’s dished out this season. One of them he’s already apologised for – the one against Bolton which gave Manchester United a one-goal penalty lead. OK, so they went on to win 2-0, but that first goal will have changed the game.

The same thing happened to us. Down to ten men with 75 minutes of football left, at least we didn’t give up. I will say this for Joe Kinnear. Since he took over I don’t think I’ve seen our lads’ heads go down once.  We’ve come back from deficits so many times recently it’s unreal. A shame we’ve not actually won convincingly…

I expect Styles to go “whoops” again and give us Beye back for the match against the filth at the weekend, but it doesn’t change the fact that the guy’s mad two ******* huge howlers in a short number of matches. Thing is, if he does decide to stick by his decision (and with TV evidence he’d be mad to) there’s nothing the FA can do as – if I’m correct – the referee himself is the only one who can rescind the red card. And if he does admit he’s cocked up, can the FA really allow him to continue refereeing in the top flight without some kind of sight test?

In the meantime it seems they’re looking at censuring Didier Drogba for saying in his autobiography that he wished he’d punched Vidic in the Champions League final. Not that he did and got away with it. But that he wished he had. How many people wouldn’t want to punch Vidic? Or Drogba, come to think of it? Yet again, their standards are all over the place. Roy Keane (now there is a **** and a half) gets away with deliberately (by his own autoboographical admission) breaking someone’s leg. Rob Styles gets away with being ******* ****. But someone says they wish they’d punched somebody and they wake up and start to feel self-important.

Still, to watch Robinho acting like a **** and then only manage a point was rather satisfying. The most expensive player in British football history manages one shot on target in the whole game against a 10-man side. And that was from the penalty spot.

As a humorous addendum, check out the picture at the top. That was Rob Styles’ Wikipedia entry at the end of the first half. I changed it back, though I completely agree with the person who altered it.

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Now it’s Man City’s turn

Manchester City crest

Turning into a bit of a footballing week here on the Moshblog. Sorry about that, but it’s pretty much all over the news right now.

OK, Manchester City. Thankfully now out of the hands of the (alleged) criminal Thaksin Shiniwatra, though he won’t mind as he’s made a packet on it and is being kept on an “honorary chairman”, which means he doesn’t earn anything or do anything, but gets a title and an office so he can feel good about himself. Hmm. A bit like George Dubya, only he’s raking it in for being a corrupt little ****.

The rough worth of the people behind City is approximately 1000 times more than the debt that little ginger **** has put Manchester United into when he bought them out. So that’s one thing to crow over. The Arabian guy in charge has already announced they’re aiming to buy every good player on the face of the planet, win the Premiership this year and the Champion’s League within three years.

Does anyone – and I’m including Manchester City fans here – think this is a good thing for football on the whole? While it’s good to see someone else potentially rising up to trouble the ManUres and Reals of this world, we all saw what happened at Chelsea when Abramovich which his piddly double-digits of billions took over. They won stuff, prices of players went up, transfers were stifled amongst all but the wealthiest of teams… and their football didn’t improve, at least not to the point where it was as enjoyable to watch as Arsenal or ManU. They partially succeeded by stopping other teams buying quality players.

While I’m all for another team becoming competitive, there’s a point where it’s just silly. I was happy when Ashley took over at Newcastle as he came across as someone who cared, had a decent amount of cash and was prepared to open his wallet and let the manager (or, as it turned out, some silly ******* ex-Chelsea dwarf) spend it. His fortune, however, is peanuts compared to the money going into the game now.

Dr Sulaiman Al-Fahim, the new “owner”, has said they’re aim is to win the league this season. And the Champion’s League in three. To do this, he’ll spend his pocket money that normally goes on (Halal, obviously) bubble gum, chocolate and fast sports cars. First up is the insane sum of £135million for Ronaldo. He can afford to pay them sums that would even make John Terry‘s accountant weep.

It’s like a kid playing Championship Manager with an “infinite cash” cheat. Where’s the fun? Where’s the challenge? If you buy every single good player on the planet, how on earth can anyone else compete? Seriously, where’s the fun in knowing that every week you’ll steamroller the other teams?

Then there’s the whole youth squad. Man City have some good players who’ve come up through the ranks, some entering the England squad which we all know is incredibly weak. This investment in foreign players will, I’m sure, come at the cost of giving these youngsters a run out in the first team. So that’s another source of upcoming England talent squashed. Why spend years developing potential when you can just buy ready-made and proven players from other countries?

Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see Manchester City up there knocking ManU off their perch, but I’d honestly say it will be a hollow victory if they do it with £600+billion behind them.

With my hand on my heart I can honestly say I’d not feel overjoyed at winning the league in that fashion if it was Newcastle United that did it. Yes, I would love for my team to take the Premiership trophy, the FA Cup, even the League Cup. Of course I would. But to win it by financial, not footballing means…? Nah.

I want to say that my team is better, not richer.

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OK, so just this once it wasn’t boring

Right up until a few minutes from the end, the Premiership could have gone either way. And I confess, after the first half I was interested. Mainly as it seems ManUre had bought their ref so I wanted Chelsea to win on merit. Ah well.

At the other end I happen to know a Reading supporter (well, someone who goes out with one anyway) so I threw my lot in with them. Which didn’t help once Fulham got their goal, despite a 4-0 win.

Personally, I didn’t care too much about our result. If we did win, I wanted to be sure that Villa didn’t. Silly reason – I’ve always enjoyed my visits to Everton more than to Villa (the bastards even confiscated my camera one time), so I’d rather see Everton get the UEFA spot. Which they did. From what little I’ve read post-match, we were lucky not to walk off with a scoreline similar to that suffered by Man City at the Boro.

I bet all 25 home fans who bothered turning up (a bumper crowd these days) at the Riverside had a good time as Man City attempted to ensure their passage into the UEFA Cup through the Fair Play League. I assume their tactic was to achieve this by failing to put in a single challenge – something the 8-1 scoreline says they must have succeeded in. However, a handful of yellows and even a straight red (the only one in the Premiership today) might not have done them any favours. On the other hand, maybe the players were protesting about the upcoming everyone-knows-it’s-going-to-happen sacking of Eriksson by dodgy chairman Thaksin Shinawatra.

So, at the end of the day and the end of the season, no real surprises. The three teams to go down were all heavily tipped to do so all those months ago. And what odds would you have been given in August on the top four finishing in the order they did? Evens if you were lucky. I’d say the one “shocker” – and no offence intended in this – is Everton keeping up a good level of play and taking the UEFA Cup spot.