Anorak News | Feeling Blue

Feeling Blue

by | 3rd, November 2004

‘ANOTHER game in Europe and another chance for Arsenal to throw away their lead and take one point from three.

Sometimes, it felt like the Greeks had 12 men on the pitch

“I don’t know what the problem is,” says the Gunners’ Freddie Ljungberg in the Sun, “it’s difficult to have an explanation.”

The Star, though, has little doubt and says that the reason for the champions’ failure to replicate their domestic form in Europe is down to flaws in their defence.

And last night it was Pascal Cygan’s “cock-up” – an own goal – that left the Gunners reeling.

The Telegraph agrees and says that last night’s 1-1 draw with Panathinaikos of Greece was not helped by the performance of the “perennially hapless” Cygan, who threw his head towards a Greek shot that Jens Lehman in goal had easily covered, so sending it into the back of the Arsenal net.

But not is all bad in what passes for English football, and the Mail was in Russia to see Chelsea’s Arjen Robben fire a “wonder goal” to give Chelsea a 1-0 win over CSKA Moscow.

Chelsea did enjoy some good fortune, chiefly in the Russian’s inability to convert a penalty and transfer a period of intense pressure into a goal.

But the Blues held firm and have moved into the next round of the Champions’ League in style.

Tonight, it’s the chance of Manchester Untied to see if they can get it together and defeat Sparta Prague at Old Trafford.

And the return of Roy Keane can only help their cause – a cause the Irishman believes is floundering.

“Individual talent counts for nothing,” says Keane. “It is what the team does.”

That’s true to a point. And it’s an opinion a little contested by United’s forays into the transfer marker, including the £30m spent on Wayne Rooney.

And those expansive bought-in players include Rio Ferdinand, who, lest you be labouring under any misconceived ideas that he’s an over-paid player with a questionable social life and sense of responsibility, is now deemed as “England’s best-ever defender”.

Well, that’s what Gary Neville says in the Sun. And since Neville is a gymnast in football’s wilderness of mental agility, we can only say that he must be right.

Unless, that is we’re Jack Charlton and are so deeply insulted by the Manchester United and England defender’s latest bout of mouth opening.

“Ferdinand the best ever?” says our Jackie. “Not at all.”

He goes on: “To call him the best totally demeans the efforts of all the great centre backs that have gone before him.”

Only – ho! ho! – we can’t remember their names. We’d ask Rio, but what with his memory being what it is, best not embarrass the lad.

Especially when Neville’s doing such a good job of that already…’

Posted: 3rd, November 2004 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink