Giving Up Football for Lent – Flat as a Pancake

How dull are FA Cup weekends when you get knocked out in the 3rd Round?

February has been let down so far. It started so well with plenty of goals in the demolition of Everton, accompanied by the really positive introduction of the new boys. The NLD at Wembley was a huge disappointment – optimistic going into it and resigned to mediocrity afterwards. Ostersunds away turned out to be more straightforward than playing a 3rd Division side in the FA Cup, more like a training game in parts – did it stir the blood? Nope.

Next up we have the Ostersunds return leg at home on Thursday when, presumably, a large chunk of the First team will be rested or riding the pine, just in case of an emergency. Rested so that they’re ultra-fresh for the Caribou Cup Final on Sunday playing the Champions elect.

Man City have the week off after tonight’s FA cup game, so they’ll be even more rested than us. What are your expectations for Sunday? Can we match last season’s performances against City and the chavs at Wembley en route to our 13th success?

At present, March is shaping up to be busy at the start but quiet and tedious for its second half. Man City at home on March 1st (subject to them getting past Wigan first time), Brighton away on the 4th, then followed by two legs of the Europa round of 16 (hopefully), sandwiching Watford at home.

The Leicester game scheduled for the weekend of the 17th and 18th has been postponed because of their FA Cup involvement. Then follows a god-forsaken international break. What a peculiar season it’s been! I’ve oscillated between extreme boredom (sometimes on weekends when we’ve been playing!) and a feeling of pure anxiety at the prospect of finding out the numerous other ways we can find to self-destruct.

In other news, the FA Cup quarters were as predictable as a Spurs player diving to win a penalty. At least Rochdale will get a Wembley pay day. What I’d like to know is how do you practise diving during training? Perhaps use a mannequin with leg outstretched? Or maybe a first aid dummy prostrate on the floor, mimicking a keeper who’s dived, then repeat over and over that crucial timing required to leave a toe initiating contact as you’re already on the way down.

Protective headwear is required at Enfield when practising certain game scenarios.

The FA Cup draw wasn’t fixed but still managed to avoid pairing any of the big boys together. Tedious.

Anyway we should all be looking forward to Sunday’s game, even if the kick off is so late, it’ll clash with Songs of Praise. So, upwards and onwards, the season’s not over yet by any stretch.





21 Responses to Giving Up Football for Lent – Flat as a Pancake

  1. chas says:

    GB’s comment on the end of yesterday’s

    GoonerB says

    Lovely cannon Micky

    Morning all and good post Raddy. I don’t think you see too many traditional wingers at the highest level anymore and think they are more wing forward types or inside forwards.

    It is good if these players can vary their play knowing when to cut in and become a goal threat and when to receive wide to stretch the opposition and create space and opportunities for others. The best ones give you both. Robben was a great example of this for me. I personally would like to see a bit more of this variability in our play.

    We don’t seem to employ forward players that stay wide that often and tend to get our width mainly from FB’s operating like wingers. I do think it makes us a bit predictable and is likely one of our longer standing problems in not being able to vary our play enough.

    I think it is as much a coaching and tactical factor with us, and don’t think we will necessarily improve in this area (if we do need to) by just buying a player. Chances are they will just end up coming inside too much and clogging up the space further. I don’t see Malcolm or Lemar as giving us that option really either, and Lemar in particular looks like he prefers taking up positions some way in from the touchline than traditional wing positions.

    Zaha looks more a natural wide player that can cut in so could be an option, (as long as this natural game isn’t coached out of him with us), but why not try Reiss Nelson out at wide left? Even AMN looked to have ability in that position, but I must admit to still hoping he will become our holding midfield answer.

    Welbeck and Nelson look to be our most natural options to give us width at present but there may be a couple of others that could be knocking on the first team door in the youth ranks as well. I definitely think I would sacrifice 2 of our CM’s to accommodate another player like this, but I definitely think AW will not because he does love the CM players.

  2. Lillywhite Len says:

  3. LB says:

    A summary post, makes me wonder why this has never been a feature before?

    Thanks for the read and this morning’s magazine (Chas’s Mag) was varied, engaging and very enjoyable as well.

    The funniest thing for me about the collection of cat funnies was the fact that you had written that is get’s good at 2.50, meaning that you had watched the whole lot and knew exactly what was going on. They always make me smile in the morning.

  4. jjgsol says:

    It is interesting that it so frequently seems to be the same players who “earn” the penalties.

    The report in this morning’s Times was dripping with sarcasm and cynicism. I did not see the dive, but it it is getting out of control, when players seem justified in going down when they are touched, even if there is not enough momentum for them to go down naturally.

    And, before our blue and white friends point their fingers at Ramsey against Burnley, that was a clear push, with momentum.

  5. chas says:

  6. chas says:

    Apols for shit post – hope it hasn’t done the site any damage.

  7. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Chas. You have stepped up to the plate again with a post so don’t put yourself down. If anything I have very similar mixed feelings as yourself.

    We seem to be in a strange place in the last few years where overall we have underachieved in getting anywhere near challenging for the title, and have lacked any type of consistency. This is mixed with some excellent results and some enjoyable cup wins, and we have another final to look forwards to and the EL to give us hope (+ all our shiny new players).

    I think overall I remain disappointed that we are stuck in a rut in terms of league progress, and unfortunately I don’t feel that AW quite has what it takes anymore in the modern game to oversee a squad of very good players and get it firing on all cylinders consistently. He just seems to have some stubborn quirks and favoured ways of looking at things that don’t allow us to move forwards.

    So here’s to 2 cup wins this year 🙂

  8. GunnerN5 says:

    Chas, your individual work on the site can only be admired and appreciated, you are the very last person that should be apologising.

    Thank you for all of the fun and enjoyment that you provide to us all.

  9. chas says:

    Man City had 83% possession.

  10. chas says:

    Well, that City game on March 1st is on. 😆

  11. Aaron says:

    Most had annointed $h*ty the next end all be all- lost 1st game-check, knocked out of FA cup-check.
    Hmmm, what might be next?
    Sunday, looks might enticing.

  12. Ant says:

    To celebrate a cracking Wigan win

  13. Aaron says:

    Sorry for the typo’s.
    Supposed to be mighty and anointed.
    Came in from doing outdoor chores and thought I would take a peek, and lo and behold, how the media’s darlings have fallen.

  14. LB says:

    Very bad news city lost.

  15. mickydidit89 says:


    Ditto others saying how much they appreciate your work

    Bloody love the sliding dogs 🙂

    Wigan ROLF

    So damn busy at the moment, although I’m glad it comes in the middle of Arsenal’s non-action period.

  16. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Ditto chas’s input.

    I guess we all feel the same about the past few months though the transfer window was very exciting and positive.

    Sliding dogs. Magnificent.

  17. Eddie says:

    were there 2 reds last night? City will take the frustration out on us

  18. Big Raddy says:

    €200m shirt deal signed. No wonder we had a busy January

  19. LB says:

    Guess I am the only one who sees last night’s result as making spuds route to the final just that bit easier.

  20. mickydidit89 says:

    200m shirt deal eh?

    For that money I think we can expect frills down the front

  21. chas says:

    New Post

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