Things to keep you busy while I lie in bed

Just a quick one to let you know I’m a little bit sick at the moment, which is stopping me from concentrating properly and therefore writing anything useful.

I am hoping to have a preview of the Manchester City game up before Saturday but in the meantime if you’re bored then check out Arseblog for the latest news, vote for me in the EPL Talk awards or check out my new web project Football Nomad.

Cheers and hopefully write to you soon.




  1. Get well Andy… I’m sure we can survive a couple of days without your gospel 😉

    Am really hoping to read some of your thoughts before the City game at least!!

  2. pity, I would have loved some thoughts and comments on Munich – Lyon
    and I just wanted to write : ‘ it’s quiet in here, start the discussion with a new article’ …….. 😉

    I read a brilliant article on inter – barcelona, but as I searched it againg to translate it into English I couldn’t find it anymore, very pity, ’cause it was really brilliant written in terms of tactis analysis and more, I was really impressed . . away (futsch) 🙁

  3. Andy, get well soon. I have read a lot comments and the emotions expressed can actually be felt from the wordings. I have refrained from commenting because it is so painful that people like me will have to travel thousand of miles yearly to watch one or two Arsenal matches and pay exhorbitant cost to maintain satelite connection (I ive in Nigeria, Africa) simply to watch a team that you seldom wonder whether it is in tune with reality. The lapses that were mentioned on this blog as far back as November last year (CF, CB, DM & Gkeeper) are the things that actually came back to haunt us and deny us this much covetted title. While I know Wenger means well, we should start playing football with purpose, winning, for development of talent. I hope we watched Jose on Tuesday; a less talented team, slower but with maturity discpline, sense of purpose and a coach with tactics won. Maybe playing “sexy” football is not sufficient. A lot of my freinds in England are not buying season tickets this year. Enough is enough

  4. I found it again, though there seem to be few readers in this forum I post it nevertheless:

    source: focus in German:

    my translation:

    Mourinho put the kibosh on Barça

    Inter Milan beat the wonderous FC Barcelona surprisinly 3:1. The victory wears the script of José Mourinho, the arrogant genius on the coach bench.

    By FOCUS – Online – Author Alexis Mirbach

    Of course nothing is decided: the FC Barcelona remain at least 90 minutes yet on the upcoming wednesday to deny the menacing Out. Though the title defender struggles after the 1:3 defeat against Inter Milan yet heavily. The challenger of Italian has set the Catalans three bitter strikes by Wesley Sneijder, Maicon and Diego Milito out of a nearly perfect backing. Thereby Barça had even took the lead by Pedro. But thanks to the accurate defensive tactic of coach José Mourinho Inter turned aoround the match – and stroked the champion at least one time to the floor.

    Barcelona sent Mourinho away

    For the time by time arrogant Inter-Coach it was a special win: the FC-Barcelona are his favourite opponent. Mourinho never reached glory as a footballer by himself, but the son of a football coach wanted with all forces to the sidelines. At the FC Barcelona he went as an interpreter into traineeship and finally became an assistant of the big Bobby Robson. Yet the chef position hadn’t been put past the upstarter at the world club.

    Mourinho took revenge his way: With the FC Porto he won the Champions League, with the pompous FC Chelsea followed legendary duels against Ronaldinho’s Barcelona. Mourinho only bristled thereby with winning willness, he jeered and provoked the Catalans so much,
    that he was receaved at the Camp Nou with furious concerts of whistles. Victories over Barcelona, the still best team of the world, are a personal satisfaction for Mourinho. In particular, if they wear the finest script of ‘Mou’ as they did on Tuesday night. The masterly strategy of Mourinho.

  5. Barça plays, Mourinho lurks

    José Mourinho has probably copied a part of his success strategy of another master of the European football: Arsène Wenger, the coach of Barças quarterfinal opponent Arsenal London. Inter Mailand chose the same strategy as Wenger’s eleven in the second leg. Two weeks ago Arsenal had disrupted Barcelona’s build-up of the game extremly early and had taken the lead 1:0 after 20 minutes. Inter too applied the offensive pressing – but held it on until the end.

    Keep the ball, keep the ball, keep the ball

    The philosophy of Barça-coach Pep Guardiola is simple. As long as the own eleven has the ball, the opponent can’t score a goal. The art of Guardiola’s team is, that eleven technical brilliant players are applying the introduction light-feeted. Barças game is a great pleasure for the neutral spectator. But for the opponent it is getting burning dangerous, as soon as the agile offensive forces take part in the ball circulation. So the best antidote is, keep Barcelona away from your own goal as far as possible.

    Mourinho’s eleven succeeded in this at the beginning stages primely. Barcelona passed the ball to each other as usual in tacts of seconds. But a bar of three in midfield blocked consistently the forward move. Instead the offensive Inter-players Pandev, Eto´o and Milito pushed vehemently onto the defenders. Such a permanent charge can’t be beared by no back player of the world. The consequence were unusual passing mistakes of the Catalan back-team.
    Lúcio fails, Barcelona lead

    Of course Mourinho took a great risk with the open backing too. If Barça breaks through the two bars, wide spaces are resulting. So happened with the 0:1 – because of an unplanable individual error: Inter’s Lúcio stumbled across the ball, the quick Barça-player Maxwell pulled through his left flank. The accurate backpass was slided in by Pedro for the 1:0 for Barcelona. But in contrast to Arsenal London Mourinho’s Inter Mailand could stick to the offensive pressing, because they paid a particular attention to a special part of the field.

  6. Messi’s zone is blocked

    It has come around by now to the last angle of the world that Barcelona’s number 10 Lionel Messi is an exceptional football player. This had been felt by the FC Arsenal, which allowed Messi even four goals. His first and most important goal Messi scored in the quarter-final of his favorite position: the little Argentinian likes to pull into the middle from the right side, about two, three metres in front of the box he lets follow the effective left-shots.

    Messi evades backwards

    Like at a game of chess Inter is occupying Messi’s beloved zone with three key figures. At left back defends Zanetti. Not a single time Messi came past his experienced compatriot. This was due to the fact, that the Milan Motta and Cambiasso too interrupted the magical flea always waryly at the first touch immediately. Messi gave way more and more backwards or changed to the right side. He was taken out of the match on the whole.

    The 2:1 was a prime example of the consistent zone backing. Messi got stuck in the space blocked with three men, in the prompt counter attack the Milan Maicon scored the strike. As it is the manner of Mourinho’s squads. Once the ball is captured, the counters as quick as a flash are following. His teams are waiting traditionally, stay in look-out position, until the opponent allows himself a little mistake. Then the Mourinho trap clicks. By means of the high class individual players. The fact that Barça performed his ball relays only rarely in the half of Milan, wasn’t yet only due to the blocking of Messi.

  7. Milan’s pivots against Xavi

    The pulse generator in Barcelona’s game is called Xavi. No doubt the small Catalan out of the house boarding school Masia is as important as Messi. Some people even say, Messi is depending on his pass-giver. Xavi masters the once by Johan Cruyff conceived and by Pep Guardiola pursued passing-game as no second. And hardly anyone knows that better than the former Barça-trainee Mourinho. Even therefore Inter took Xavi under a shared man-marking – by different ‘pivots’.

    Mourinho seperates the pivot

    In handball the pivot sometimes is pulled out from behind at the backing work. Thereby he first of all shall disturb the build-up of the middle backspace-player. This ‘Backspace middle’ is Xavi at Barcelona. From behind he distributes the balls, until he rushes forward all of a sudden into the danger zone. Often Xavi hides at the own middle-line, at the place where in times of modern space-backing no opponent lurks. But Mourinho set the pulse generator even at the middle-line a man on the legs. A kind of pivot, and this one was called most of the time Wesley Sneijder.

    Whilst the pivot fulfills the tempo-counter-attacks right on his own on the smaller handball-fields, his function was allocated at Milan onto two players. The pulled out from behind interceptor sneaked the balls and passed fast as the wind onto the lurking attacker. The striker in waiting position was most of the time Diego Milito. At the 1:1 the Argentinian laid the ball down to the laged Sneijder, the 3:1 he shot himself after a ball-steal in the Barça half.

    Statistics: 520 passes opposite to 160

    Are you reading only the statistics of the game, you can hardly belief in a victory of Inter Milan. Barcelona was to 68 percent in ball posession, the Catalans passed the ball 520 times successfully to each other. Inter practiced this just 160 times. Although the Milan run right ninefold into off-side (Barcelona two times). Thus quite simply, because they took the ball-carriers of Barcelona under pressure already in their own half and then stormed onto the goal of Victor Valdés like a hold-up when gaining the ball.

    José Mourinho has put the kibosh on the relay-kings of Barcelona by offensive pressing and fast attacks. Now it’s up to Barça-Coach Pep Guardiola, how he will reintroduce Xavi and Messi into the match next Wednesday.

  8. Get well soon Andy ……. to again fall sick after the MANC game…………!!! I mean what will happen if that whore scores ……..u will surely feel sick..!!

  9. sorry, but arsenal game is important to me so I don’t find it interesting hearing about the special one.Just wanted to say that game over if fabianski and silvestre plays that’s all.

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