Not Your Normal Football Report | 31 August 2013

I don’t have the patience to watch an entire weekend of football, so all of my (alternative) conclusions and opinions are based on whatever they show on Match of the Day.

Crystal Palace v Sunderland

South African midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi celebrated as if he’d scored Palace’s first goal, despite replays showing that Danny Gabbidon got the final touch and Dikgacoi hardly even touched the ball at all.

dikgacoi

I was going to make a joke about South Africa’s famously high crime rate and stealing goals and credit, but then I learned that Dikgacoi’s actual middle name is “Evidence” and the pressure became too much so I left it.

I didn’t watch the game, I only saw the highlights, so I can’t say for sure that it didn’t happen, but I’d be disappointed if the commentator didn’t at some stage say that Crystal Palace’s Jason is Puncheon above his weight

The only thing worse than Dwight Gayle’s penalty was goalkeeper Keiren Westwood’s attempt at saving it. They call that the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia.

Judging by what I saw, Palace were happy to let their captain Mile Jedinak shoot from distance whenever he liked. And so were Sunderland. The only people unhappy about it were the fans in the stands who kept getting hit.

nose

Manchester City v Hull City

This looked like being a game of far-misses as Aluko, Toure and Negredo seemed to shoot at touch rather than goal.

Negredo eventually did get one on target, right in the middle of the target. Hull’s ‘keeper Allan McGregor was clearly taken by surprise because even though the shot couldn’t have been more in the middle of the goal, he managed to miss it.

But after all the ‘striking’ and ‘saving’ comedy Yaya Toure gave us perfection, rolling a free kick into the ‘keeper’s top right corner that even a man on the line couldn’t stop.

toure

Newcastle v Fulham

Papiss Cisse had a strong header on goal blocked in the first half, by his teammate Fabricio Coloccini. The idiot. But to be fair to Coloccini, he was blocking the goalkeeper and a defender as well. You have to think one of them would’ve got something in the way if Coloccini hadn’t been there to do their job for them.

He’s only little, but Ben Arfa would do better than expected at rugby on the evidence of the hand-off he delivered in the first half. Dan Carter would’ve been proud of that, that and the left-footed strike that the French player unleashed right at the end.

Imagine you’re Yohan Cabaye. You want to leave, Arsenal want you to come, how do you convince your manager and teammates that it’s in everyone’s best interests? You come on as a second-half substitute and foul anyone that gets close enough for you to kick a foot at.

Norwich v Southampton

The ref was right not to award Southampton a penalty when Lallana’s shot hit Bradley Johnson’s raised arms. It was clearly a charge-down and not a deliberate knock-down, so “play on” was the right call.

chargedown

Unless the rules aren’t the same in football as they are in rugby, in which case a blind Norwich supporter could’ve seen it was a blatant handball in the box.

Norwich appealed for a penalty of their own in injury time, but it was clearly a dive. By the defender. In front of the Norwich attacker’s feet. It was basically a rugby tackle, but it wasn’t high at all so the ref was right to wave the game on.

He didn’t get off the subs bench this week, but Wesley (Patches O’) Hoolahan is still my favourite name in the Premier League.

West Ham v Stoke

When Jermaine Pennant curled in a brilliant free kick with eight minutes left to secure the win for Stoke, I thought I’d say something about “stealing victory” because Pennant has had troubles with the law in the past.

But it turns out he’s never been in trouble for anything in the theft category, so I ditched that idea. Nevertheless, the Personal Life section on his Wikipedia page is worth a read for pure entertainment and disbelief value. (#PoliceAnkleMonitor)

pennant

Cardiff v Everton

Malky Mackay, Cardiff City’s manager, has a cartoon name, a cartoon accent, and something about him reminds me of Patrick Warburton who does the cartoon voice of cartoon character Joe Swanson in the cartoon show Family Guy.

You had to feel for Leighton Baines this weekend:

  • Elbowed in the face, didn’t get a free kick
  • Fouled in the box, didn’t get a penalty
  • Wanted by Manchester United, didn’t get to go

It’s tough being a really good player who stays out of the spotlight and doesn’t cause any trouble or think too highly of himself and just gets on with his job very, very well.

Arsenal v Spurs

To my eyes, André Villas-Boas and Hugo Lloris look so much alike I’m inclined to ask if anyone has ever seen them in the same place together?

hugoavb

If anyone has, frankly, there must be some dark magic involved because I can’t believe they’re not the same person otherwise.

avbmagic

Liverpool v Manchester United

Is Steven Gerrard one of those guys that people easily forget is actually a piece of sh1t? Or am I the only one that thinks he comes across as egotistical, self-righteous and just a bit of a crap bloke? Maybe I’m wrong, but at least I know El-Hadji Diouf agrees with me.

Daniel Sturridge is in the best form of his life and probably England’s number one striker at the moment, but he still has to bow to Danny Welbeck in the hi-top fade haircut stakes.

hitopfade

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