A bit of perspective perhaps..Eboue, sorry mate you got mugged.on April 18, 2011 at 8:20 am
We played Liverpool, a team who annihilated Citeh earlier in the week and were in full pomp yesterday.
We made them look mediocre, we controlled the game and but for fortune itself and some last gasp defending it was 0:0 at 90 mins. We harried, created, expended all energies to score and it just wasn’t happening (perhaps a return to 4-4-2>4-2-4 might have borne more fruit)…and then we got a bit of fortune in the award of a certain penalty on Cesc by the impressive, hard-working Spearing.
RvP dusted himself off and struck his penalty well, sending Reina the wrong way and getting himself booked for taking his shirt off during the celebration. At 98 mins on the clock surely its time for the whistle?
Incidentally, for someone who allegedly went bananas over a silly, needless yellow (pot calling kettle Mr Van Persie) if you are suspended for an important game because of that celebration due to a culmination of 5 bookings I will be extremely annoyed.
So back to it, it was a case of keeping Liverpool at bay, cool heads needed to prevail. Song, who wasn’t really in the zone kept hacking and barging into Pool players outside of our area and the ref gave a foul on Lucas, legitimately so although again Lucas made it look more than it was.
A poor free-kick ballooned off the wall, up and towards the corner flag, Lucas went for it and sensing Eboue right behind him stopped his run to allow Eboue to clatter into him. I don’t blame Lucas for it, who wouldn’t try it on in the 110’th minute to get a last gasp penalty, especially when the ref had already given one and we know they love to even it up.
It was an easy decision for the ref following poor positional play by Eboue. Eboue had had a great game and showed a lot going forwards, I have been really impressed with his return to the side and his willingness to drive forwards and attack. His naievety however in this instance frustrated me considerably.
When you are chasing down a ball going towards the corner flag you do not want to be behind or goal-side. You need to be herding him towards the by-line so if he turns on you you have the space to tackle and clear it for a corner. If you are goal-side its easy for the player to play it back to a team-mate and if you are directly behind if the player turns into you its a soft penalty but they get given every week.
I feel sorry for Eboue and I can imagine Alan Davies on the podcast right now screaming about it, but it’s poor play at crucial times in games thats cost us this season and I’m concerned it will continue to do so. That said, for the entirety of the game, Eboue was a threat to the opposition, he created and put pressure on the Pool and he can be pleased with his overall performance, but he got mugged.
Mathematically its not impossible, nor implausible, but we need to be winning games. Lets start that against the Spuds or we might as well all go on our summer hols…