Sheffield United crashed out at the hands of Swansea City, 3-0, perhaps the crowning achievement of Neil Warnock’s managerial career (being shutout at home by a club two divisions and 30 places below the Blades). Of course, if Warnock is feeling a tad suicidal/homicidal, he can always look on the bright side. At least he’s not Alan Pardew.
With a finishing touch more clinical than Whitman Mayo, Thierry Henry has just scored for Arsenal, extending their advantage over Liverpool to 3-1 with only a few minutes remaining at Anfield. These same two titans will hook up in midweek in a Worthless Cup quarterfinal, which might otherwise be an intense battle of reserve teams were both clubs not hopelessly out of league contention.
The Independent’s Sam Wallace has some interesting thoughts from the Gunners’ Arsene Wenger, still smarting from last week’s mugging at the hands of Sheffield United.
“I accept we have to be kicked because we have a young team,” he said. “But to get out there and be kicked and punched and then, in the end, you are still expected to say, ‘Sorry we were not strong enough’ – that’s difficult to take. I don’t feel it is right to punch people in the stomach and say afterwards, ‘They are cry-babies.’ Because that it is not the way I see the game. And I feel if that is the way we go, that does not benefit English football. If you go to the World Cup you cannot say you will behave like that because it gets you nowhere. I have to take it and shut up because we lost the game and I am [perceived] as a bad loser. But never when we win 5-0, when we lose 5-0, would you get me to say it [physical intimidation] is right. You cannot say on one hand you want a player to give you pleasure with good football, and then on the other accept he is destroyed and say ‘well done’ to the opponent. That cannot work.”
Wallace wrly replies, “Wenger’s passionate defence of the spirit of the game might not sit easy with those who witnessed Martin Keown’s assault on Ruud van Nistelrooy at full-time at Old Trafford in September 2003.”