Thierry Henry’s come back at Arsenal proved me wrong in the meantime, the hero King Henry netting the winner over Leeds in the FA Cup 3rd round. Manchester United were not to be outgunned and brought back Paul Scholes. Whether both are wise moves or not, only their fans can tell, but I had not much time to comment on them when they happened. I wished I did not have the time.
Now that both have occurred and one almost forgotten, I will reserve a line for both. Mr Scholes came in for Manchester United and had a direct impact on the match with a Manchester City goal coming from him in the FA Cup. His influence going the other way will be much more welcome on the Red side of the City. Henry, as expected, came off the bench and scored his 227th goal for the club and had more direct and positive influence for Arsenal.
United’s blast of City is chocolate coated with baby cries from City. As holders who had waited ages to land the FA Cup last season, much was expected from the Barclays Premier League leaders. Questions about their ability to produce on the promise shown in leading the pack thus far, are being raised.
The opportunity of the UEFA Champion’s League title also went begging. This will give new reason to United to believe the error prone Citizens are not yet done. City’s biggest worries include the departure of their main men in the Toure brothers to an AFCON meeting that will last about a month, and the behaviour of Chris Foy.
Mr Foy is an ordinary match official in the mould of Howard Webb. I was trying to ignore Tottenham Hotspur for once, but you will remember how ‘robbed’ they were until Harry Redknapp forgot his diplomatic skills and escaped the wroth of the FA, just. Roberto Mancini may have selected his words well when he pointed at Rooney as telling Foy what to do with Vincent Kompany. Many fault Mancini for benching his and England’s number one goalie. Maybe he really should not be complaining.
What worries City fans now is that their summer buy, Samir Nasri is very rusty. The diminutive Frenchman has lost his spark due to lack of game time. The expectation of combining well in midfield with Yaya and Silva was no lethal to say the least. To many, he can not play at City, but simply the bench can make one blunt and then dead.
I am avoiding the next point and I hope I will not be able to type – that United had 80 minutes against 10 City men, led 3-0 at half time, needed a penalty which had to be reconnected to hit the net and actually went on to concede two goals. Sir Alex Ferguson accepted they were sloppy. If you are a neutral, you will realise the trend. My previous post touched on that and I will leave it there.
There was a year I thought Arsenal should have snapped Robinho from City, before the Brazilian went to the Serie A. If they fail to land the rumoured £3m Salomon Kalou, then we will be talking hard in these pages for a while to come. His pay cheque may be an issue with stingy Emirates offices, because I would expect he expects to be paid well, but what the Gunners save on the price tag, they can waste on his wages given he will go bang-bang-bang. Wenger believes in free bangs, unfortunately.