Tag Archives: aston-villa

Friday musing – Arsenal, Sepp Blatter, Adam Goodes & Adam Voges

Chris Barwin HillsWell it was great to see Arsenal salute in last weeks FA Cup final and what a comprehensive result. I don’t think Aston Vila had a shot on target for the entire game, whereas the Gunners put four past their goal keeper and he also made several good saves. This now makes the Gunners the most successful club in FA Cup history and whilethe Cup doesn’t carry the aura that it once had, it is still a significant alexis-sanchez-arsenal-burnley_3223813piece of silverware. The goal from Alexis Sanchez had to be seen to be believed and it certainly caught the Vila goal keeper by surprise. I thought I would not see a better goal for quite sometime, until I saw Lionel Messi’s slalom effort in the Spanish Cup final, unbelievable!

While we are on the World Game, it was no real surprise to see Sepp Blatter re-elected last Friday, but it was a big surprise to see him resign by Tuesday. He clearly has caught wind of further Unknown-1investigations which may involve him and yesterday we hear that Jack Warner from Trinidad & Tobago may be tipping the bucket on him. With 14 arrests already this organisation is clearly toxic and it will take someone of extreme integrity and resolve to sort it all out.

I was not going to weigh in on the Adam Goodes situation, but his behaviour last Friday night probably demands some comment. I have no particular issue with him doing the dance during the indigenous round, but it was clearly directed towards the Carlton supporters in the crowd. I have not booed Adam Goodes and nobody can say with certainty the booing is not racist, but for me it is his on-Adam-Coodesfield demeanour, coupled with his ability to escape suspension for issues that other players get weeks for which I don’t like about him. He is self congratulatory and a bit of a “look at me” character, you notice it at the ground particularly after he kicks a goal, he actually goes looking for his team mates to give him high-tens. He is also not the first and won’t be the last player to get booed consistently and most of the time those players that do get booed are absolute champions, like Wayne Carey and Diesel Williams. I think Goodes is a fantastic player and I don’t think the Hawthorn crowd that booed him would do so for racist reasons given they have at least three indigenous players in their ranks, including Cyril Rioli who is just about their most popular player.

It was great to see a 35 year old debutante make a century on debut over night in the West Indies. I saw Adam Voges playing in a domestic one-dayer about ten years ago and thought I had just seen the next Adam Gilchrist. Well that didn’t quite pan out as I expected,Unknown but he finally got his chance at test level and scored a remarkable century given no one else in the team could get past 39 and that was the number 11. This reminiscent of Mike Hussey and Chris Rogers coming into the team in their 30s and making a strong contribution.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing…..the Ashes, Australian Open, Hewitt, Arsenal…..

Chris Barwin HillsWell the Aussies wrapped up the Ashes in record time and in the end it was great to win and win well, but it was something of an anti-climax given the meek way the English capitulated. Clearly their batting let them down throughout the series and the only ones who could put their hands up would be Stuart Broad and Ben Stokes. Michael Carberry was passable, but he got a lot of starts at the top of the order and only once went on to make a 50. He reminded me a bit of Usman Khwaja, not how he batted, but the fact he continued to get a start and didn’t go on and post a decent score.

One of the quirkiest statistics from the recent series was the batting performance of Nathan Lyon. He batted six times for sixty runs, but was not dismissed in any of those six innings and as a result did not have a series average. I am not sure about the record for the most consecutive number of “not outs” in Test cricket, but it must be right up there.

While the Aussies won the series 5-0, their batting was still brittle at times and the forthcoming series against South Africa will reveal how much progress has been made. It has been widely discussed how well Brad Haddin batted in the series and I think he was the first batsman ever to score greater than fifty in five consecutive first innings of a series. Certainly he was the first to do it in an Ashes series. If Australia need to rely on him and the tail to bale them out in South Africa we will be in for a rude shock. Rogers, Warner, Clarke & Smith all made two centuries in the Ashes series, but to be successful against the Proteas we will need more partnerships. I doubt we can win the series, but it would be good to be competitive.

Moving away from the cricket to the tennis, it was good to see Lleyton Hewitt win a tournament in Australia last weekend. I have never been a particular Hewitt fan, but there is no doubting his competitiveness, his passion for the game and his passion for the Davis Cup. He has battled a lot of injuries over the last five years and most other sportsmen would have given up by now. It is hard to think of too many former Number 1 players who have hung around well after their star has dimmed. Good on him and I hope he does well in the Australian Open.

Bad news about Theo Walcott from last weekend, but one small positive is that at least it happened in January so they can utilise the transfer window if they wish. Better news with Oxlade-Chamberlain fit to resume, Giroud & Ozil likely to play and Ramsay & Gibbs pretty close. It is time to extract revenge on Aston Villa after that poor start to the season.

Have a great weekend.

Friday musing – Cox Plate, Fiorente, Arsenal, Wenger…..

Chris Barwin HillsIt was disappointing to see Atlantic Jewel is out of the Cox Plate as she was the clear favourite and it would have been great to see her win the race. It is now a lot more open with Itsadundeel likely to start the favourite, but having missed a run with a foot abscess, I think he is vulnerable.  I am going to get in before the Gelding and tip (Mark) Fiorente to keep it in the Sportzfan family!

Also disappointing to see the Gunners concede a late goal against Borussia Dortmund and not escape with a draw. Arsenal has had a great run since their opening loss of the Premier League season against Aston Villa. The Champions League group stage has got a bit to play out so all is not lost.

I did finally get a look at Jack Wilshere’s goal scored against Norwich City. What an absolute cracker and an early nominee for the Goal of the Season!!  In the newspaper article they suggested that it was a goal that had Arsene Wenger written all over it and I would agree it is the type of slick football that is the trademark of his teams.  Perhaps a bit more focus on defence will take them further in all competitions though.