Nothing to cheer about!

Just for a change, let’s start with my Premiership interest, Liverpool and their piss poor effort against Arsenal in the third round of the FA Cup at Anfield. The game looked like it was destined to end in a scoreless draw as both teams were frustrated by the stalemate and tempers began to boil over. The visiting team dealt with the pressure better with Arsenal’s Tomas Rosicky opening the scoring eight minutes from half time. Then scored another goal just before half time gifted to him by poor Liverpool defending, who had half a dozen men around him, yet still failed to block his shot! Things seemed to pick up for Liverpool in the second half piling on the pressure and finally pulled a goal back when Dirk Kuyt nodded Peter Crouch’s headed shot around the goalkeeper. Liverpool continued to pile on the pressure but failed to make possession count, then out of nothing Arsenal point man Thierry Henry caught Liverpool napping when Jamie Carragher made an uncharacteristic mistake to defeat Jerzy Dudek for the third time, which killed off any Liverpool hopes of forcing a replay. I really can’t feel hard done by as Arsenal were by far the better team on the day, there was one contentious moment early in the first half when a penalty appeal was denied and Xabi Alonso was given a yellow card for diving. I’m not sure it was a penalty, but Gilberto Silva did catch the Liverpool man. But on the flip side Alonso had lost control of the ball and looked like he was already falling when Gilberto Silva caught his leg and the tackle was late. I am not saying it was a penalty, but it certainly wasn’t a yellow card offence as I don’t believe he dived and the TV replays back him up on that! Anyway, the net result is that the holders Liverpool are out of the FA Cup for this year, no arguments from me, well done Arsenal! There were slightly better fortunes for Plymouth Argyle who managed a disappointing 1 – 1 draw away at League Two outfit Peterborough United. It took 74 minutes before Plymouth made the breakthrough; but that even required a penalty kick, even then the Pilgrims needed a second bite at the cherry. Peterborough needed a goal pretty damn sharpish to earn a replay at Home Park and that equaliser came four minutes later with Aaron Mclean’s perfectly timed volley to defeat Luke McCormick. It seems that both Argyle keepers aren’t playing very well at the moment. The Greens really shouldn’t be struggling against teams two leagues below them. But I’ll give Peterborough credit they battled hard and probably deserved to win if I am honest. I always knew that this year would be a building year after the whole Tony Pulis affair, but after the excellent start to the season I was expecting more from the Pilgrims this year. As things stand Argyle will need to pull their socks up or else they could easily find themselves fighting for Championship survival, far too many drawn matches so far this season often against lesser opposition!

In cricket, Michael Vaughan has been reinstated as captain of the English cricket team, which can only be a good thing as I feel that Flintoff really isn’t captain material. Vaughan will take over as captain from the first and only 20/20 match to be played between England and Australia on Tuesday. It would be nice to see England win that match and then go on to win the Triangular series between England, Australia and New Zealand, but I won’t be holding my breath after the Ashes series humiliation! Hopefully England can get Marcus Trescothick back into the fold as soon as possible to give England the best possible fighting chance in the World Cup in March, but again it’s hard to be positive about our chances!

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