Manuel Taunts As Arsene Forgives
Ordinarily the post-match interviews are concerned with physical injuries. Hull City’s attempts to be a Blackburn or Bolton – they succeeded, we normally comfortably win home matches against those two sides – has brought forth some injured feelings instead.
Manuel Almunia showed his caring nature, wanting to play the beautiful game rather than against a bunch of low-rent thugs:
There were two or three players that tried to disturb our game and stay between us and try to stop us playing our best football. It is OK, if they don’t know how to play football it is not our problem.
That is something that we have long been used to when watching Arsenal. Even supposed peers resort to leaving boots in if there is an overriding fear of being beaten. It is unusual for an Arsenal player though to demean those who are technically inferior in quite such an open manner. The usual modus operandi is an oblique reference to the physical aspect of the game, showing just how much Hull got up the squad’s noses on Saturday.
Almunia went on:
When it is not all the team, but one or two players who are very nasty, you react. I did it sometimes in the game with Hunt. This is football. I don’t have anything against him but it is not nice to play against these kinds of players.
Hunt is like a yappy little dog who grows out of the armpits of rich women: always there, annoying the hell out of you and serving no purpose whatsoever. The reaction of the players on the one hand was good for the Premier League to see; Arsenal are not afraid to square up and give as good as they get, if not more.
Typically though, the opposing team squeal like little girls, berating whichever Arsenal player is deemed responsible. Phil Brown unsurprisingly sought to deflect attention from his players, telling us that they are ‘genuine‘ and that in no way would they over-react.
Which makes you wonder if his short-sightedness is a genetic failing or whether there was a mass halucination at The Emirates with Garcia in no way falling to the ground theatrically or overstating the impact of the contact made by Nasri. Nor did Nick Barmby or Hunt inflame the situation by behaving in a manner that would not have been unusual if it were outside a pub or kebab shop on Hull’s main drag.
For his part, Samir Nasri is likely to face disciplinary action from the Football Association. Proving that referees require technological help rather than relying on their assistants, Steve Bennett apparently booked Nasri for his reaction to Hunt and Barmby rather than the stamp. Which begs the question as to why the two Hull players were not red-carded for provocation, Barmby certainly put his hand in at least one player’s face.
The suits are not going to be allowed to forget this unless Chelsea, United or Liverpool lose again this coming weekend, in which case the disciplinary department can go back to their usual comatose state.
The match continues to provide a bizarre level of ill-feeling, provoked by the Hull management on their previous visit to The Emirates. Brown has ensured that his association with Sam Allardyce, initially ignored, is now used as a stick with which to beat him.
Arsene, however, is a bigger man than you or I, willing to forgive and forget. Apparently, he does not agree with the abuse that Phil Brown received at the weekend. Sorry, Arsene, have to disagree there. We bear grudges in the stands and having cast aspertions over all and sundry concerned with Arsenal without truly apologising, Brown gets that which he deserves to my tiny mind.