Who wins the PP Argy-Bargy Oscars?
Paul EmeryAs the nights blur into days and the medicos now follow Lambie about, a punctual full house at 7.30am seemed an excellent start to the day. However with Rob putting his head on back to front and once again no footballs arriving at the ground, the Gaffer’s carefully thought through tactics may just prove a challenge to implement today. Combating the excellent counter attacking skills of Eva Peron’s Argentina was always going to be a tough nut to crack. But the Gaffer decided to rest himself and give the job of man-marking Messi to Eric S. This seemed to work well from the off, with the Legends bossing the first 10 minutes of play. The compact midfield of Man on the Mic, Ron, Andy and Martin pressured their play makers on a regular basis, and their frustration quickly showed with theatrics or was it geriatrics the theme of the day. Some early penetrating runs between Maurice and Rod, put them immediately on the back foot before nice interplay between Andy and Rob saw the latter’s shot hit the post for a corner. The early pressure meant a few fouls to slow us down and from one of the early free kicks Emery released the Jungle sponsored Gid behind their defence down the left. However, despite a drive at goal the attack was quickly repelled and saw an excellent counter attack play reminding us of their goal scoring potential. One of many lovely moves then from the Cop Shop boys opened the Argentinian defence only for a corner to be the only outcome. After a quick drinks break a dangerous free kick from Angel Di Maria saw the Snowball shadow stick to his task and Emery’s clearing header somehow shocked us all that the ball stayed in play. Rod then executed his own version of a Cruyff turn and quickly got behind their defence resulting in more theatrics to slow him down. Even a free-kick where Steve and Martin headed to each other couldn’t unleash the shot that would open the first goal of the game. At half time the Gaffer once again reminded us that to get gold this was a must win game. So ball player pressure and fast attacks were suggested the way forward to unlock their tight knit defence. However, in the same half time team talk Eric L was once again nearly laid to rest. Perhaps in his eagerness to get on the park, Frank tripped him up and the medicos miraculously appeared just in case. The second half started with Uwe substituting for Snowball and an early cross similarly saw him laying in a prone position. In this case it was all positive with him bravely putting enough pressure on their diving captain who headed just past the post. Emery then went for a lazy run and lost possession to the annoyance of the barking Ronaldo. Once again the tactics of getting men quickly behind the ball saved the day. One or two long shots were struck at Mick, and although the shots were not particularly dangerous one rebounded from his grasp and in grabbing the ball the acting and diving really started. The tireless Ron and Andy show then took the game to the opposition and with Maurice starting to drive at their defence, free-kicks and complaints were a common feature of the game. On one occasion Maurice hit a shot just wide and as he became more dangerous the chain-saw came out and he was struck not just once but twice in quick succession. This resulted in a well overdue yellow card towards the innocent looking Aguero. The resulting free kick by Martin went over the bar, but now the noisy Argentinian bench started to focus their attention on Mo. With him being accused of diving, he challenged each and every one of them to a ‘hand of God’ moment to remember!! In duly substituting him the oncoming Bonga headed to Martin and another close range shot was deflected for a corner. Counter attacks were common at either end, although no clear shots testing the goalkeepers ensued. However, with the Gaffer believing that him entering the affray would not have changed anything, Rod took the initiative and provided us all with a copybook version of “forget the ball moment, let’s just dive in the sand.” Fortunately he quickly got up and redeemed himself by chasing back to rectify the error. With Frank then demonstrating some tough love and determined heading, Ray got quickly into the game. He breathed and another two Argentinians fell to the floor. With time quickly running out and despite a late appeal for a Legends penalty, the final score was 0-0. In summary a tightly fought game that perhaps in hindsight would have been a travesty for either side to pinch a late winner. BMW Men of the Match – Andy and Ron as the creative and defensive powerhouse of our midfield. Muppet Moment – Rod for trying to impersonate the Gaffer.