I am an old man and family life is taking a toll on my ageing knees. I told folks previously that the Identity Card or Passport is not the most authentic source of information on a person’s age. That belongs to the knee caps. Like an old tree whose age can be told by counting the rings on the stump, a human’s age can be told by counting the distinct wrinkles that form on the knee caps. Yours truly has quite a number.
So last night when younger and more robust soccer lovers congregated in bars and other places to watch a late match kick off between Villa and Arsenal and the ballon d’or gala, I was already snoring away. I never used to snore before. That also, apparently catches up with you when you begin to age.
When you age, you also learn to set your priorities right. I find it more compelling to take my son to sleep than to watch an Arsenal game. To be honest, I could have watched the ballon d’or but I dozed off on the couch and the people who love me took pity on me and dragged me to bed.
Surprisingly, it is never the same when the Aristocracy plays. On such occasions, I could stay up until very late. A Chelsea game is like a dose of Viagra to my system.
Anyway, I was hoping to wake up to a good story which goes like this: “Cristiano Ronaldo wins the Ballon d’or as Arsenal loses away at Villa Park to slip to third place in the EPL log”. One happened, another did not.
However if anyone thought I would be disappointed, they are very wrong. I am very elated for Cristiano Ronaldo. I love to watch the lad play. He is very athletic and technical. He has deserved it for a long time and while I rate Messi highly, I think to award him at the expense of Ronaldo on some occasions was just as atrocious as the referee’s decision on Check Tiote’s sweet left foot screamer against City on Sunday.
I have not even read about the match though I know Arsenal eked out some 1-2 victory at Villa Park. Aston Villa has some fantastic players and I particularly like the work rate of Agbonlahor and Benteke. On any good day they should stroll past Arsenal but the exertions of the premier league at some moment begin to take a toll on players. That is when a club falls back to the depth in squad, something that Westbrom, Southampton, Aston Villa and others lack sorely. It explains why they have began to fade away after making a strong start to the season.
Soon, Liverpool will begin to fade as well. Everton will follow, then Tottenham and Arsenal in that order.
Honestly, I don’t expect Arsenal to go far. To imagine that Arsenal could win the league is the product of run away fantasy. By the way, when do they meet Bayern Munich in the UCL? It will be a massive distraction and that perhaps will be the beginning of their collapse. Even before then, they must lose some points in the EPL. I don’t expect much resistance from Fulham next weekend but Palace should give them a stern test that should yield a draw, considering that Palace are fighting relegation. We all know about the fight in a relegation threatened team.
However expect Suarez, Sterling and Sturridge to give them a hiding on February 8th. The league title is going to Chelsea. The only other serious challenger is City but it is the managerial prowess that will make all the difference. We all know that Pellegrini is no Mourinho.
Wenger is good but thanks to his legendary miserliness, he lacks the personnel and depth in squad to do the job. They beat Villa and most certainly will beat Fulham and some other teams. That effort will only be good enough to yield their ‘position 4 trophy!’ and secure a Champions league spot.