Woolly jumpers, Garrincha & the Hokey-Cokey

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If Arsenal’s season so far was put into song, it could only be the Hokey Cokey.

According to the nation’s back pages, the Gunners have been in, out, in, out, and lately back in the title race.

Their impressive win against high flying Aston Villa was all down to an outstanding 27 minute substitute appearance from Cesc Fabregas.

At the Emirates on Saturday, the midfielder took the game by the scruff of the neck with two fabulous goals against Villa, then hobbled off again with a hamstring injury.

Gunners fans will be crossing their fingers that the Spaniard makes a speedy recovery or else they’ll be hearing about the league being a pas de deux once again.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane?

At Anfield, Pepe Reina sprinted like a speeding bullet and referee Andre Marriner dodged one, in an incident Rafa Benitez would call game-changing if it was against the Reds.

The Spanish keeper ran the length of the field to remind Marriner that he had booked the wrong Wolves player to make sure Stephen Ward was shown a second yellow.

Although Ward eventually saw red, the way in which Reina begged the ref to change his mind was like his decision to wear a woolly neck-warmer: quite embarrassing.

Liverpool ended up 2-0 winners, surprising Wolves manager Mick McCarthy, who unlike throwing in the towel at Old Trafford, picked a full-strength side.

He must have expected three points.

This prompted thoughts of five changes to improve our game:

1. Corners should travel more than 10 yards, stopping the time-wasting short corner.
2. A free-kick against defenders “shepherding” the ball out for a goal kick; there’s only one player usually trying to play the ball and it isn’t them.
3. Fouls should be judged equally no matter where they are committed on the field; referees should either ref the game as they do when the ball is outside the penalty area, or when the ball is in the penalty area.
4. Stop players from touching the ball when a free-kick or throw-in is given against their team. Also, book the players who stand in front of the ball to stop a quick free-kick from being taken.
5. Oh, and get rid of co-commentators (usually average ex-players) who talk too much and state the obvious, naming no names Mark Bright, Robbie Earle and Dean Sturridge.

Please feel free to add your own...

Reader requests

And so starts hopefully a regular feature.

Last week someone requested this moment of brilliance from Brazil’s Garrincha in the 1958 World Cup against the USSR; I hope I’ve done it justice.

Send in your own favourite football moment and I’ll see what I can do.

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