Monday, May 1, 2017

Hooligan's Daily: St. Totteringham's Day Cancelled for the first time in 22 years

It's taken 22 years, but Tottenham has finally forced the cancellation of Arsenal's annual St. Totteringham's Day celebration. The Gunners cannot catch their North London rivals in the table, meaning Spurs finish on top of them for the first time since 1995, when Harry Kane and Dele Alli were small children. It's the latest domino to fall in both the Tottenham's ascendency and the downfall of Arsene Wenger and his Arsenal side. 

It may not culminate with a title at White Hart Lane, but it will finish with the Champions League staying away from the Emirates and the Wenger Out crowd goring increasingly vocal. I can only imagine how crazy those guys would be if not for the victory over Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final last weekend. Arsenal's chances at a trophy next month are keeping them at bay, but they can't help but look across town and think it's Wenger's fault for finishing below their rivals, despite the strong team over there,

Mauricio Pochettino has built a Tottenham team that will be competing for many years to come, or at least until their stadium debts force them to sell off their assets like Arsenal was forced to do after the move to the Emirates. Next season, when Spurs leave the old White Hart Lane behind for a season in the spacious confines of Wembley, may be their final chance before growing debts force them to let go of Alli, Kane, Christen Eriksen, Kyle Walker, Danny Rose, and possibly more of the pieces responsible for this run of success. If Tottenham's Champions League failures at Wembley are any indication, this might be the last gasp at a title until several years after the new stadium is complete. Not that I think that small sample against the game's best will keep them from competing for a title next year or anything, but it's something to keep on the back burner when next season arrives.

As for the future of Arsenal, everything is in flux. They don't know if they have a manager for next season. They don't know if their two best players are coming back. They don't even know what kind of talent they can attract to their side without the lure of Champions League football next season. I highly doubt this will be quick fix for the Gunners with or without Wenger at the helm. Ozil and Sanchez may still leave for some Champions League action and he may not have the ability to attract anyone to replace them with the future looking so bleak. If a new manager shows up, Ozil and Sanchez are probably gone and nobody knows what the new guy can offer in terms of transfers, tactics, or player development.

Yesterday's Scores
Premier League
Manchester United 1-1 Swansea City
(Rooney PK 45+3')-(Sigurdsson 79')

Everton 0-3 Chelsea
(Pedro 66', Cahill 79', Willian 86')

Middlesbrough 2-2 Manchester City
(Negredo 38', Chambers 77')-(Aguero PK 69', Jesus 85')

Tottenham 2-0 Arsenal
(Alli 55', Kane PK 58')

FC Augsburg 4-0 Hamburg SV
(Altintop 28', 42', Max 76', Bobadilla 85')

TSG Hoffenheim 1-0 Eintracht Frankfurt
(Hubner 90')

La Liga
Osasuna 2-2 Deportivo La Coruna
(Mondragón 4', Juanfran OG 78')-(Guilherme 18', 70')

Real Betis 1-4 Alaves
(Pardo 12')-(Krsticic 48', Sobrino 54', Santos 58', Katai 90+4')

Eibar 2-0 Leganes
(Kike 62', Enrich 66')

Celta Vigo 0-3 Athletic Bilbao
(Garcia 35', 50', Rico 83')

Serie A
AS Roma 1-3 Lazio
(De Rossi PK 45')-(Diao 12', 85', Basta 50')

Bologna 4-0 Udinese
(Destro 2', 59', Taïder 45'+1', Danilo OG 68')

Cagliari 1-0 US Pescara
(Pedro PK 23')

Crotone 1-1 AC Milan
(Trotta 8')-(Paletta 50')

Empoli 1-3 Sassuolo
(Pucciarelli PK 24')-(Peluso 19', Matri 34', Duncan 57')

Genoa 1-2 Chievo Verona
(Pandev 43')-(Bastien 60', Bursa 70')

Palermo 2-0 Fiorentina
(Diamanti 32', Aleesami 90')

Inter Milan 0-1 Napoli
(Callejon 43')

Ligue 1
Caen 1-5 Olympique Marseille
(Santini 9')-(Thauvin 2', 63', 89', Lopez 5', 27')

Dijon 0-0 Bordeaux

Nice 3-1 Paris-Saint Germain
(Balotelli 26', Pereira 48', Donis 90+2')-(Marquinhos 64')

This defeat really puts a thorn in the side of PSG's hopes at another French title. They are now three points back of leaders Monaco, who have a game in hand, with only three left to play themselves.

Atlanta United 1-3 D.C. United
(Jones 9')-(Parkhurst OG 25', Acosta 36', Le Toux 55')

Liga MX
Toluca 1-2 Querétaro
(Uribe 40')-(Sanvezzo 66', 88')

Puebla 0-1 Necaxa
(Puch 55')

US Pescara and former Ghana international midfielder Sulley Muntari was that target of racial chanting from Cagliari fans during Sunday's 1-0 defeat on the road. In the 89th minute, he alerted the referee to the chanting, who shrugged it off, claiming he heard nothing of the sort. Muntari then left the pitch in protest and was booked for dissent. Pescara played stoppage time with ten men and they failed to find the equalizing goal. He brought attention to the incident after the match, saying that he had to do something. If he stood idly by and let the abuse continue, nothing would change and I wouldn't be writing about this today. It would have passed by the wayside without anyone knowing what happened.

I'm glad Muntari did what he did. It isn't like he was costing the team anything either. Pescara are relegated to Serie B and a single point wasn't going to change their last place standing. The message he sent was stronger than the result of the game at that point and he decided enough was enough. Here's hoping the message sticks and the league can crack down harder on this level of inappropriate fan behavior.

Today's Matches
Premier League
Watford v. Liverpool- 3pm- NBCSN

La Liga
Malaga v. Sevilla- 3pm

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