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Goal Dust

Robbo Robson | 10:05 UK time, Friday, 27 February 2009

Not exactly a European goalfest, was it? Perhaps you should all have gone down the Riverside for your net-bulging treats (actually I've never liked the term 'net-bulging' - it suggests a weightwatchers night out down the disco to me for some reason - like I should talk).

Any road, the Champions League was going to be dead exciting, wasn't it? Particularly that clash of hard-bitten, ruthless Gods of club management, and slightly pretentious red wine connoisseurs, Mourinho and Fergie.

As it was we ended up with a tie that ITV will tell you is 'intriguingly poised'.

A 0-0 also allowed the entirety of British sports punditry to indulge in a Jose love-in.

All this 'he's a smart operator, he'll be delighted with 0-0, there's everything to play for, it's just what he would've wanted, what a wily fox, etc., etc.'! I'm surprised they didn't add, 'ooooh, he knows how to wear a scarf' and if I'm the first man to ever bear children then I'd be having him at the front of me queue. Mwaaaa!'

0-0 was a feeble result. Man U are definitely favourites.

Ryan Giggs

Were it not for Giggs's tame prod when clean through, it would've been all over.

He's a legend is Ryan but sometimes you'd think he couldn't finish a petit filou. (I once saw Mikael Forssell score a winner and he yelped summat intelligible at us behind the goal and me mate Tony Thompson said 'Good Finnish' - you had to be there really).

Meanwhile Chelsea and Arsenal should have bagged more themselves and Rafa is so good at finding his way round Europe he ought to write the next Rough Guide to the continent. Not that the opposition were up to much.

Will the Real Madrid stand up? An English examination board could have marked Yossi better.

Still good on the Pool, and they weren't forced to bring Gerrard on for a mixture of powerful forays and dodgy tumbles in order to get the result. A fine display.

As for the Rafa contract farrago - um, even I'm bored of the chit-chat now.

All of the big four should be through already though. The opposition created nowt. And a lot of big names fluffed their lines.

Inter's supposedly dynamic duo turned out to be Flatman and Dobbin.

Adriano Is like his countryman Ronaldo minus the talent and the tyres, and Ibrahimovic, lauded by his gaffer as right up there with the Gelled Tumbler in terms of quality, looked for all the world like a stork with a migraine.

He's an abject failure when it comes to the crunch that lad - he's so laissez-faire he makes Dimitar Berbatov look like Lleyton Hewitt.

Meanwhile Juve, Roma and Madrid keep wheeling out the legends that are Raul, Del Piero and Totti. I've never liked the Roman fella, not least cos of his name.

I mean you hardly treat an English midfielder with respect if his name was Eye-Candy would you? And no offence lasses but your average bit of Teesside totty might be able to pull a few more strings in midfield than that bloke these days any road.

Del Piero and Raul are so far past their best and it's only a matter of time before Chelsea step in with an offer of 150k a week contracts for the pair of them.

Arsene Wenger is a little more careful with his spending but even he must be thinking of paying top-dollar if it prevents him from having to play Bendtner.

He's one of them lads they describe as 'not lacking confidence' - which is footyspeak for 'he's cack but he doesn't know it yet'. No one but Niclas talks Bendtner up.

There's no doubt that he has that striker's instinct but with the grating Dane it's: right place, right time, right pig's ear of it.

Then again I reckon a footy fan's take on your average goalscorer is a very personal one.

I always like the stylists, me: Torres, Berbatov, Henry, Alves... (for those of you with an irony bypass, and by God there's so many of you out there I sometimes think this blog is only read in the American Midwest, that was a joke)... but there's always the toe-pokers and scuffers who seem to get a hatful and who right get on my man-boobs.

Francis Jeffers

You know what I mean - them sort of players that are like Francis Jeffers plus a good goal a game ratio.

When you think of the '74 World Cup you had that final where it was Cruyff versus Muller. A master craftsman v a pickpocket, and the stocky German Artful Dodger won out in the end, dammit.

More recently you've had Lineker, and Owen, and blokes like Klose, but my least favourite very successful striker of the last ten years Pippo Inzaghi.

The lad's no doubt dead good at his job but if you added up the sum yardage of his career goals you wouldn't make it to the front door of our house.

I suppose the dislike comes from watching them lazy scrawny pillocks that used to spend school footy matches standing next to the keeper and doing no bloody work - the scroungers!

Not a mark on them by the end of the game and yet we had to carry the little flash Harrys off shoulder-high cos he'd fluffed in a hat-trick (usually the perfect goal-hanger's hat-trick: right shoulder, left knee, backside).

You half-wanted to lob the greedy little sniffer in the nearest bog.

Trouble is these lads are like gold-dust and they don't have to be Van Basten or Messi they just have to make a net bulge (eurrghh, there's that phrase again). And if we can find one at the Boro - an arrogant workshy goal-hanging charmless chance-taking boot-filling success - then I don't care how ugly the finish we'll have him. Trouble is Anelka looks like he's stopping at Chelsea for the foreseeable.

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