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Not so Fab-ianski

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Robbo Robson | 11:41 UK time, Thursday, 18 February 2010

There's a book I used to read to me grandson called 'Peepo'. The opening verse goes:

'Here's a little baby
One, two, three,
Stands in his cot
What does he see?'

It makes me think of Arsene Wenger somehow. What does he see? Wednesday night was clearly a bad one for the Prof. You can tell when it's really bad 'cos he sits on the bench cringing like a kid that's too nervous to stick his hand up to ask for permission to go to the bog.

For all his renowned skills at unearthing talent for very little money, Wenger couldn't find a keeper if he fell over one. Almunia's form has dipped alarmingly (possibly since he qualified for England) and Lukasz Fabianski - redubbed by one bloke on my messageboards as 'Flappy Handies' - couldn't have had a worse game, could he?

Without him, Porto would have lost the tie already.
Lukasz FabianskiArsenal keeper Lukasz Fabianski had a night to forget
Firstly, he treated a mis-hit cross with all the conviction of a sweaty man hanging on to a greased pig. The second was the sort of event that even the Chuckle Brothers would've given up as too preposterous.

I think what made it doubly disappointing was the fact that the goal could've been prevented had not Fabianski and Campbell just gone into a big sulk about the decision. It was like Kevin had passed it back to Perry.

Not to be outdone, the Sulkmeister gave the ref an absolute mouthful. Mr Hansson, a man who can't spot two handballs in the space of five seconds, gazed back at him balefully like a cardboard cut-out of Brad Friedel (and even a cardboard cut-out could've seen the stonewall pen for the foul on Rosicky).

Still, Wenger's complaint against the second goal simply doesn't stand up. He claims it was an accidental back pass. Well I'm afraid you'd need a PhD in clinical psychology to look at that incident and work that one out, Arsene.

And the argument that the ref should give you time to defend a free-kick? Unless of course it's Thierry Henry in an Arsenal shirt, dinking it into the corner while the keeper's kicking mud off his studs.

The mazy whinger Falcao - and is it part of the modern striker's training to complain the moment anyone so much as exhales on them? - was simply smart enough to take advantage of the adolescent Arsenal rearguard.

Mind, I can understand the manager being right miffed - but only with his players.
I hope Arsenal come back in the second leg. I didn't much take to Porto - mainly 'cos one of their team called himself Hulk. This is footie, mate, not WWF! He was substituted by Gonzalez (first name Speedy presumably).

Hulk was marked by the markedly bigger Sol Campbell - Sol's Mum and Dad are Jamaican, so you could call that Kingston Upon Hulk, I suppose.

Have to say, I thought Sol looked pretty good. What he's lacking in mobility, and he sometimes looked as manoeuvrable as a bendy bus, he makes up for in nous.
I can't see the Gunners losing this tie, though. Any more than I can see United getting beat by the veterans of AC Milan - which is beginning to resemble an old boys' rest home.

Not that Ronaldinho didn't show some of his old sparkle early doors, but Rooney outshone the lot of them.
Becks said something about Wazza being a danger before the game began. Don't quite know why, in that case, the lad was afforded so much space he was ready to explore new worlds and new civilisations.

Still, it was a lively encounter - full of poor defending... and whatever the likes of Lawro and Hansen say, rubbish defending = exciting footy.

Livelier still has been all the stuff involving snowboards. I'm a total convert, me. The snowboard cross has to be the best racing event in world sport outside of a running track. Formula 1 devotees take note - overtaking helps! Plus there's the bumping and boring, the flying leaps, the turning backside-over-bosom when you hit the humps...
Shaun White
Shaun White celebrates his gold medal
And there's the fact that all of them dress like they've fallen into bed after a rough night in some frozen ditch. I think if I were a teenager again, I'd get meself a snowboard.
I'd have to get meself some snow, too - and some moneyed relatives to pay for my training in Boulder and my state-of-the-art supersize Midwest hick donkey jacket and Oxford bags trousers.

But after that, it'd be down to me.

Not content with watching some Yank called Seth Westcott - a gunslinger of a name if ever there was one - reel in a Canadian rival like he was some exhausted marlin, I turned my attention to what they call the half-pipe. At my age it'll be more like the half-pipe and slippers.

I've a lot to learn. Scott Lago, they tell me, is one of the few Americans who doesn't have a 'dead-set double-cork' but he is possessed of 'a huge backside air' (and I'm sure I have that capacity too).

Any road, after a backside ten-eighty and a frontside five-forty and a backside nine-hundred... well you can understand quite how well he was doing.
[Reader's voice: 'But enough of his three-dimensional trigonometry exams, how's his snowboarding going?' Ho, ho.]

This left us with a long-haired redhead called Shaun White, wearing a coat so ill-fitting he looked like the 'after' photo in a 'before-and-after' feature in Weightwatchers magazine.

No matter, the lad defies the laws of physics. Did you see that tomahawk? Did you know why it was a tomahawk and not, say, a backside double-cork (which is what I'd need if I were to attempt one)? Did you care? Me neither. I tell you, it's cracking stuff.

If Arsene wants to watch summat to take his mind off his errant goalies, he could do worse than take a look at Shaun White.


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