ANR reply from Olivier : A Belgian opinion

From Olivier Bonfond :  WC Final

Hello Myles,

This is Belgium calling.

Spot on for your work so far.

I’ve been a regular reader of ANR for a few years now and still enjoy it day after day. By the way, sorry if I make mistakes but English is not exactly my mother tongue.

As far as I’m concerned, I think the simple fact that Mark Van Bommel was on the pitch on Sunday was a disgrace to football and that, because of this thug. Holland’s opponents deserved to win, whoever they were.

But I don’t think all Holland players deserved to be called “Dirty bastards”.  I don’t think players like Van der Wiel or Steekelenburg acted badly. And if they did, some of the Spanish players did worse.

I still think Iniesta is an amazing player but the fact is that he made a despicable dive in extra-time just to get Van der Wiel booked and gain a free-kick. I acknowledge that I hate   Barcelona, so I wouldn\’t say I\’m perfectly neutral   but, while slow-motion clearly showed that there was no contact at all, he still fell as if he had been shot.   And not to mention that Sergio Ramos is a combine-harvester who never misses the chance to rip his opponents feet when it presents itself.

As a matter of fact, Holland played just like Stoke City, Bolton or Blackburn do every week.

I heard that BBC geniuses said that Holland played brutally and viciously but I’d like to hear that kind of assessment when they talk about British teams and players. Doubt I ever will. Still remember that Jonny Evans did the same kung-fu trick to Drogba in a Chelsea v United game that De Jong did on Xabi Alonso, but never heard a word of condemnation of Little Jonny by Hansen, Lawrenson, Lineker and other pricks.

Concerning Webb, I think you\’re right. He probably knew when Van Bommel clattered Iniesta that he should send him off, but that if he did, he\’d be accused of killing the game off as well. But the fact that he didn\’t see that Sneijder\’s free kick was deflected by Fabregas   just before the goal clearly changed the face of the final. So Webb will be remembered because of that mistake. Pity it gives the Dutch a true reason to complain but they have a strong point, no way to deny it.

Many people in Belgium were amazed by the fact that Robben didn\’t fall when he was held back by Puyol but I think it\’s because he had already lost a duel to Casillas and just wanted to stay on his feet to get his revenge. Vanity didn\’t help Holland that night.

By the way, I\’d like to know your thoughts about the “Fabregas Barcelona shirt” incident that took place yesterday.

When I told you that I hate Barcelona, this was the icing on the cake really. They\’ve been behaving despicably in their attempts to sign him and I wonder when FIFA shall do anything to stop that way of acting by a club that modestly labels itself “more than a club”.

But Fabregas isn\’t a victim in that matter. He doesn\’t deserve to be captain anymore. He just showed no respect to Arsenal. Fuck off with this “he knows that Arsenal are going the wrong way and he has done everything he could to prevent it ”.

To give him the armband was a mistake by Wenger, just as it was with Henry and Gallas.

When you look at the last three Arsenal captains, two of them consider themselves bigger than the club they play for and the third one – Gallas that is – is a big-headed plonker who would have failed to get respect anywhere.

To get rid of Fabregas is the best thing for the club really.

Didn\’t think that I should say ever it but that day has just arrived. Thanks for what he has done over the years, he\’s truly been a brilliant player and he fought like hell whenever he was on the pitch. But I won\’t wish him luck for the future. Hate Barcelona ?
Bye bye, Olivier

Myles replies :

I hope Fabregas stays. Without him, Arsenal have nothing. Only your man Vermaelen.

The shirt prank was silly behavior by Reina and Puyol.

I don’t waste 10 seconds worrying about such trifles.