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Posted: 11th January 2012 13:25

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I agree with just about everything you said in the first four paragraphs, to be honest.

Given his goal drought, I'd love to see Suarez come back and score a brace against United, but it probably won't happen. Really, though, I'm more worried about today. Liverpool aren't going anywhere in the league, so they could really use a good result against a City team that's even more depleted than Liverpool are to make the second leg a little less harrowing.

I, too, was surprised by the Warnock sacking. He already built half of a new team, and that new team wasn't doing half bad. Maybe he was being punished for signing Joey Barton, as most managers should be.

I hadn't really heard the Wenger for England talk as yet, but I kinda like it too. Arsenal have been pretty stagnant for a long time, despite having such ridiculous youth quality, but I don't know if moving to England would give him more or less pressure in his job. At Arsenal, people kind of write off trophyless seasons with a glib remark, but English fans feel that they're way overdue for something, anything. Not sure he'd really last.

I just saw in the news that there are reports that Liverpool might be interested in taking a 25MM loss on Carroll by selling him back to Newcastle in the window. I can't decide who would be more insane in that deal, frankly.

Finally, that was some match on Sunday, wasn't it? I didn't get to see it until Monday due to DVR problems, but wow. Granted, I have no love for United, but it sure seems like they really didn't come out of that match with anything to be proud of other than a win. They looked ridiculous in defense, even against ten men, and were frankly quite lucky to avoid a replay, in my opinion. Of course, now Mancini needs to spend in the transfer window to keep up, apparently. Could he be some elaborate Italian troll, looking to get the oil barons a Pyrrhic Premier League trophy?

This post has been edited by Rangers51 on 11th January 2012 19:36

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Posted: 22nd January 2012 16:17

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I saw all the goals in the Spurs/City match today, but didn't see the Balotelli controversy (aside from the practice of stutterstepping a PK, which, for my money should always be a yellow card. It's a disgrace). Until I get to see it myself at some point, can anyone tell me if he's likely to get a ban after review? City played Aguero the full 90, and Dzeko for like 70, and Silva for the whole 90, so if Balotelli can't play Wednesday I kind of feel like maybe Liverpool won't be embarrassed and might still have a chance to salvage just some part of their season.

And that's all I'll say about Liverpool. What an embarrassing team to support this year. sad.gif

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Posted: 22nd January 2012 18:52

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The Spurs/City match was a really good game to watch - proper end to end excitement.

As for the controversies - there were two. Balotelli and Lescott. I noticed the Balotelli one live - a collision of bodies, with both players losing balance and Balotelli accidentally catching Parker (who had fallen over) whilst off balance. So far, so accidental.

But, Balotelli then kicked out behind him in an almost-stamp and appeared to hit Parker in the head. It was a definite deliberate move rather than an accident. I can believe that Webb genuinely missed it, but there should certainly be a suspension on its way. It was a clear red, as bad as Karl Henry's from Yesterday.

As for Lescott, I missed this in-game, but the post-match review showed him deliberately chinning one of the Tottenham players whilst going up for a header.

City should have finished with 9 men, and Spurs genuinely deserved a result.

So you never know, Liverpool could be in with a shout (and as a United fan, I'll be swallowing pride and cheering them on!)

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Posted: 22nd January 2012 22:18

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That's exactly what I saw too. Great game but heartbreaking for Spurs. 9 man City sounds fair. Also Defoe was alright in his goal but really should've scored that second. Altogether I think a striker was all that was missing from Spurs' game, and maybe Van Der Vaart playing a little better. I liked Lescott saying he's getting goal of the month (sarcastically) after scoring by holding the ball between his legs and falling over the line.

Liverpool were always made for the big games. Even at their worst last season and the season before you could rely on them getting a draw. Especially with Gerrard back on penalties and free kicks. I'll go with 1-1.

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Posted: 22nd January 2012 23:01

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I still haven't seen the Lescott incident, but having now seen Balotelli's, that seems clear as day. Spurs really got the shaft today, and it really seems like City might have a very tired front line for Wednesday.

That said, I can't pick a winner for that match. I see it going to kicks after a 1-0 regular time to City, and after that, it's a crapshoot. I think I have to give the edge to City in a penalty shootout given a) Liverpool's woeful performance from the spot this year and b) Joe Hart's youth and extra reach.

This post has been edited by Rangers51 on 22nd January 2012 23:01

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Posted: 23rd January 2012 20:48

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Well Balotelli's been charged with violent conduct:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/16693521.stm

He faces a minimum 4 game ban. Nothing will happen with Lescott apparently (I knew this would be the case) even thought his elbow/forearm smash was pretty blatant.


What I'm annoyed about though, is the Arsenal - United match. For once Arsenal put up a half decent fight but clearly Wenger doesn't like putting up a fight. I mean, sometimes he's a genius, but other times he just leaves me shaking my head in frustration. Taking off one of the only players actually troubling United's defenders (Oxlade-Chamberlain) and bringing on someone who has been inconsistent all season (Arshavin - and that's putting it lightly). Even van Persie questioned the decision and I think Wenger deserved the boos he got. Boos which were pretty much justified when Arshavin didn't even put up a fight and just let Valencia cut inside and create the winning goal (although the schoolboy defending didn't help).
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Posted: 23rd January 2012 22:02

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Yup, I saw that earlier too. Though, if he appeals he'll be able to play against Liverpool mid-week.

That was a daft move by Wenger. I won't complain, mind, but United were lucky to get a win.

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Posted: 23rd January 2012 22:33

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Quote (Stiltzkin @ 23rd January 2012 22:02)
Yup, I saw that earlier too. Though, if he appeals he'll be able to play against Liverpool mid-week.

But then he could have a longer ban if the appeal is deemed frivilous, which IMO, it should be.

Quote
That was a daft move by Wenger. I won't complain, mind, but United were lucky to get a win.


Arsenal fans are already pretty much on the fence with Wenger, this certainly won't help matters.
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Posted: 24th January 2012 17:57

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Quote (Cefca @ 23rd January 2012 23:33)
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That was a daft move by Wenger. I won't complain, mind, but United were lucky to get a win.


Arsenal fans are already pretty much on the fence with Wenger, this certainly won't help matters.

I think Man U were pretty good for their win. They were lucky because Arsenal missed their chances but still Utd could've put the game away on a few occasions, so for me it kind of balanced out. The first half was more or less one-sided.

I really like Arsenal and the way they play. Last season they were so close to winning the title. I think if I were a fan I'd be really frustrated that either Wenger or the board isn't replacing Fabregas or Nasri. There are a few top players around that could fit the bill and are up for potential transfers like Kaka, Gourcuff, Gotze or Hamsik. All the same I can't imagine who could replace Wenger. Arsenal are a club like any other so another manager could overhaul the team their way, e.g. AVB at Chelsea. I can't think of another manager that would be another Wenger.

Immediately, however, I don't know why he subbed off Ox. He says he doesn't need to explain his decision but still it was visible how much weaker Arsenal were afterwards, so yeah he doesn't need to but it would be a nice thing to do to give the fans some explanation. After all they're paying to see the games and buying the merchandise. As long as their isn't a fan outrage like Keen at Blackburn and the fans continue to support the team it's fine to be critical.

Coming back to Liverpool I can't believe some fans want rid of Dalgleish already. It's just stupid sometimes. Same goes for AVB at Chelsea. No teams have a right to top four or titles and of course it's good to get them but things change and teams have to go on what they have right now, not what they used to have or should have in the future. I think both of those managers have done alright. They're changing their teams to fit their style of football and once there's some consistency (might take 18 months) the rewards will start to come.

Unless you're Martin O'Neill in which case you can start winning everything right away because he's completely absurd.

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Posted: 30th January 2012 18:10

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-1676092...-wales-16760925

So the inquest into Gary Speed's death has said that it might have been accidental. Excuse my bluntless, but how does that work? Did he trip and fall into a noose?
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Posted: 30th January 2012 18:21

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I was just about to say something about that in chat, but I didn't know if you were at your keyboard, heh.

I mean, there ARE ways that an accidental asphyxiation by hanging could happen, but yeah, it seems very odd indeed. You never can tell with a person who's not in their full faculties, of course, but it's still quite sad regardless.

In other news, here's my most recent Facebook status, from Saturday morning: "Does the City of Manchester have any more teams that they want to send to Anfield this week?"

This post has been edited by Rangers51 on 30th January 2012 18:22

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Posted: 30th January 2012 19:13

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Quote (Rangers51 @ 30th January 2012 18:21)
I was just about to say something about that in chat, but I didn't know if you were at your keyboard, heh.

I mean, there ARE ways that an accidental asphyxiation by hanging could happen, but yeah, it seems very odd indeed. You never can tell with a person who's not in their full faculties, of course, but it's still quite sad regardless.

In other news, here's my most recent Facebook status, from Saturday morning: "Does the City of Manchester have any more teams that they want to send to Anfield this week?"

Hah, I'm probably not half the time. tongue.gif

I can only see it accidentally happening via autoerotic asphyxiation but I doubt that was the case. He must have had some intention to do it.

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Posted: 31st January 2012 20:44

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Some nutjob has run onto the pitch and handcuffed himself to the goalposts in the Everton - Man City match...

This post has been edited by Cefca on 31st January 2012 20:44
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Posted: 9th February 2012 13:00

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Aye and there was a cat on the pitch in the Liverpool Spurs game. It's bananas out there.

Capello's resigned now finally. Bad situation for Redknapp but I reckon he'll take the job. He'd probably have taken it after the summer with Spurs back in the Champion's League, and right now I don't think they can finish the season below fourth place with any manager so it's not really an issue. He's got some good CL experience but I reckon that Spurs could get a really experienced CL manager in for next season which may be a bit of a blessing and favour them in the long run. So in some ways it's probably best all round; England will do better in the Euros and Spurs will maybe do better in the CL.

As for captaincy I don't think there's anyone other than Gerrard that could take it. Ferdinand is getting old and I wouldn't even have him in the first 11 ahead of Dawson, Jones, Upson, or dare I say it Terry. Gerrard was far and away England's best player in the World Cup. The only other name I've heard mentioned was Scott Parker which isn't a bad idea but doesn't have Gerrard's experience nor his respect from the team (I don't think). "He's scouse and he's f***ing hard."

This post has been edited by sweetdude on 9th February 2012 13:01

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Posted: 18th February 2012 19:22

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Who's going to the unemployment office first: Wenger or Villas-Boas?

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Posted: 18th February 2012 20:14

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Quote (Rangers51 @ 18th February 2012 19:22)
Who's going to the unemployment office first: Wenger or Villas-Boas?

It sure as hell won't be Wenger, he saves Arsenal's owners too much money whether he wins anything or not.

He won't go anytime soon unless he leaves of his own accord.
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Posted: 26th February 2012 22:23

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Something that I've noticed quite often and just seen in again in the Arsenal - Spurs match (great game - can't remember the last low scoring Arsenal - Spurs derby) is that there often seems to be a connection between skill and diving.

You'd think it would be players making up for a lack of skill by diving but, more often than not, it's actually the opposite. A fair few of the worst divers also seem to be some of the best players in the world. Bale, Drogba (although not so much now, admittedly), C. Ronaldo, Gerrard, Nani. Even Messi, the best player in the world is guilty of it at times.

These players could get past almost any player with ease, why do they still feel the need to cheat?
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Posted: 3rd March 2012 17:52

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You know what I like about Liverpool being a completely anemic and useless offense?

Chelsea being worse.

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Posted: 3rd March 2012 21:03

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Quote (Rangers51 @ 3rd March 2012 17:52)
You know what I like about Liverpool being a completely anemic and useless offense?

I wouldn't say they're completely useless offensively...they're pretty good at conning penalties out of refs.
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Posted: 3rd March 2012 21:35

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Quote (Cefca @ 3rd March 2012 16:03)
Quote (Rangers51 @ 3rd March 2012 17:52)
You know what I like about Liverpool being a completely anemic and useless offense?

I wouldn't say they're completely useless offensively...they're pretty good at conning penalties out of refs.

Ian Darke said after that happened, "any striker in the league that says they wouldn't have done the same dive is lying," and I think he's right. That said, unless Suarez starts converting chances, the distraction he forces upon the team will soon outweigh his considerable potential upside.

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Posted: 3rd March 2012 21:54

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Quote (Rangers51 @ 3rd March 2012 21:35)
Quote (Cefca @ 3rd March 2012 16:03)
Quote (Rangers51 @ 3rd March 2012 17:52)
You know what I like about Liverpool being a completely anemic and useless offense?

I wouldn't say they're completely useless offensively...they're pretty good at conning penalties out of refs.

Ian Darke said after that happened, "any striker in the league that says they wouldn't have done the same dive is lying," and I think he's right. That said, unless Suarez starts converting chances, the distraction he forces upon the team will soon outweigh his considerable potential upside.

Like my mum used to say (probably): if everyone went and jumped off a bridge, would you?

Just because any striker would have done it, doesn't make it any less of a dive. A dive is a dive is a dive.

(And, to be honest, I don't think any striker would have done it, just the more unscrupulous ones).

This post has been edited by Cefca on 3rd March 2012 21:56
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Posted: 3rd March 2012 21:57

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Barring some kind of injury I have no idea why Bellamy wasn't playing that one til late on. He's exactly what they were missing, a bit of extra pace and a finisher. I understand that Dalgleish wants to improve his younger players but the balance wasn't right in that game.

Suarez' dive wasn't nearly the worst I've seen, actually it was one of the fairer dives if there is such a thing, but if I was an Arsenal fan I'd be a bit frustrated after Bale's dive the other week. Still, two huge wins is a lot to be chuffed about.

I am seriously contemplating a bet for an Arsenal win in the tie with AC Milan. They definitely can do it but whether they will or not I'm not sure. Wenger said they have a 2-5% chance I think it was. Lol. C'mon Arsenal! Cefca do you think it's possible? You'll know them a lot more than I do.

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Posted: 4th March 2012 00:17

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Quote (sweetdude @ 3rd March 2012 21:57)
I am seriously contemplating a bet for an Arsenal win in the tie with AC Milan. They definitely can do it but whether they will or not I'm not sure. Wenger said they have a 2-5% chance I think it was. Lol. C'mon Arsenal! Cefca do you think it's possible? You'll know them a lot more than I do.

It's possible but I can't see it happening. Even if they managed to score at least 4 goals, I can't see Arsenal keeping a clean sheet. If they had scored an away goal in the first leg then I'd be giving them a much better chance.

I'm predicting a 2-1 win for Arsenal.

This post has been edited by Cefca on 4th March 2012 00:17
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Posted: 6th March 2012 21:41

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Well I take my hat off to Arsenal. This is the best run of form I've seen from them in ages and a fantastic performance tonight. I'm proud of them and am glad they went out with such a fight.

Couldn't have asked for more from them tonight, just leaves you thinking what they could have done had they played like that in the first leg.

I just hope we can keep up with this run of form and take 3rd spot in the league off spurs.

This post has been edited by Cefca on 6th March 2012 21:41
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Posted: 15th March 2012 00:47

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Great game from Arsenal against Milan it was definitely one to watch. Really, really close to taking it to extra time. Well done all round I think. Probably would go through if they hadn't utterly screwed up the first leg. Speaking of which...

Chelsea, mate, what a game. That was probably the best game I've seen this season. It was so close in every aspect (except possession). Napoli looked like they could score when they wanted to for a lot of the game; 4-1 was not down to their attack or midfield it was a poor defence and Chelsea pressurising it as much as possible. The thing that I liked the most was seeing the Chelsea I'm familiar with. They played mostly high balls and were aggressive in attack and defence. Under AVB they were playing it along the ground and trying to score 'nice' goals. Here they were showing why they used to be able to beat a lot of the best teams in Europe, and Napoli certainly are one of the best right now. Chelsea were totally dominant in the air which gave them both an attacking option on the cross or high ball but also a really clear path from defence to attack. Very, very hard to play against. That's what they used to do.

I'm really looking forward to the draw for the quarter-final. Real v Barca would obviously be an unreal tie to watch and it was give a chance for other teams to get further. I'm really interested in how far Milan can go as well so a Bayern v Milan draw would also be excellent. Chelsea are familiar to me again and I really like Di Matteo so I'm hoping for them to keep going. I doubt they can get further than the semis but a draw against APOEL, Benfica or Marseille in the quarters would probably be alright to see them through barring some kind of mass screw up or injury epidemic. Don't get me wrong though I think if Chelsea do beat any of those three it'll be close.

As usual, anyone but Barca to win.

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Posted: 15th March 2012 01:17

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I stopped watching the Chelsea match today at halftime, as I was off supporting my local club at an autograph session ( http://t.co/GGKvsK5Q ). I have every intention of seeing it whenever I can on replay tomorrow as long as I can watch it alongside CoNCAA games.

What a crazy turnaround.

Also, in other news, Liverpool can score against a half-strength Everton! Wooooooow.

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Posted: 17th March 2012 19:13

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Horrible day for football. Fabrice Muamba collapsed during the Bolton - Spurs FA Cup game. Paramedics were performing CPR and using a defibrilator on the pitch for 5 or 10 minutes before they stretchered him off, still performing CPR on him.

He's been rushed to hospital but it's not looking good at all - they were still trying to revive him on the way.

I really hope he pulls through.
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Posted: 17th March 2012 19:34

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Quote (Cefca @ 17th March 2012 20:13)
Horrible day for football. Fabrice Muamba collapsed during the Bolton - Spurs FA Cup game. Paramedics were performing CPR and using a defibrilator on the pitch for 5 or 10 minutes before they stretchered him off, still performing CPR on him.

He's been rushed to hospital but it's not looking good at all - they were still trying to revive him on the way.

I really hope he pulls through.

I saw it as it happened. Really distressing. It looked like he was trying to breathe and get up and then collapsed. Fuck. I'm still a bit shaken to be honest. Credit to Howard Webb and the fans for not making it any worse. When they were chanting his name it was pretty moving.

Seriously hope he makes it. He's the same age as I am.

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Posted: 19th March 2012 19:18

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My family's in town, so while I watched the early FA Cup match on Saturday, I left to go out before the Spurs/Bolton match started. Having read all about it repeatedly since, I'm quite glad I wasn't around to see it. Seems very likely that he will never play football again, which breaks my heart, but it also seems like maybe he just might pull through, which is wonderful news.

It's also a little scary as I think about going back out on the pitch again myself in a few weeks at the ripe old age of 32.

In happier news, my wife treated me to tickets to the Sporting Kansas City home opener, two rows up behind one of the corner flags. We were even on TV during one of the goal celebrations, at least in our local market and probably back in Boston too (as we were playing against the New England team). It was great to watch the team come out and dominate and have a perfect six points early in the season.

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Posted: 19th March 2012 22:42

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Quote (Rangers51 @ 19th March 2012 19:18)
My family's in town, so while I watched the early FA Cup match on Saturday, I left to go out before the Spurs/Bolton match started. Having read all about it repeatedly since, I'm quite glad I wasn't around to see it. Seems very likely that he will never play football again, which breaks my heart, but it also seems like maybe he just might pull through, which is wonderful news.

It's looking good at the moment, apparently he's breathing by himself now and he's been awake and said some words in French and English. It's a good sign and I hope he hopefully recovers.

This post has been edited by Cefca on 19th March 2012 22:47
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