Saturday, May 19, 2007

Chel$ea Win FA Cup; I Blame Spurs

FA Cup Final
Chel$ea 1-0 Manchester United

I decided not to get up at 6 a.m. to go pay $20 to watch 2 teams I hate play in what I suspected would probably be a dour display of football, so I can't tell you much other than Drogba scored the winner in extra time and the match is pretty much being universally panned as a boring, dour, negative display. Noted English football enthusiast Michael wasn't so fortunate, he spent the money and his thoughts can be found here.

So Chel$ea win a meaningful trophy after all, which sucks. But I suppose considering that a few weeks ago they had a good shot at winning all 4 trophies, they failed to win the 2 most important of those, the Champions League and Premiership titles. So I suppose that is something.

I would like to thank Spurs, who were up 3-1 on Chel$ea in the 2nd half of their FA Cup quarterfinal match back in March, when their genius manager Martin Jol decided that it would be a good idea to substitute their best player Berbetov, only to see Chel$ea score to make it 3-2. So then the genius went ahead and subbed off their 2nd best player, Aaron Lennon, and completely neutered Spurs offense, and of course Chel$ea scored yet again to get a 3-3 draw and earn a replay at White Hart Lane, where of course they dispatched of Spurs. Incredibly inept strategic managing, and so very Spurs of them. Fucking wankers.

6 comments:

moin said...

Matches like these are the reason why I think EPL's claim as the "most exciting league in the world" is erroneous. What's the most exciting match in the EPL this season? West Ham-Tottenham, real marque names there. Best match between top teams? Arsenal-ManUtd. But that only got exciting at the end after Van Persie equalized.

Let's compare that to the last 2 weeks in Real Madrid: Real Madrid-Sevilla 3-2 (0:1 at HT), Real Madrid-Espanyol 4:3 (1:3 at HT). That's not counting the epic 3:3 encounter at Nou Camp earlier this season. I'm just recounting RM's season thus far, and it's already more exciting than all of the EPL combined. This gets lopsided if I include Sevilla and Barca matches too.

Or how about the Bundesliga? Title race came down to the last day, but turned on the penultimate day in the North Rhineland Derby that 120,000+ people watched live. Highest scoring league, winner came out of nowhere to win the title with the league's youngest team.

I'd put both leagues are more exciting than the EPL, I don't give a toss about "hustle and heart". That's all good when teams that hustle play like Arsenal, or Tottenham, or West Ham, or United. But they don't, they play like Everton, Blackburn, Bolton, Fulham. It's an euphemism for hoof and chase.

DC Trojan said...

I've watched a fair bit of German football over the years and it's perhaps of better technical quality than the Premiership, but once you get past the top 4 or 5 teams it's nothing to write home about. The standing sections of the stadia contribute some atmosphere, provided that you can watch a bunch of Germans shouting and waving their arms around in a stadium and not get nervous...

As for Spain, again, I think below the top 4 teams you're just as likely to get a dull game. Still, the Spanish emphasis on individual skill means that even the lower teams theoretically can put on a decent show once in a while. But I get bored watching 22 men who can't be arsed to bestir themselves with a run...

Overall I think that this year's Inter Milan might have been my favorite team - even though Ibrahimovich tends to give up a little, they combined pace with attacking guile and real skill: I enjoyed more games that they were in than any other...

And Bolton's not as bad as you think. So there.

moin said...

By the same measure, EPL below the top 4 teams isn't much to write home about either. You got the Spurs and... Portsmouth and Bolton? There is a drop off after the top teams at every top league (because of the CL money). But I maintain the drop off in Spain isn't nearly as big as in the EPL. Same applies for the Bundesliga, especially this year. Essentially, if your argument boils down to: "Bolton isn't that bad", it's not a good sign. Good team, physical game, well organized, plays well tactically? Yes, yes, yes, and yes. Is Gary Speed a bad ass? Absolutely. Are they a match for Osasuna, Leverkusen, Espanyol, or Atletico? In my opinion, no.

I do agree, however, Inter this year has been a revelation, clearly one of the top teams in all of Europe, shame they didn't make it further in the CL.

On a sidenote, I get much more nervous running into a group of British football fans than German fans.

DC Trojan said...

Moin, self-preservation would dictate taking a wide berth of many English (and some Scottish) fans, but I was making a gentle WWII crack, as I am wont to do.

Moin said...

DC, I know, the best comeback I could come up with is that English hooligans are worse.

DC Trojan said...

Moin, only because the former East German neo-nazis apparently don't like footy!