Just a quick update on today’s footie events.
Well, who would have thought it: the pay-cheque collectors humiliated by a team fighting for survival in the PL and assembled at just a fraction of the cost of the Northern Oilers?! As I wrote a few days ago, the good guys have not lost, yet! And it really is fairy-tale stuff the way Martinez’s eleven fought with all they had to somehow overcome last year’s champions at Wembley, and win their first ever major trophy today. It was not quality that won today, but passion, hunger, desire, pride AND tactics; words that do not slip easily of the tongue of your average mercenary.
I was critical about the support Wigan had when I went to see them play against us just before Christmas at the DW stadium. But I reckon an apology from me is in order as the Latics had fantastic support – both in numbers and noise levels – throughout the entire final.
What can be said about Man City?
I just cannot comprehend how a team with a top-quality spine of Hart, Kompany, Toure and Aguero/Tevez could ever lose a final against the ‘minnows’ of Wigan. Man City has a number of Mercenaries in its team but the players in the spine are hard workers – true professionals. The big lesson we should learn from this match, once again, is that top quality players, assembled in quick succession, are not going to be enough in order to be successful for a sustainable period.
Such a team might win the odd trophy and title, but truly successful teams are built gradually from within, and have a core of players who play with intrinsic pride and passion – players who bleed for the club. Man City are not such a club, and long may it continue! 😀
A lot of credit should go to Martinez, and as WiganGooner and I also noticed when Arsenal played them before Christmas, Wigan’s midfield is very disciplined and strong, and they love to play over the wing as well. Bit by bit, they started to match City in midfield and the energetic, tenacious and talented Wigan midfielders slowly but steadily started to win the battle in that key area.
However, they did not create many changes and only had one shot on target, but that one could not have come at a sweeter moment for the Latics as MC had only a couple of minutes left to get a goal back. Simply priceless!
We all felt very uncomfortable with having to provide Manure with a ‘Guard of Honour’ a couple of weeks ago. As far as I know there has never been one for the FA cup winners, but I reckon Arsenal should do one for Wigan on Tuesday: they truly deserve it!
Benteke from the sublime to the ridiculous – from a Henryesque moment of brilliance to an Adebayorian moment of madness.
I watched the AV-Che game with a friend who is fervent Spud. He was clearly downbeat about their chances of finishing in the top four. When I said to him that Wigan cannot be underestimated and that I for one am nervous about this game – and this conversation took place before Wigan’s triumph over MC – he said something that I did not expect from him: you will be all right, you have Wilshere and Ramsey, they have passion and drive – you’ll win that game, no problem. Having subsequently watched the cup final, those words rang a stronger bell with me.
Like many of us, I have been impressed with Benteke this season, and his goal against Chelsea really reminded me of Thierry Henry for a moment. The way he had control over the ball, stopped his run for half a second and then attacked Cahill with ease and power, and the way he put the ball past Cech was very Henryesque, and absolutely beautiful to watch.
But then came Benteke’s Adebayor-moments: first an unprovoked elbow in the face of Azpilicueta, which could have been a red card but he got away with a yellow; followed by an unnecessary, reckless challenge on Terry in the second half (although the piece of turd made the most of it of course!), which resulted in a second yellow and therefore a sending off.
Villa were in almost total control of the game up until that moment, as they were 1-0 up and Chelsea were down to ten men as a result of Ramires red card (two yellows) in the first half. Benteke led himself and his team down and this could still cost the Villans dearly this season.
The 22 year old Belgian will surely learn from his big mistakes today, but in a game like that, we come to realise again how damn difficult it is for a (top) manager to make the right choices when it comes to picking your team and/or buying new players. Benteke to Arsenal might have become a lot less likely after today’s game.
Let’s hope Stoke are up for it tomorrow and do us a massive favour to at least get a point against the Spuds. After that, regardless of the outcome tomorrow, it is up to us to put in a professional performance and take all three points from the tired, but surely full of confidence, Latics.
Let’s hope we’ll see once again bags full of grid and determination, and a bit of class along the way as well.
Written by: TotalArsenal.