Tag Archives: FA Cup

Best Team for six pence


Team of the year with no player from the big 6:

Krul

Simpson Collocini Huth Baines

Mulumbu Barton

Sessegnon Cabaye Walters

Long

Subs: Johnson (Norwich) Johnson (Wolves) Diame, Moses, Vorm, Agbonlahor, Yakubu, Williams (Swansea) Mackie, Ba

Manager: Pardew

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17 – 24th May


Stuck at work? Live for the weekend? Turn back the clock just a little and relive all the weekend’s action on footballfortheday.wordpress.com

This column will be a whole lot fancier during the regular season.

What you missed…

Just in case you missed it (or listened to Passthesugar, who erroneously claimed that Setanta was the number to punch into your television remote), Chelsea have won their third FA Cup in four years, as a Didier Drogba free kick helped them to a 1-0 win over Portsmouth. A week after winning the Premier League title, the Blues did just enough to claim their first ever English double. Back in search of more silverware at the traditional Wembley, many of Chelsea’s players seemed to fit amongst their initial royal company. On the other end of the scale, it’s been a tough (near disastrous) 12 months for Portsmouth who are consigned to Championship action next season, and still sit in administration. It was all Chelsea early, as Lampard hit the side post with a long range effort. Then Anelka tested shot stopper, calamity James with a low strike to his left. In saying that, Portsmouth weren’t without opportunities; Piquonne had a golden chance to send him team to an early lead, but failed to deflect the cross into the wide open goal mouth. The same could be said for Chelsea’s Solomon Kalou who did better to miss his chance from only 3 metres than he would have if he had of scored. This must be one of the misses of the season (if not longer than that). Incredibly, this also struck the post, and if the woodwork though it’d already had its fair share of the action, there was more to follow. John Terry became the latest player to hid the frame of the goal with a looping header that looked destined to drop below the bar. Drogba always seems the most likely in this type of big occasion and he controversially had his sweetly hit free kick ruled out, despite replays showing at least a part of the ball over the white chalk. This, unfortunately isn’t my own turn of phrase, but “there were more posters than a teenage wall” when Drogba hit the left post yet again. At half time, Chelsea were the better side, but the onslaught predicted on this very site, amongst other places, hadn’t materialised just yet.

On 55 minutes, Portsmouth had a penalty shout after a clumsy challenge from the underwhelming replacement Belletti. Boateng stepped up to take it and to say that he looked nervous would probably be a major understatement. The man was turning his already maroon pants a darker shade. And it followed, that his penalty can only be described by that dark brown substance. Straight down the middle, Cech managed to get his legs in the way, helping to reaffirm his status as a top-flight keeper after a shaky opening to the season way back in August. The miss proved costly, as minutes later Drogba had another dangerous free kick lined up. You always had a sense that the penalty miss would stir the Champions to action, and the Ivorian didn’t disappoint with as he almost passed the ball past the up and down David James. It was a schoolboy error from the Portsmouth wall and equally poor positioning by the man set to stand between the sticks for England in South Africa. Many would have thought Chelsea would get on with the job at this point, but they didn’t have it their own way. Lampard missed a late penalty to leave a strange sensation at the close. In the end, Chelsea became only the 7th side in English history to claim the double, etching their names into illustrious company. A final note: Hardman Michael Ballack was subject to a reckless challenge by the villain Boateng and was replaced with a worrying ankle injury. The German captain has been placed in serious doubt for the upcoming World Cup and adds his name to a long list of key players that look set to miss their show down with the Socceroos. (Raaarrrr)

Game of the Week

Bayern Munich v Werder Bremen  4 – 0

70,000 Germans packed into the Olympic Stadium in Berlin to witness the Cup Final between Munich and Bremen. They anticipated typically powerful German football and this is exactly what was produced. It was also one of their final chances to catch a glimpse of many of the World Cup bound heroes. The two top scores in the Bundesliga faced off in the showdown. The 4 – 0 score line was probably a fair reflection of the dominance of Bayern, filling them with confidence before their assignment against Mourinho and Inter. This was the Reds 16th DFB Cup capping off a remarkable season. Robben was at his lethal best, with several long range strikes on goal, before all the big names etched themselves into German history. Robben, Olic, Ribery and Schweinstager all scoring to put the tie beyond doubt. Try to catch this one if you can, as the teamwork was simply sublime – a perfect example of German soccer and the threat they’ll pose at the World Cup. The last two goals in particular were special.

Goal of the Week

Slim pickings across Europe – it has to be Drogba’s strike to give the Londoners their double. His goal is matched by his post-match celebrations (ontop of a double decker in an inflatable bra)

Video of the Week

If you guys like it, then this could be a beginning of a football advert of the week section… This is an all time classic. Who could forgot playing that funny cage game when we were wee young uns. Happy days.

Quotes of the Weekend

“In a way you can admire the furiously literal-minded shamelessness of Portsmouth, their utter immersion in the crackhead-scale appetites of the Premier League. While also feeling a bit sorry for the FA Cup, with its foot-bath-level reservoir of dwindling magic, still standing by trying to look dignified and vital while an imported drama of opposites takes place on its lawn.” Barney Ronay of The Guardian. This is quality. If only journalism like this existed in Australia… (Craig Foster and Michael Cockerill you are absolute duds)

I just wish that Italian fans weren’t stuck in the 19fucking80s where angry people search for the most inflammatory thing they can think of to shout and let rip with no thought for the consequences. It was noticeable that from ‘inoffensive’ insults, people descended into racism as tempers frayed – as though it was this latent force ready to burst out under sufficient provocation. I hate it, it makes me feel sick & dirty and in the end I stopped caring about losing the cup. I don’t have any answers to offer right now, just a kind of nausea & despair.” From Spangly Princess and his veritable blog.

*New Section*

Worst Journalism of the Week

“It would take a long shift with a polystyrene beaker on The Strand to collect enough money to pop into the Savoy Grill for lunch. But that would seem a pretty succinct précis of the business plan for “a summer of rebuilding” at many Premier League clubs. Their stomachs are increasingly gnawed by hunger, and their derrières chilled by a cold pavement – but they still want to feast like maharajahs….They have all been swanking around like the masters of a 1,000-year Reich, but suddenly mendacious financing is making mendicants of many.” The Independant’s Chris McGrath gives us this debacle. This is more complicated than my law readings, so in my books, that’s simply not good enough. Give him the sack and hire passthesugar…

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Pass the Sugar


The week in brief

Title race lasts for all of ten minutes… Fulham comes unstuck – Hodgson is every critics hero… World Cup squads announced… Domenech leaves it to the stars… World Cup barometer starting to rise… Harry is Kewell for the Cup (you can smell the headline)…

News of the Week

It really didn’t give the papers much to talk about, but Chelsea crowned themselves as kings of England with an empathic drubbing of Wigan, 8-0. The media needs something to talk about, however, and those tribute pieces, or season in review feature articles just weren’t going to cut it. Instead, the media seems to have switched to World Cup mode. The spin doctors have certainly had a busy time of it, producing probably the story of the week, and then the biggest non-story of the week. News came out of everywhere that English captain John Terry was set to miss the biggest show on Earth following a training ground mishap and his foot. Forums were prompted into a frenzy, and the English chances seemed to go into somewhat of a meltdown. But have no fear, Terry declared himself fit the very next day, robbing the papers of something to talk about. Indeed, Terry is set to line up for Chelsea in the FA cup final. In an interesting sub-plot, the skipper’s old man came out in court and admitted to drug dealing. Great role model there.

Play of the Week

It wasn’t pretty, nor particularly stunning, but Diego Forlan’s touch and Paul Konchesky’s deflection was the clear standout for play of the week. It may have happened in the quiet Hamburg, but you could see the goal meant a lot to both sets of players after the game. I wonder if that might signal the end for the South American veteran. There were slim pickings this week and the only real competition came from Pim Verbeek, as we saw him give a brief life story of every player announced in the Australian world cup squad as the payers names and photos were projected onto a Qantas branded 747 – quality.

Pick of the Weekend

I just want to direct your attention to last week’s Saturday Sugar quickly. Notice in this very section my prediction of a 7-0 Chelsea win. Not bad. Not bad.

Anyway, there’s not much option here, but the FA cup final isn’t bad viewing. This week debate raged about the merits of the competition amongst England. Many are arguing that the cup has lost its magic. With declining percentages of home-grown Pommy players, that special feeling seems to have gone. These guys just seem to have short memories. Who could forget the matchup between bitter rivals Leeds and Man United this year. That was the perfect advertisement for the cup and the dreams of smaller teams who push for “cupsets” against the giants of Europe. The fact that Portsmouth continue to excel in the knockout competition, despite their failings in the league, also attests to the value of the FA cup. Despite the big money available in other competitions, the FA cup is still a worthwhile venture in passthesugar’s opinion. Why don’t you disagree below (comments, stupid)? Anyway, Chelsea are short priced favourites in this one. They’ll be desperate to snatch the double and rub it in to those Reds just a little further. You’d always hope that Avram Grant can inspire something special, but it’s difficult to picture anything other than a drubbing at Wembley.

Just for an interesting quote to give you an idea of the debate from one of my colleagues (lol), Eurosport editor, Lee Walker:

I’ve been to five FA Cup finals, watched another 20 or so on the box but Saturday’s match will be the third final in a row that I have passed on. When I was a kid, the only games on TV were the FA Cup final and the World Cup – it was a massive occasion, but now we have saturation coverage. But it’s not just whimsical nostalgia. Even 10 years ago it would be unheard of for teams to field anything less than their best XI, now you’ve got the likes of Arsene Wenger fielding a third choice defence at Stoke in an attempt to do just enough to get through. Money rules – the Premier League is king for managers, the Champions League has even greater significance and fans don’t turn up in the early rounds because the FA Cup is not included on their already pricey season tickets. Andy Gray said during the battle for fourth between Manchester City and Tottenham that it was a bigger game than the 1981 FA Cup final – I don’t agree but if you asked the fans of those clubs they probably would.”

Quotes of the week

“You can stick Father Christmas at the back alongside me at the last minute if it works” This remarkable gem comes from big bad Rio Ferdinand in response to Jamie Carragher’s inclusion in the England squad for the World Cup. Just imagine…

“I am not one for dancing on the table. I am not a very good dancer.”
Didier Deschamps reacts after Marseille surprisingly take the cookies in Ligue 1.

“I’d rather do that than build chicken sheds no-one wanted!”
Ian Holloway has become one of the more respected managers in England after switching careers from selling hen houses (whatever they are) to steering Blackpool to the verge of Premier League action.

“Easy questions please, because my level of wine is high! I don’t know if I’ll be able to go home.”
This has appeared before on footballfortheday, and it will probably appear again. It’s Carlo Ancelloti, btw.

“The missus was going ‘who are you voting for’ and I said ‘I’m not voting for anyone’. I’m just going to take my voting card and I’m going to put in massive letters ‘Tevez is God’ and throw it in the polling station. I’m voting Tevez.”
Noel Gallagher shows his true colours.

“At 68, when you go to sleep at night, all you want to do is wake up in the morning.”
Sir Alex really is trying every excuse in the book. Putting it into perspective like this doesn’t really trivialise the Chelsea win as he may have hoped. He was gracious in defeat however.

Get me my cab money

Take the good odds that Chelsea will win by more than 3. Maybe you could always flutter something on Mourinho and his boys over in Italy to seal the deal there too.

If you’re not watching sport, you should be watching…

This may not be to everyone’s fancy, but it’s still a fantastic watch. This should become the new dictionary definition of commitment. Apparently this was their last game at the Saltergate… I’ve actually changed my opnion about this a little, since when I first wrote the piece. Not sure if I’m such a fan anymore…but it’s worth watching. It’s a good strike, mind you…

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Nothing Much to Write About


Today’s Friday Forecast is the start of a long, dry spell for the Friday column. Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lotta action going down, but nevertheless, there’s still a few tidbits to cover.

Chelsea v Portsmouth – FA Cup Final

This is an epitome of the old biblical tale and modern day adage; David vs Giolath. There’s very little going for Pompei, who only have a long season in the Championship to look forward. With the majority of their squad looking for new options, it seems that the lower tiers of English football beckons for at least the next few years. This will be one of their last chances to line up next to the game’s elite – Chelsea. The Londoners have finally proven the doubters wrong and quenched the endless debate over which team is best in England. Footballfortheday’s own poll this week proved this very fact, with an overwhelming 70% of punters arguing that the boys from Stamford Bridge are a cut above. To be honest, we could just about leave it there. Chelsea and their fans will be in “party-mode” and the thought of the famed double is sure to send many a fan into a dizzy delirium. Don’t expect a similar result to what happened last week, but that’s not to say Chelsea won’t do it comfortably. If you have a better day job than me, then you can catch it on Setanta, otherwise BBC football offers a decent live commentary!?

Before we sign off on another week and start pouring over the hilarious junk that’s been emailed to us as submissions for Sugar Saturday (), it’s worth taking a brief look back on some of our posts. It’s been noted by a few readers, and yours truly in two separate posts, that many of the World Cup Previews that took an age to prepare have become crudely outdated following the mid week squad announcements of the participating teams in South Africa. Idiots like Domenech and Maradona have veritably fucked two of my posts and I’m not happy. But oh well, this is just an admittance of that fact, so don’t go running around dissing passthesugar! Obviously I’ve been looking at different astrological patterns to Domenech.

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