The FA cup weekend so far

By Walter Broeckx

Apart from the FA cup matches that have been played up to now there was not much football around. The noisy neighbours went to QPR and won. The ref at the whistle seemingly being blinded when some things happened in the tiny penalty area. Lloris bringing a striker down without a penalty being given and Bentaleb with a volleyball block that also went unpunished. We can’t stop the new England flavour of the month and former Gooner Kane on his way to Real Madrid, can’t we.

But as this is FA cup weekend I also want to give a few thoughts on the other matches that I could see in full or in a summary.

Let us start with the non event between Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers. I think the most excitement was about the injury from Skrtel. Let me first say that I have the feeling that  the use of the arm/elbow in the aerial duels is coming back. And I don’t like it. And I know all too well that Skrtel is no saint in this but the arm of the Blackburn Rovers player was clearly brought up and forward in an attempt to smash it in the direction of the head of Skrtel. As usual our 99% boys did nothing and didn’t send the Blackburn Rover player off. Was it dangerous? Hell, who on earth could argue that it wasn’t as it needed the stretcher to bring Skrtel from the field in to the dressing room. That in the end it wasn’t too bad means nothing. It COULD have been worse and that is what matters.

Kolo Toure had a goal disallowed for offside. Now I must say I couldn’t review that incident yet but from a description in my newspapers he was well offside but they put a question mark on the decision because the ball had hit a Blackburn player and then ended up with Toure. The fact that it touched a Blackburn player is not enough to cancel the offside. Only when a defender makes a deliberate back pass the offside is not punishable. In this case I think it was more a bouncing ball and then the offside is punishable because Toure was gaining an advantage from his offside position.  But for the rest it was a match that had little history. Apart from one of our Mr. 99% missing the dangerous attack on Skrtel.

Speaking of Mr. 99%, also known as referees by most, we had another remarkable performance from our good friend Mr. Taylor. Aston Taylor as we called him after Arsenal – Aston Villa last season was doing the match between Aston Villa and WBA. He send off WBA player Yacob and even though I am a fan of banning dangerous tackles completely out of football I really cannot see what Yacob did wrong there. Was Mr. Taylor thinking that he had to make up for the 5-0 loss and the fact he even had to give a penalty in favour of Arsenal against Aston Villa this season and he now had to pay Aston Villa back in a positive way?

Yacob just blocked the ball standing still and the Aston Villa player committed himself towards him in a sliding tackle. I didn’t see any foul from both players in fact. It was a hard but fair duel, nobody showing studs. Yacob blocking the ball and dribbling past the Aston Villa player and then to most people their amazement the ref blew for a foul and send Yacob off. If it may be any consolation for WBA it is a tactic that Taylor has used before. Didn’t he, Kos? Inventing a foul in order to send a player off before a team could come back against Aston Villa.

The sending off for the Aston Villa player was clearly a way of covering his tracks. Aston Villa had gone to a 2-0 lead, extra time was starting so it would just be 10 against 10 and the job was as good as done.

Anthony Taylor who also was in the spothlight a few days earlier at Newcastle Villa when he denied a clear penalty in favour of Newcastle early in the match. If always the same ref is involved in controversy there might be something wrong with him. But not for the boss of the Mr. 99% boys. He thinks Taylor is worthy of a Fifa badge. Is he really?? Of course not but we all know how it works by now.

Back to the FA cup matches. And what took place between Bradford and Reading. I will not call it a football match. Because in order to have a football match you need a pitch. A football pitch is something that usually has grass on it. And usually is a very flat so you can let a ball roll on it without it bumping around from left to right or suddenly jumping up when you want to kick it.

When I turned on my TV and watched that pitch I couldn’t believe my eyes. That was surely not a pitch suitable for a match of football. I think I have seen dozens of misplaced passes just because of the pitch. Poor players who had to produce something that looked like football on such a pitch.

Surely the FA could do something about the quality of the pitches and if a club cannot produce a pitch that has the required quality the match should be postponed or should be played at another ground. But this was the worst possible and bad publicity for the FA cup and for English football.

That brings us to the final match of this FA cup weekend. We travel to Old Trafford. We will bring more news about this match later today and of course after the match I will try to bring you the match report as quickly as can.


The books

23 Replies to “The FA cup weekend so far”

  1. bratford pitch is soooo bad… numerous times players run down the wing and couldnt put in a decent cross in thanks to the poor pitch… watched for the 1st half and i couldnt take it anymore…

  2. Poor referee displays, it was ever thus. The BBC have been showing highlights of past FA Cup fixtures and if you think refereeing was better twenty to thirty years ago you’d be sadly disappointed. Things maybe worse or better, how do you measure these things? The fact is that terrible officiating wasn’t created in the 21st century, it was endemic in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, and probably long before that. If you grew up in the 70’s watching football as I did you’d see some bloodthirsty tackles and many went unpunished. We had our own hard man in those days, Peter Storey, who was guilty of many a criminal tackle.

  3. The Arsenal way,we used to clobber these thugs over and over again even with their 12th player involved we never gave up,what happened?? Do we have a fear factor for them ? Are we always beaten even before we start the game do shrek insert fear in our team? There is something wrong we always out play them but in the end they are the ones on top,what is going on?? Something has to be done and it has to be done now because we have to erase all the devilish crap they have done to us at old toilet and this is stopping today,can somebody say AMEN.
    We have conquered the devil and lets shoot outside the 16 yard box as we don’t expect any penalty at old toilet and the rest will be history lets not pass the ball to the net can someone say Alleluia. The omen is gone,lets go GUNNERSSSS

  4. I happened across a LFC blog. One person remarked that the pitch at Blackburn is not any better at the moment. Hearsay at best, for now.

  5. I anticipate with some concern that the main player on the field tonight will be the referee.
    I only hope he has the courage to tell Rooney to stop talking to him all the game. To watch Young’s and Rooney’s synchronised diving and to punish wrongdoers fairly from both sides.
    I’m afraid the word “hope” is all I have to offer.

  6. Prepare to get blown away.
    I have been waiting for this moment for a while now.
    The lads are NOT going to let me down tonight.

  7. It’s not looking good for the theorists ( on here ) who had made their minds up that the FA & BBC were determined there would be a United v Liverpool final.

  8. @ Tail
    We won’t know untill tonight now will we..
    Imo if we win it’s because we were 3 times as good as our opponents on the day, not that it will reflect in the scores.

  9. Eric

    In the unlikely event of us getting beaten, we’ll then have to wait until the Blackburn/’pool replay is done, but I think that Blackburn getting a draw at Anfield shot the theorists right up the ar$e.
    Hope I’m not wrong.

  10. @kenneth widmerpool,Alleluia,Amen. Sio the Devil has been cast into the fires of hell and he will never rise again.We will always be on top.Just asking why is oooossspppiinaaa on the beach thought he was much more ready and alert!! But as always Arsene knows,raring to go and crush the devil once and for all.

  11. Brickfields, or anyone.

    Q: How do you tell the difference between a chemist (not specifically pharmacist) and a plumber?
    A: Ask them to pronounce the word “unionised”.

    Let’s get a good game in, hopefully have a fair referee.


  12. @ Gord –

    H2O is water and H2O2 is hydrogen peroxide. What is H2O4?

  13. Took a while Brickfields but I suppose its old age.

    Kampala bro,
    Tonight’s game does not feature Oooooospinaaaaa because he is kept for Premier League & Chez is now Cup specialist. That is until there is good reason for Wenger to swap positions.

  14. An AKB for sure !-

    Helium walks into a bar, The bar tender says “We don’t serve noble gasses in here.”
    Helium doesn’t react.

    Strange bedfellows –

    If the Silver Surfer and Iron Man team up, they’d be alloys.

    Them –
    If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the precipitate.

    The Media –

    Don’t trust atoms, they make up everything.

    Me –

    Making bad chemistry jokes because all the good ones Argon.

    Duh !

    Q: What is the most important rule in chemistry?
    A: Never lick the spoon!

    Good things eventually come to those that believe and wait faithfully and patiently !
    Q: What element is a girl’s future best friend?
    A: Carbon.

  15. @ Menace – this would have been easier .

    Q: If H20 is water, what is H204?
    A: Drinking, bathing, washing, swimming, etc.

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