Despite using a very bent ref, and having the advantage of playing against Arsenal’s reserve defence, and playing on something that quickly became more akin to a ploughed field than a smooth playing surface, KGB Fulham could still only manage a 2-1 win against Arsenal.
It is quite obvious that any club that is a serious contender to be a club of quality would have been able to beat an Arsenal back five made up of second and third choice players – but they struggled continuously to make any sort of break through at all.
Despite being given an endless series of benefits from incidents where their team tripped, kicked, tapped, pushed, and pulled they simply couldn’t work out how to get through a solid Arsenal Reserve back five. Indeed some of the Reserves were injured making the whole set up extremely make-shift.
The result is a massive positive step for Arsenal showing how close their reserves are to being able to cope with the supposedly third best team in the country. It also means that there is considerable hope for the forthcoming league and Euro games in which some of the defence will soon be available once more.
There were other positives too.
First, a handball own goal by A Cole was very enjoyable. Second Arsenal will be spared playing on the dreadful Wembley pitch again this season. With the pitch cutting up as players tried to make normal moves around it, it is quite clear that in the other semi final and the final it is more than likely that someone will break an ankle.
Third, supportes of other teams can be sickened by the sycophantic ranting of dribbling twits on Setanta. (If you can find someone with a recording of any of the Setanta coverage, get a sick bag and then watch a few moments – which was all I could take.)
What should happen of course is that
a) the ref should be suspended pending a full enquiry into his behaviour
b) all football at the ground should be suspended pending the proven relaying of the turf, and the further proof that the ground will not cut up as players run about on it.
c) there should be a full enquiry into how so many seats remained empty when there was such a demand from Arsenal supporters for more seats.
d) Setanta should look at just how terrible their coverage was, scrap all plans for the final, and think again.
Will we get such enquiries? It is as likely as an apology from KGB Fulham for their behaviour.
Arsenal can however hold their heads high. We’re secure in 4th place with a phenominally young and exciting team, when the first team defence return we’ll be in much better shape and return to our habit of beating everyone, we are unlikely to have to play as bent a ref as this again this season, and several of our players have been rested ready for the battles to come and should be fighting fit shortly.
And we don’t have to play in that dreadful awful place again this season.
(c) Tony “Wembley is a bloody awful ground” Attwood 2009
PS We should now be back on Gooner News – sorry if you missed us following the changes made to the site. We have continued publishing daily, and copies of past emails are available on this site.
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