by Tony Attwood
It was a slightly interesting cup final for those who like to mix a few facts in with the opinion. Chelsea have now won the FA Cup eight times since they were formed and immediately gained a place in the Football League in 1905 – so that is eight in 113 years. That is once more than Mr Wenger won the Cup in 22 years, and equalling Arsenal’s record of eight in the last 25 years.
It means that London still dominates the FA Cup and Arsenal are still top of the tree…
|Club||Wins||First final won||Last final won||Runners-up||Last final lost||Total final appearances|
Unfortunately not all websites like to keep these things up to date and as mentioned before the FA’s own official website is still out of date showing pictures of Liverpool winning the Cup on its site and not recognising either this year’s final nor indeed last year’s.
The final also seems to have cemented the media’s current dislike of Jose Mourinho as with the Telegraph’s headline “Jose Mourinho’s mistrust of entertainment leaves trophies as his sole currency – and another chance has gone begging.” The Guardian goes with “Mourinho, a man without a plan.”
But it did give a chance to show that VAR works – it was clear and simple, only took a moment and gave the right decision. Which does raise yet again the question why England, alone among the major leagues, needs time to consider it further.
And I still find myself wondering not only why this is the case but why there isn’t a full scale debate on the issue “why?” I know that the League was much slower than many in undertaking trials of VAT while also boasting the PL was ahead of the game (you might recall Walter’s articles across the years as the build up to VAR began in Europe, which pointed out the difference between the PL and elsewhere), but that just puts the question back one step. “Why?” it seems to me, is so often the most intriguing question and is so often missed.
It might of course be the problem of a magnetic anomaly under England that the rest of Europe does not have. It may be that since starting the industrial revolution the amount of coal dust in the ground affects something in the equipment. Or maybe Europe, remembering that from around 1760 to 1830 it was illegal for any British citizen involved in industrial manufacturing to go to Europe, for fear that the nasty foreigners would steal our ideas, is now applying this logic in reverse and is only selling us faulty equipment.
It also might just be that the League and PGMO are a fraction worried about what properly operational VAR might reveal about English referees … but of course that is mere speculation.
Meanwhile I suspect Manchester United’s board will hardly have noticed the final since their focus appears to be on the Club World Cup that was mentioned here the other day.
Ed Woodward, Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman recently reported to investors, when releasing the third quarter accounts that, “Many of you will have seen reports of a $25 billion offer to Fifa, $12 billion of which is for four cycles of a revamped Club World Cup tournament between 2021 and 2033….
“It supports the view that OTT platforms will be the future of content consumption, live, compelling content will be a key battle ground for influences which are successful and whichever way the rapidly evolving media landscape unfolds content generators are uniquely placed to be the beneficiaries. As such, we continue to believe live sport content will become increasingly more valuable in the future.”
That’s what we devour apparently. Sport content. Anyway, OTT (over the top) is the name given to content providers like Netflix and Amazon which bypass traditional telecommunications, cable or broadcast television to offer new content.
Woodward has previously said he expects Amazon and Facebook to bid for Football rights, and indeed Sky Sports recently lost the rights to Spanish matches to Eleven Sports, one such company. Man U also now has not only its own TV channel but also its own You Tube channel. Arsenal’s owner did come forward with his own channel, but it seemed to be mostly about killing animals and the idea was dropped from English TV.
Of course Man U are not at the forefront of everything as they don’t yet have a women’s team competing in the top leagues. Speaking of which, Arsenal need to win today against Bristol City, in order to stand a chance of securing second position in the league and a place in the Women’s Champions League. Kick off is at 1230 at the Stoke Gifford Stadium.
- Arsenal is full of people who really don’t want to be there, and there’s nothing I can do about it.
- The curious cases of match fixing in the world cup, Champs League, and, well, generally