Good grief: how good were Arsenal and how bad were Aston Villa?
The FA Cup Final was over as a contest as soon as Theo Walcott got the opener. After that, the only question was how many? In Cazorla, Arsenal had the finest player on the pitch, but Sanchez wasn’t that far behind and I could watch Ozil against poor opponents any day of the week. At last, Wenger seems to have struck on a formula that could next season see them coming a distant second to Chelsea in the Premier League.
As for Villa, oh dear. They arrived on the crest of a slump and carried on slumping. They looked what they are: a poor side who escaped relegation as a result of the initial boost a new manager gives a team before they resumed being crap again. As I watched the embarrassment unfold – and that’s what Villa’s performance represented – I thought about Tim Sherwood standing there helplessly on the touchline. That is one crap team he’s got there and he will need to show some absolute genius in the transfer market to avoid the sack before Christmas. Yes, I know this season is barely over and I also know that Arsenal are a tremendous side, but if I was a Villa fan I would be, as we say in the football business, bricking it for next season.
There are two people for whom I feel particularly sorry. Prince William, who “chose” to support Villa when he was at school, his friends being Manchester United and Chelsea fans (in the Ranieri era? Seriously?), and Prime Minister David Cameron, who loyally supports the Villa when he remembers which team he supports (it was West Ham a few weeks ago). They must be particularly devastated tonight, especially as Bill had to present the trophy to Villa’s opponents! How must that have hurt him. Doubtless, he will be slumped at the back of the royal chopper (ooh er!) on the way back to Buck House for a few foaming pints of Bostons Old Thumper and a chat with his father in law about the game.
Can anyone tell me why the game kicked off at 5.30pm? Were the police concerned at the clash with the rugby final at Twickenham on the other side of London? The FA Cup final kicks off at 3.00pm you idiots. Tea time is when you start to think about popping down the boozer after the game, not start watching the bloody thing. Not that I watched it with a great deal of interest or excitement. I certainly like the way Arsenal play but I am not an Arsenal fan. I don’t like the way Villa play but it doesn’t matter because I am not a Villa fan either. Obviously, I can enjoy a game as a neutral – I usually manage to find a reason, usually a spurious and silly one, to like or dislike one of the teams so it’s easy enough.
Mostly though, football is becoming crap. Blatter’s incredible decision to hang on to the Fifa presidency is but one reason, there are many more. Today there were two foreign owned teams, consisting mainly of foreign players, playing at a grossly overpriced and desperately overrated stadium, who normally play in a league comprising mainly of foreign owned teams, consisting mainly of foreign players, raking insane sums of money from a foreign owned TV company. The people’s game, my arse!
The big consolation for today’s losers is they won’t now be in next season’s Europa League. That misery will now be passed on to poor Southampton who will doubtless be devastated by Villa’s pathetic showing today. if that was a bad day for Tim Sherwood, imagine how bad Ronald Koeman will be feeling tonight!