Thursday, May 22, 2008

Champions League Final

When you're watching penalty shoot-outs you usually have some skin in the game. Because I genuinely didn't care who won last night's European Final, penalties made for a most unsatisfactory conclusion. The trouble is the shoot-out gives the media permission to break the whole evening all down to individual tragedies and triumphs. This is really not what any football game, let alone last night's, was all about. This morning it's van der Saar's heroic save and Terry's tragic slip and is Ferguson the best manager of all time? This is just post justifying waffle. It could have gone either way. It was on the edge of chaos throughout. The managers stood there soaked and screaming and powerless like they always do. The winning team had their luck in a different order than the losing team. There was no moral.


  1. Did anyone note down the opening words from the ITV commentator? It would have been worth a few quid from Private Eye.
    Something like "Here we are in Moscow, a city that has known poverty, hunger, political oppression; they know just how big a game it is tonight..."
    Another staggering case of distortion of perspective from the pundits.
    Great game though.

  2. All the stuff about the Munich air crash was getting annoying. There is no real link with the events last night with those 50 years ago and to go on about it is as I say wrong.

  3. There was the usual nonsense about fate and destiny, in this case connected tenuously to the Munich air tragedy, which would have been used in relation to Frank Lampard's bereavement if Chelsea had won.

  4. yes, John Terry didn't seem to dedicate his missed penalty to any dead relative, curious how this all works!
    I've just done the monthly absence records in tribute to my late much missed granny.....

  5. There WAS a moral: United are jammy bastards.

    And all this nonsense from Ferguson about how they deserved to win because of their "history" - football games are won on the pitch, not in history books or at the whim of some God of Football deciding a team's karmic fate one way or the other.

  6. My moral would be 'protesting - with shouting, lunging and violent gesticulation - throughout a possible 2 hour match on a soft pitch in wind and rain is a futile, self-harming waste of energy so don't bother'. I became obsessed with the protests and how much energy went into complaining from just about every player. It's pointless to begin with but I kept thinking of Michael Johnson staying calm and not fidgeting to conserve his energy. The penny is never going to drop is it.

  7. What a thoroughly spoilt and odious individual Didier Drogba is.

  8. If the hyperbole had become so all-consuming on ITV1, you could easily have switched over to Sky where the word "destiny" had become addictive - so much so that it felt like they were all in on a game to try and fit it in where they could. It was Gigg's "destiny" to score.....and he didn't. It was Terry's "destiny" to lead Chelsea to the title....and he didn't. Eventually they were having to dreg the depths of plausibility to find a story to tell. Maybe, "Rio Ferdinand...once watched the cup final on this very day in's his destiny to win". Plus by watching Sky you have to stomach the fact that along with the media frenzy of the occasion is the desire for each pundit to compete with it. Graeme Souness comes from the Alan Hansen school of, "When i played for Liverpool". "When i won the cup with liverpool". "During my time at Liverpool". If i ever met the man I'd be tempted to ask him, "Who'd you play for again?".

  9. As a neutral, I too was slightly disappointed. I mourn the loss of anyone willing to take any risk in football anymore. The last ten minutes are a waste of time because they are playing for extra time and then the last ten minutes of extra time are a waste because they are playing for penalties. I don't know the answer, but it would be great to see a manager not want to go to penalties and urge his players to get in the box. Instead the got to penalties, lose and complain about penalties!

  10. Anonymous2:41 pm

    I'm an Arsenal fan and my over-riding emotion on Wednesday night was, I admit, jealousy. I would have loved my team to have been there.

    The second strongest emotion I felt was annoyance. Annoyance at the fact that ITV, and Clive bloody Tyldesley in particular, are so biased in favour of Man Utd. They should just state up front that they're supporting them and be done with it. If I were a Chelsea fan I'm sure that the partisanship shown to Man Utd would have had me screaming at the television, assuming that I had enough energy left to shout. It was just ridiculous.

    Having said that, wasn't it fun watching the three penalty misses, Anelka's in particular...?

  11. Anonymous3:56 pm

    Good to see it's not just me who dislikes Clive Tyldesley:

    The previous poster!