Adam Bird


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Tuesday, 22 May 2007


Having allowed Stephanie access to my blog and her excellent account of her weekend away it is now back to me and my random ramblings of nothing in particular.

OK, maybe not nothing, but one thing I wanted to get of my chest.

The FA Cup final... the pinnacle of the football season, the countries best two teams fighting blood, guts and tears to win the greatest cup competition in the world, all in front of the largest TV audience of the year and in the case of this years final, back at Wembley with 90,000 people watching from a brand new stadium.

With Stephanie off out practicing her sign language with her tutors, the boys out in Prague for Mark's stag weekend, and my Dad sunning himself in Antigua my choice of viewing partners were few and far between. As it was, Oliver and I sat in readiness for our first FA Cup final together.

As we sat an enjoyed our pre-match refreshments of a bottle of beer (me) and a bottle of formula (Oliver), the BBC did there best to hype up the game, and trawl through the archives of yesteryear finals and did nothing but depress me and make me feel old.

Earlier that morning I had gone to the hairdressers and watched as the barber hacked grey hair after grey hair off of my head. Watching highlights of FA Cup finals in the late 80's and remembering them clearly certainly did not make me feel any younger!

The game kicked off, and Oliver worn out by the BBC interviews of heroes past and present and clearly uninterested when I tried to explain the concept of black and white TV had fallen asleep. After 30 seconds I nearly joined him. Manchester United kicked off and started passing the ball neatly and precisely across the back four, into the midfield with Scholes and then back again to the back four who repeated the sorry exercise all over again.

The so called two best teams in England, head to head, Ronaldo, Rooney, Giggs, Lampard, Terry, Cole, Wright-Phillips the countries "greatest" players, served up a sterile spectacle of stinking proportions.

These are the same players that spend their weeks filming adverts for fantasy five aside adverts playing in cages and supporting street soccer. Adverts which advertise the game as fun, excitement and focus on skills and flair. There was none of that at Wembley.

Far cry from last years barnstormer of a final which had the neutrals purring and Steven Gerrard's legion of fan's proclaiming that this was the guy that was going to win us the World Cup.

Following the game Jose Mourinho revealed that he had asked his players, enjoy the game or enjoy the party after the game? The players opted to enjoy the party! Does this say something about the mentality of the current crop of Premier Footballers? Or would you do the same in a Chelsea players shoes?

Personally speaking, I would prefer to be remembered for scoring a goal in an FA Cup final or contributing to one that everyone remembers. When Oliver is my age, watching the BBC trawl back through the highlights at the first final of the new Wembley what will the BBC show? Drogba's goal, which was very well executed and typically finished? Not a lot else.

Hopefully now that the "first team to win an FA Cup final at Wembley" has fallen to Chelsea we will see a better final next year!


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