Rough Guide: Opposition
Rough Guide: Club History
Rough Guide: Boston
Rough Guide: Who's Who
Classic Service Stations
Inept Defending Of Our Time
My (Bankrupt) FC
Sites we like
impsTALK goes to..... the 2008 Women's FA Cup final
4, Leeds United 1
May 5 2008
They’re a national laughing stock. The butt of a billion jokes. Shapeless, tactically naïve, technically deficient; unable to pass, trap, head or basically kick the ball, while playing at a pace that even an exceptionally lethargic glacier would find excruciating. Sadly, Derby County haven’t given their fans much to cheer about over the last ten months. In fact, they’ve not really given them anything to smile wanly about.
Take a short drive down the A52, however, and the red half of this Midlands conurbation is having a right old time of it. Having luckily sneaked into the last remaining automatic promotion slot courtesy of Carlisle and Doncaster’s admirable efforts to trump each other in the spectacular implosion stakes, Nottingham Forest fans flooded the pitch on Saturday after the final whistle (note to Stoke City fans – after the final whistle) to celebrate their elevation to the Championship.
Nigel Doughty, Forest’s unfathomably wealthy benefactor, stubbornly refused to get too carried away, grumpily waving away the leering goons brandishing champagne and promptly declaring that even being in the Championship was ‘embarrassing’ for a club that rightly deserved to be in the Premiership – presumably because it has a big ground with a funny roof and boasts some of the most deluded fans in the northern hemisphere.
Much to their obvious irritation, the more Neanderthal elements of Forest’s support were prevented from joining in the on-pitch celebrations by a pre-planned defence mounted by stewards that made the Third Reich’s Atlantic Wall look like a rusty chain link fence. Those supporters unlucky enough to have purchased tickets in the infamous A Block would have found it easier to dodge their way onto Utah Beach. As the public address system boomed out commands to stay off the playing surface, the sentiment of the A-blockers was summed up nicely by one frustrated wannabe head-cracker: “Fuck the playing surface! There ain’t no more fuckin’ games, you daft twats!”
Except, of course, he was wrong. There was one more match to be played on the City Ground’s beautiful, pristine bowling green surface: the Women’s FA Cup Final between Arsenal and Leeds United on Bank Holiday Monday.
Despite Mark Arthur’s soothing overtones celebrating the ‘wonderful link’ between Forest and the FA and all that celebratory nonsense, Nottingham Forest fans were, as usual, pretty scathing about the fact that their stadium was being used to host such a tinpot game. Many found the very concept of them attending the final utterly laughable. So, adopting my most sanctimonious, right-on, condescending attitude of pure, unadulterated smugness, I decided I would go. At £5 a pop to watch 22 players, two goals and a football on a glorious day on the banks of the Trent, why wouldn’t you?
But their dominance is telling and betrays the lack of equality and
a talent pool that is still desperately shallow. A brief flick though
the teams’ respective routes to the final was telling. Arsenal’s
run included an 11-1 win over Newport, an 8-1 duffing and two 5-1 wins
in the latter stages. Frankly, no-one had got close to them.
final of the FA Cup, live on BBC One, kicked off, it swiftly became evident
why. Arsenal were good. Very good. Stocked with players blessed with genuine
technical ability, they were able to breeze past defenders at will, dispossess
midfielders with consummate ease and could ping the ball around with the
confident air of their male counterparts at the height of their powers.
After the game, Vic Akers, the Arsenal manager, protested that the FA Cup Final should be played at Wembley. "If all the men's finals and play-offs are at Wembley, they should fit this big day in the calendar," he grumbled. Not yet. There is little prestige in playing before a stadium that is two thirds empty, and nothing – least of all a cavernous, vacant Wembley – beats a glorious day on the banks of the Trent.
Copyright © 2002-2014 impsTALK.co.uk | Contact impsTALK