Ah, FA Cup Final day. Love it! I’d love it a lot more mind if we haven’t stood well and truly on our collective crank whilst wearing the spiked golf shoes against Chelsea in the semi-final.
Still, we were second best on the day. I couldn’t complain given our defensive errors. I only hope the pitch, recently re-laid yet again, is up to Cup Final standards. The park for both semi-finals was a disgrace. You’d find a better player surface on Hackney Marshes.
I shall be wearing a big blue and white rosette this afternoon and cheering on Everton. I’ve never been all that keen on Chelsea as a club. Some of their followers (and I repeat some) belong in the Dark Ages. When I was a kid Chelsea had a reputation as a good Cup side but too soft in the middle to ever win the League. In the stands their following was a mixture of King’s Road luvvies in the main stand and cave-dwelling racist Neanderthals standing on The Shed.
Historically, Chelsea is unique in that it started as a ground looking for a team. The original Stamford Bridge was constructed to stage athletics and football as a speculative investment. When Fulham refused to de-camp from Craven Cottage to take up residence, the owners of the new ground rapidly formed their own team and gained admittance to the old Football League Second Division (there were only two professional divisions then). Over the years its staged baseball, greyhound racing, speedway, rugby league and American football as well as being home to Chelsea.
The Abramovich years have seen huge amounts of cash lavished on the team without an awful lot to show for it in terms of silverware. Yes they’ve had success, but not as much as the money spent would appear to indicate. Everton on the other hand is one of the traditional giants of English football, now sadly fallen on relatively hard times.
In my personal awards for the season David Moyes finished just behind Roy Hodgson at Fulham as manager of the year. Moyes is not always the most attractive of men but he’s an excellent judge of a player, a good tactician and a good motivator. I hope the blue side of Liverpool is celebrating tonight. Chelsea finishing with nothing would please me immensely, as would seeing on this country’s great clubs having to celebrate again. The fact that Everton finds it very difficult to compete at the very top table despite the television millions pouring into the game is a condemnation on the devil take the hindmost attitude of football administrators in this country.
I would love to be looking forward to taking the Tube out to Wembley this afternoon after my normal pre- Cup Final sleepless night. Unfortunately it’s not to be. I shall be watching on the TV like millions of others. Oh well. There’s always next season.
Keep the faith!