GRIPE Wembley woe for linesman
We usually focus on Premier League games, but I was at the Carling Cup final so I have to choose that. We saw some great displays by West Ham, Fulham and Wolves this weekend, but Birmingham topped the lot and got their tactics spot on to win the first trophy of the season. I know Ben Foster played well to keep Arsenal out, but Alex McLeish played a certain way to get a certain result and they go home with the glory.
I was very impressed with Wolves on Saturday. Adam Hammill caught my eye before he went off injured and Sylvan Ebanks Blake helped himself to a couple of goals. But the real eye catching moment was the first goal scored by Matt Jarvis.
I should also mention Jermaine Beckford. I was having a cup of tea with David Moyes before their game with Sunderland and he said he's one of those Soccer Boots Superfly
People say it was "only Blackpool", but even without Charlie Adam Blackpool are no mugs.
It was an absolutely outstanding team goal. David Edwards picked it up, gave it to Hammill and he gave it back to him before laying it to Ronald Zubar. He brought it down, gave it back to Edwards who knocked it to Hammill and he found Jarvis who burst through and scored. It was great football. Nike Football Shoes 2014 Mercurial
Over the Blue moon
Kammy you've got it spot on everyone at wembley could see he was onside and it was a stone wall penalty and sending off. If we were here now talking about what could or should have been then i think most of the country would be calling out for instant replays for highly controversial decisions again but fortunately for the blue half of the city and all the spurs fans out there the right result was achieved in the end, and by god what a way to settle it. Never did i think that we would be able to establish ourselves as a major force in english football let alone europe so hopefully this will help us attract some very good players in the summer so we can look to improve the squad and stop being seen as a relegation side. Bentley and Martins are a must but Larsson please please please please sign a new contract
GAFFER Alex McLeish
It was an incredible opening to the Carling Cup final when the assistant gave Lee Bowyer offside when it wasn't even close. They don't show controversial incidents on the Wembley screens, but I could see with the naked eye that he was onside, so it was inexcusable from the official. It should have been a penalty and Arsenal should have had the goalkeeper sent off, but the good thing about it is that it didn't have a bearing on the result because otherwise that's all we'd be talking about now, like last year when Nemanja Vidic should have been sent off against Aston Villa. At least we don't have to talk about that all day.
PLAYER Scott Parker
Overall, we saw some decent performances from referees, which is good to see. The big talking point is Mark Clattenburg's reaction to Wayne Rooney's elbow on James McCarthy (who I think deserves great credit for staying on his feet). Because of the player involved it is going to be big news, but we need to wait and see what the referee's report says before anything can be done about it.
Neil Pritchard (Birmingham City fan) says.
This is his first trophy in English football after a lot of ups and downs at Birmingham. In his first season he went there and couldn't save them from the drop, but he won automatic promotion in his second season. Last year they had a good campaign, but I remember being there when they played Bolton and the fans were all screaming at him to play two up front. He's rode that out and now the fans wouldn't want anyone else!
players where the ball finds him in the box and he finds the ball. He said he just hasn't been converting his chances, "but maybe he'll score a hat trick today". Well he went out and got two and then he took him off before those words were proved true!
I'll also mention Javier Hernandez, who looks like the next Andy Cole or Ruud van Nistelrooy and in fact, Charlie Nicholas compared him to a young Michael Owen on Goals on Sunday. Man United have strikers like Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov, who don't always play on the last defender, but Hernandez gives them a different dimension. When he goes through one on one you think he's going to score Football Cleats For Turf
He got the big tactical decisions right at Wembley. He could have gone for the pace of Cameron Jerome or the trickery of Obafemi Martins, but the Arsenal defenders would have been happier with that. He knew the Arsenal weakness and he exploited it by playing Zigic, which was fascinating. It wasn't as if Zigic played that well he wasn't a Niall Quinn or an Alan Shearer terrorising them in the air. it was just the fact that he was so tall that distracted the back four.
GOAL Matt Jarvis
As it turned out, every one of Birmingham's players were up for it. They played to a system that suited them that was focused around the lone striker Nikola Zigic. At times the system didn't function as well as it might have because Zigic didn't win that many headers, but his mere presence was enough to distract the centre halves and that was McLeish's ploy. Foster played well in goal, but all of the players were up for it.
Scott Parker seems to be carrying West Ham on his shoulders with the performances he brings to that Nike Soccer Shoes Superfly team every week. I'll pick him out because he seems to be the catalyst for that football club and I don't think any other player influences a team as much as he does.
For the neutral it was a fantastic game of football and it had a bit of everything. There was a big mistake early on from the officials, a win for the underdog, fine individual performances from Jack Wilshere and Ben Foster and some very good substitutions from the Birmingham manager. Alex made positive changes, bringing on strikers and it paid off for them. And there was also a great atmosphere from both sets of supporters.
On Sundays you can see him back in the Sky Sports studios as he brings you all of the highlights on Goals on Sunday. Join us every week as he runs through his highs and lows.
I don't think there's any doubt that they'll stay up. They have a strong defence and goalkeeper and they can score goals. The additions to the squad have improved them, as we saw on Sunday with two of the subs having been signed in January. In fact, I'm surprised they're as low as they are in the table.
It's got to be the Carling Cup winners. The Birmingham camp are all saying that nobody gave them a chance in the Carling Cup final. I don't think that's true; everybody gave them a chance, but it looked more likely that Arsenal were going to end their wait for a trophy.
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