Day: February 27, 2011

Match Of The Week: The 2011 League Cup Final: Arsenal 1-2 Birmingham City

Perhaps today was a day for burying a few clichés. That the League Cup “doesn’t matter any more” has become one of the mantras of the modern game, but this is a viewpoint that looked somewhat bedraggled as the full-time whistle blew at Wembley Stadium this afternoon. As the Birmingham City players celebrated this most unlikely of victories, the Arsenal players slunk to the floor, shattered by defeat. It didn’t feel as this was a result that “didn’t matter” at five minutes to six this evening. For the first time since before the assassination of John F Kennedy, Birmingham City Football Club could celebrate taking a major trophy back to St Andrews. Birmingham’s previous major trophy win also came in this competition, but the League Cup has changed a lot since 1963. Much as the competition is decredited by its critics nowadays, it remains a competition that has come a long way over the last five decades. A Wembley Final and a place in Europe weren’t on offer in 1963. As such, today is a day that will enter the shared consciousness and folklore of Birmingham City Football Club. The DVD of the match will become a comfort blanket, to be pulled out with a bottle of whiskey when times are tough. They have a fight on their hands ahead in order to maintain their Premier League place after...

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Generous George And Other Acts Of Random Football Kindness

It sounds like a plotline one of those football films – the non-league minnows, who are playing for free, have their coach trip for a huge away trip to the other side of the country paid for by a generous stranger. But that is just what happened to Redditch United this week. Generous stranger, and massive Blyth Spartans fan, George Robson was the one behind the gesture. Rooted to the bottom of the Blue Square North and with no playing budget whatsoever Redditch are fighting very hard to keep their heads above water, watchful of the likes of Ilkeston and Farsley Celtic who have both been lost from that league in the past two seasons. They aren’t winning too many matches, their first team manager left and the average of the squad is 19 (just), it’s not a great time for anyone at the club right now. But George’s gesture, to pay for the first team coach to make the 11hr round trip to Blyth last Tuesday left Reds secretary Tim Delaney, and most of the fans on the Redditch forum, speechless. “For a supporter of one club who pledges his support and money to them on a regular basis to even consider another’s plight is truly humbling and restores ones faith in human kind,” he said. Before adding that the first team and travelling directors, supporters and staff...

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