Our football review of the week looks back at Birmingham’s shock win over Arsenal (he he), wonders if it’s possible for Ashley Cole to become even more ridiculous and reviews the ugly Glasgow derby. You can listen to these and other stories on our weekly podcast and can find explanations of key vocabulary in bold below.
Well, every neutral fan likes an upset and that’s what we got in England’s Carling Cup, the old League Cup, when the midlands side, Birmingham City deservedly beat heavy favourites, Arsenal at Wembley 2-1. Before the game all the focus was on how Arsenal haven’t won any silverware for over six years, and how Arsenal had taken this cup more seriously than in the past, so that they could break this hoodoo. Nobody was paying much attention to Birmingham, who everyone expected would roll over and not put up much of a fight. How wrong everyone was. They played superbly and outplayed the title contenders from London. Oh yes, and it was their first major piece of silverware for 48 years! They’ve broken their hoodoo, but Arsenal still have to wait!
For bad, how about a player kicking an owl off the pitch (which later died) in Columbia? Wayne Rooney elbowing an opponent in the face off the ball in the Premier League? Handbags between Macclesfield and Wycombe Wanderers players in League Two in England? All bad, but this week’s bad in the football news has to go to Ashley Cole for shooting an intern on work experience at Chelsea Football club’s training ground. OK, so it was only a .22 air rifle and the intern wasn’t seriously injured. He said he was ‘larking about‘, but what was Cole thinking? Why did he have a gun at the training ground? And it could have been a lot more serious. Bad and very stupid from Ashley.
We have mentioned on this blog that probably the most ferocious of rivalries is that involving the two main sides from Glasgow: Celtic and Rangers and this was borne out after last night’s game which saw three players from the Rangers’ team sent-off (although Diouf’s came after the final whistle). There was an altercation between Celtic manager Neil Lennon and Rangers’ assistant coach Ally McCoist at the end of the game when they had to be separated, while34 fans were arrested during the game itself. Ugly scenes indeed.
upset: a surprise result, when the favourites lose, when the underdogs win
silverware: honours, cups, titles
break (a) hoodoo: stop a run of bad luck, (in this context for Arsenal) finally win some silverware
roll over: give in, capitulate, play with no spirit and lose
off the ball: where the referee cannot see, away from the ball – see this week’s English for football phrase
handbags: fighting (but not that serious), when players push and shove each other, bravado
lark about: fool around, mess about, act in high spirits
altercation: A fight
this was borne out: Demonstrated, proven, shown