The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Manchester, FA Cup Day and Ajax Keeper’s Howler

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A great week for Manchester as both United and City win trophies – United win their 19th League title and City win their first silverware in 35 years – the FA Cup. However why was the final played on the same day as Premier League games? You can listen to these and other stories on our weekly podcast and can find explanations of key vocabulary in bold below.

The Good

A huge weekend for the city of Manchester as their two clubs won major trophies on the same day. Manchester City have finally won their first piece of silverware for 35 years after defeating first-time finalists Stoke City 1-0 at Wembley. Mega-rich City fully deserved their win with former Barcelona star Yaya Toure scoring the winner in the second half to send the sky blue side of Manchester into raptures. Coach Roberto Mancini has now won a trophy and secured a Champions League spot for next season in only his second season and with the club expected to further bankroll the ‘project‘ it appears that City could well become a force over the next few years.

Earlier on in the day, City’s rivals Manchester United wrapped up their record-breaking 19th League title with a 1-1 draw at Blackburn Rovers. Manager Sir Alex Ferguson and Welsh winger Ryan Giggs have now won 12 league titles each – that’s more than most club totals. Many pundits had written them off earlier in the season – particularly as their away form has not been the best – but under Ferguson they went unbeaten at home, scored more goals than any other team and when it was the business end of the season they showed more bottle than any of their rivals. Worthy winners.

It was also good for Scottish side Rangers as they won their 55th League title – a world record – while it was also a good weekend for Ajax as they won their first Dutch title in seven years.

The Bad

Obviously bad for West Ham as the London club were the first side to be relegated to the Championship but a story that has upset many traditional football fans concerns the FA Cup. It is the oldest knock-out competition in the world, has a rich history and tradition and is followed by supporters from all over the globe. Despite this, the Premier League decided to have a full set of fixtures over this year’s FA Cup weekend which meant that ludicrously Manchester United’s title-winning league game at Blackburn finished only 30 minutes before the start of the final and thus deflected away from both the title winners and the FA Cup final. The FA Cup final should, like domestic finals in other countries, be played on a separate day, a special day in order to celebrate this tradition. It has been reported that this will happen again next season – once more diluting the great day out that the FA Cup should represent.

The Funny

Well, it seems to be a kind of fashion now, but it’s also extremely funny when a player celebrating a title win drops a trophy from the victory coach. That’s what happened this weekend as Ajax player, Maarten Stekelenburg, dropped the Eredivisie trophy from the top of the Ajax coach. Doubly funny as he’s a goalkeeper and meant to have a safe pair of hands! Dropping the silverware was more a case of butterfingers. Of course, follows on from last months cup-dropping incident when Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos dropped the Copa del Rey under the wheels of his team’s coach.




Mega-rich: Extremely wealthy

To send the sky blue side of Manchester into raptures: The fans were ecstatic, very happy indeed.

To bankroll: To pay for

The project: The term City use to describe their future plans

wrapped up: To win, to complete the victory

pundit: Football experts

written them off: To suggest that the team was not so strong

ludicrously: Crazily, without meaning

diluting: To make something weaker

a safe pair of hands: usually used to mean a keeper is reliable, has good hands, and doesn’t drop the ball often; it can also refer to a manager, who owners can trust to not make any big mistakes

silverware: a trophy, a cup, a title

butterfingers: the opposite of a safe pair of hands; this is used to describe a clumsy person, someone who drops easy catches

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The Good, The Bad, The UglyEpisode 186