Possible crisis at Manchester United, the demise of the FA Cup and poor tackles all feature in this week’s review of the football world in the good, the bad and the ugly section of the podcast. Vocabulary support can be found for the words in bold at the foot of the post.
Good for Leeds United and Leeds’ striker Jermaine Beckford. The Division 1 side, that’s the third tier of football in England, beat English Champions Manchester United in the third round of the FA Cup 1-0 away. The Yorkshire side brought back the old glory days when they were a force in the Premier League and outplayed a poor Manchester side. They now get a tie in London against Premier league high-fliers Tottenham. It was Jermaine Beckford‘s goal which secured the win for Leeds, but his positive and powerful display up front has attracted the interest of some bigger clubs including Championship leaders Newcastle, so he could be in for a move onward and upward in the transfer window.
It’s been a better week for Premier League side Bolton Wanderers as they announce the appointment of a new manager by poaching Owen Coyle from their local rivals Burnley. Coyle is highly-regarded by many in the game and though others feel this is a sideways step in that both clubs are currently involved in a relegation battle Bolton are a bigger club than their neighbours and may have made the right move to keep them up come the end of the season.
Well, apart from that Leeds victory, the FA Cup 3rd Round was pretty much a damp squib as hardly any giant killing went on and worse than that hardly anyone turned up to see the games. A paltry 5.000 watched two Premier League sides, Wigan and Hull, play while only 12.000 watched Middlesbrough from the Championship lose at home to high-flying Manchester City, while not even the fact that it was a London derby could fill West Ham’s Upton Park. Clubs don’t care, the major satellite channels don’t care, managers don’t care and now it’s the fans’ turn. Has the romance gone out of the Cup?
It’s bad enough being knocked out of the FA Cup third round for the first time in your career but Fergie of Manchester United is now reported to be in a dispute with his star central defender Nemanja Vidic. Reports suggest that the Manchester United manager is not convinced that Vidic was really unfit when he pulled out of last weekends FA Cup game, and instead the Serbian international feigned injury. This only adds credibility to rumours linking Vidic with a move to Spain’s La Liga, with both Real Madrid and Barcelona said to be interested. Bad for Fergie and his already injury hit defensive line.
When you play for Barcelona, a team many think of as the best in the World – 6 titles in 2009 remember, with a clean-cut image, no corporate sponsorship for them just UNICEF, you might expect to feel pressure to play in such a way as to inspire young players, to set an example to those footballers around the world who tune in to watch some of the best players in the world play football how it should be played. What you don’t do is to make deliberate, blatant tackles that could seriously injure the opponent in a run-of-the-mill league game. Now, we don’t know what might have riled Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but there was no excuse for his two-footed lunge and stamp on Villarreal player, Godin. Ugly, and he deserves a lengthy ban.
tier: level, rank, division
to be a force: be strong, be a prominent side, be involved in titles and competitions
high-fliers: successful team, team near the top of the league, currently doing well
to move onward and upward: have more success, improve your career, get a better job or situation
poaching: Stealing someone away from another job
a relegation battle: To be involved with other teams in a struggle to stay in the division
a damp squib: Not exciting at all despite the build up or anticipation
A paltry:: Not many at all, few
dispute: argument, disagreement
to pull out: to withdraw from a team, to not play
to feign: to pretend, to fake, to play act
clean-cut: honest looking, respectable, clean living
blatant: obvious, clear to see, showing, shameless
to rile: to make angry, to annoy