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ONCE upon a time it was sim­ple – your club won a cup and you cel­e­brated. You got pissed, spewed up, went home, had a slash in the wardrobe and fell asleep up­side down on the couch.

The next day, you bought a bit of cup-win­ning tat – a crap T-shirt, a mug, a scarf – and headed to work to give the bird to ri­val fans. Nowa­days it’s not so sim­ple. Your team wins the Car­ling Cup – Mickey Mouse. Your team wins the FA Cup – not what it was.

So well done foot­ball’s mon­ey­men. You’ve said it enough times that it has be­come true, it’s the mantra – fin­ish­ing fourth is the new win­ning a cup.

For­get suc­cess, for­get glory, it’s all about the rev­enue streams. Only it isn’t, is it? hirty years from now, when you’re dish­ing out the Werther’s Orginals to the grand­kids, what will be the footy tales that fall out of your brain?

The year your team fin­ished fourth? The sea­son your club’s fi­nance men were bash­ing the bishop over the mil­lions headed

Tfor the cof­fers be­cause they had reached the Cham­pi­ons League?

What about that year your men beat rel­e­ga­tion? Well worth pass­ing up a trip to Wem­b­ley by play­ing the stiffs in the semi, eh? Ah… the mem­o­ries.

No, it’s the cup final sto­ries that will make lit­tle Johnny’s eyes widen with envy.

It’s the coach trips with mates, the ban­ter with the away fans, the scarfs, the flags, the ban­ners, the laughs and the ale. It’s the mo­ment your favourite player clutched the cup and held it aloft at the na­tional sta­dium.

It’s the time you looked into your star man’s eyes and for once felt you were on the same level.

Ev­ery­one was happy. You’d done your bit and they had done theirs. Ask Liver­pool fans right now if the think the Car­ling Cup is Mickey Mouse. Ask Dirk Kuyt, who cel­e­brated his first sil­ver­ware with the Kop club like he’d won the World Cup. r ask Jose Mour­inho. The League Cup was the Spe­cial One’s first tro­phy in Eng­land in 2005 and he didn’t mind win­ning it again amid the Premier League ti­tles and the FA Cup. There’s no lap of hon­our for fourth is there? No medals. No open-top bus.

It’s a fal­lacy cre­ated by mod­ern foot­ball.

It’s crap spouted by man­agers to dis­guise the cul­ture of “rest­ing play­ers” for cup games – a cul­ture which is piss-tak­ing of the high­est or­der.

The real fans, the die-hards, want to see their club try to win EV­ERY com­pe­ti­tion.

F*** pri­or­i­ties. F*** ro­ta­tion. And f*** f***ing fourth. It was all about the sil­ver­ware, it is all about the sil­ver­ware and it AL­WAYS will be all about the sil­ver­ware.

A QUICK cor­rec­tion to the week­end’s foot­ball

re­sults. The game at the Emi­rates in fact fin­ished Arse­nal 6 Tot­ten­ham The 2.

sixth goal (90+3 hours) was a lovely

fin­ish by Char­lie Adam from 12 miles


OFOOTBALL fans are first to point the fin­ger at play­ers for not do­ing their job, but too many sup­port­ers don’t sup­port.

You know the type – they boo their own, call them a prick, a c***, a tool, a tw*t.

The Emi­rates Sta­dium is seem­ingly a mag­net for such be­hav­iour. Theo Wal­cott got dog’s abuse in the first half of Arse­nal’s match with Spurs.

Two goals for the speedy winger later and the same peo­ple were ap­plaud­ing him off. The word fickle doesn’t do it jus­tice.


Chelsea keeper says there’s no prob­lem with AVB

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