The Sixth Rounder – Beach Football, Long Journeys & more…

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An FA Cup edition of The Six Pointer.

 

1. The weekend saw some great goals scored, particularly by Man Utd and Fulham. I think the best of the lot has to be Eduardo’s goal against Burnley. The reasoning for this is that it’s something I haven’t seen before. Anyone can do a hit and hope from 30 yards (see Bentley, David) while Carlos Vela had already scored two similar (but equally good) chips earlier in the season in the Carling Cup (here and here). Eduardo’s was a placed volley with the outside of his boot – Wenger called it a ‘beach goal‘. Have a look here if you haven’t see it – brilliant. 

Meant it.

Meant it.

 

2. Man Utd produced another masterclass in finishing teams off with the 4-0 victory over Fulham, and Alex Ferguson now has the luxury of a squad of players where pretty much any combo can play and produce a good, determined performance. The likes of Park (who has been excellent recently and should start against Inter) and Tevez may not play every game but when they do, ensure they make the most of it. During their record run of not conceding, the number of different central defensive partnerships must have reached double figure, yet there was no apparent loss of quality. 

 

3. Chelsea have rediscovered their form under Guus Hiddink, and you get the impression he is not the kind of manager who rotates too much. Despite a huge game in Turin tomorrow, he chose to play his best available eleven against Coventry. It was the ultimate case of get an early goal, keep possession but don’t waste too much energy and get the second on the break. Bread and butter stuff. Perhaps most importantly, Michael Essien finally returned from his long term injury. If Chelsea are to win either of the two cups they’re still in, he will be even more important than a rejuvenated Drogba. 

Typical Chelsea performance.

Typical Chelsea performance.

 

4. It’s probably good for David Moyes that Everton are going quite far in the cup. Whilst he has done a great job in the league for the past couple of years, winning trophies is what makes a reputation. He has the chance to bask in the limelight a little, even more so if he leads the Toffees to Wembley. They are pretty comfortable in sixth spot in the Premier League so can have a good go at Man Utd in April, at a time when Fergie may have bigger fish to fry. I’m sure Louis Saha would love to put one over his old club, as indeed would the Neviller (Phil edition).

 

5. The semi final draw raises an interesting point about the grounds used. I’ve always wondered why the semi’s are at Wembley – in my opinion it cheapens the appeal of playing the final there. The whole idea of having a day out at Wembley is tied in to reaching the final, not the rounds before. Besides, whilst it may make sense to have Arsenal v Chelsea (potentially) there, it seems a little unfair to make fans of Everton and Man Utd travel 200 miles south when a neutral ground further north like Villa Park is perfectly capable of hosting it.

 

6. Having said that, the draw for the semi’s is pretty good I would say. Man Utd will be pleased to get the weakest team left in the competition (assuming Hull lose to Arsenal), while there is the potential for a great London derby at Wembley between Chelsea and Arsenal. If United and the Gunners both go all the way, I’m sure there will be lots of talk about it being the 30th anniversary of the classic final in 1979, in which Arsenal prevailed 3-2 in the last minute having conceded twice in the previous five. Of course there’s a long way to go yet, but it could make a great final.

 

T.

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