Saturday, June 10, 2023

Disappointing final, but congratulations to Manchester City

Graham Fisher in Editorial, FA Cup 15 May 2011


Winning goal

The FA Cup final used to be the show-piece occasion of the whole English football season. It was the last game and a game that everyone watched, knowing that it was Summer after the game and the season had ended.


The excitement that surrounded the FA Cup final has slowly evaporated over the years until we have reacedh the sorry state where the final is played not only a week before the end of the season, but on the same day as Premier League matches. It is getting to mean as little to win the FA Cup in England as it does to win the Copa Del Rey in Spain or any of the other European domestic cups. That is a real shame because the FA Cup used to be special.

Having said all of that, I’m sure that everyone at Manchester City still feels that FA Cup is pretty special! They have finally won a trophy now after thity odd years and we can maybe stop having to hear about their trophy drought on a daily basis in the media. I wish Arsenal could win something, for the exact same reason!


The actual final was an absolute damp squib of a game. I heard the commentator describe the game as absorbing. I have no idea how he came to believe that was an accurate description of what went on. The media had built the game up into a David v Goliath, super power v minnow, sort of game, despite the fact that just four Premier League places seperate the two sides in the league. That made me cross, but the game turned out to be exactly that. Manchester City were totally dominant and the better side in every possible way.

It wasn’t a case of whether Manchester City would win or not, it was simply a matter of how many they would win by. As the possession and chances failed to produce a goal, there was just an outside chance that Stoke might nick a goal or hang on for the lottery of penalties, but it was no more than that, an outside chance. In the end Yaya Toure found the net and Manchester City were thoroughly deserved winners.


Stoke must be feeling incredibly disappointed that they never really showed up in the game and failed to give it a go. They didn’t play with their customary passion and tempo and in the end, they were given a footballing lesson. I’m afraid two or three of their players were carrying knocks that meant they probably shouldn’t have been playing and at least three or four others found the occasion too much for them.

All in all then I found the whole thing to be something of a disappointment, apart from the fact that the best and most deserving team won the game.


Will winning this trophy be the spring-board to bigger things for Manchester City? Well, I do think they’ll go on to win other trophies although that may be more to do with a huge investment of cash than it is to do with winning the FA Cup.

It was a poor game but the best team triumphed and we should all simply congratulate Manchester City on that. The players looked to be very together on the day and maybe, just maybe, they started to dispel some of the rumours about a lack of team spirit. Stoke’s team spirit is legendary but City more than matched them for passion, spirit and character. Add to that the fact that they are vastly superior footballers and there could only be one winner.

£150 million has taken City from a 5th placed finish to a 4th placed finish and an FA Cup win. The worry for everyone else is that the owners can supply as much money as it takes to get them up to the next level.


Graham Fisher



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