Football: Talent vs Determination + Wembley beckons

Hello everyone. It has been really nice to write a few things about Germany in my last posts and there always seems to be more and more things to write about. I am really spoilt for choice here. Do I write about the food, the night life, the rock climbing or the bouldering? I really don’t know.

Spring is fast catching up with us and the trees that have hitherto looked lifeless are budding with new optimism.  I am told that by 21st of this month we will have a fresh and green environment and it already feels warmer and ‘sunnier’ if there is such a word.

Trees are full of buds, ready to flower in spring!

Trees are full of buds, ready to flower in spring!

For today though, it is nice to go back to football. With all the money that has been pumped in football, it is getting harder for the small teams to win any meaningful trophies. Not even the Ash Tray Cup. Any time a small team is paired with a big team, people are quick to write off the small team and label them as underdogs.

Such was the case this weekend when Manchester City took to the field against Wigan Athletic in the quarter finals of the FA Cup. Just before the game, news filtered in that the winner of this match would battle against Arsenal in the semifinal tie that will be held at Wembley on the 12th or 13th of April. The other semifinal will involve Hull City and Sheffield United.

We play Tottenham, Liverpool and Everton on our way to the semis and our reward for it is possibly meeting City? You got to be kidding me! As an Arsenal fan, that that was by no means welcome. I was sure the Mancs would make mincemeat out of Wigan and would then make life very difficult for us. Arseblog went as far as writing them off completely.

I get the feeling that he was not alone in that line of thought. The Manchester City team must have cost ten times more than the Wigan one and I wouldn’t be surprised if City’s bench was more expensive that the whole Wigan team. If this was to happen in another sport, there would be absolutely no chance of Wigan winning. To make matters worse, Wigan had provoked the wrath of The Sky Blues by having beaten them in last year’s FA Cup final. To me, this looked like an ‘I will toss you back to the Championship where you belong’ affair and I expected city to trounce on Wigan. The idea of having to face City at Wembley where we do not especially have good memories was doing a stupid mockery dance in my head to a rendition from a ‘Show me what you have won’ album. Stupid stuff i tell you.  Maybe I still have an issue with how we handle the big teams.

I didn’t bother following the game up and instead went bouldering with my friend Michael at Boulderlounge, Chemnitz. I had just cleared one of the easy yellow routes when I decided to take a break and admire the beautiful girls log into twitter.  I was curious to know the scoreline. It was a cricket score in my head. After all, the last time we were at the Etihad Stadium we got thumped 6-3.

There was to be none of that though as lightning had struck twice! Wigan won 2-1. They were going to Wembley. It was a nice, ‘in your face’ response to all those who thought that that their FA cup win last year was a fluke.

Wigan Athletic: 2013 FA Cup winners

Wigan Athletic: 2013 FA Cup winners

It really was unbelievable and a beautiful day for football. I couldn’t hide my joy.

It is always a pleasure to see Samir Na$ri wallowing like a small baby whose toy has been snatched away. Of more importance though, we were faced with the possibility of realistically winning a trophy. Please don’t get me started on the last 9 trophy less years.

As Manuel Pellegrini, the Mancity manager noted, the City players turned up and expected to win the match. What they forgot is that none of the oil money trickled down to the Championship and therefore nobody had told Wigan that they were not supposed to beat them on their own turf. Hilarious, right? This was proof that determination can sometimes triumph over talent.

Both teams believed they could win but happily for me, only one followed it up. Wigan is not in the semifinal by mistake. It is because they wanted it more and played with their hearts. If they can do that again, then they will be a dangerous team to face at Wembley.

I hope though that their run, as good it has been, comes to an end when we face them. The pressure is now on us to deliver and what I am sure of is that nothing else other than a top level performance will be enough. Can we produce it? If the recent performance against Everton is anything to go by, then yes!

Upwards and onwards we march. This time to Wembley!

wembley.jpg w=560

Please make tickets arrangements, this time to another stadium

Till the next time.

Cheers.

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