About Me

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Hammersmith, London, United Kingdom
I'm a director of Maidenhead United Football Club. For ten seasons one of my roles at the club was to produce the match programme. The aim of this blog was to write football related articles for publication in the match programme. In particular I like to write about the representation of football in popular culture, specifically music, film/TV and literature. I also write about matches I attend which generally feature Maidenhead United.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Will to power

View from block 2
Despite protestations to the contrary, the League Cup is taken every bit as a seriously as the other domestic knockout competition the FA Cup. With the inconvenience of replays removed, clubs are able to select an eleven judged to be capable of beating the opposition. Thus regardless of the next round of Champions League matches being just a week away, both Arsenal and Chelsea fielded strong teams in what might have been a tight contest but for a calamitous misunderstanding in the Arsenal backline to gift Chelsea a lead from which they never looked back.
Of the 22 starting players, although in combination representing weakened sides, individually the presence of all but 3 in a league game would not give rise to a significant concern. All 3 were wearing red and with Lukasz  Fabianski performing competently in goal, it was the forward pairing of Nicklas Bendtner and Ryo Miachi which ultimately cost the Gunners as they did not have the cutting edge up front to trouble the Blues. 
It was this drop in class in this section of the pitch that meant that when Arsenal went behind they would always struggle to fashion an equaliser, and so it proved when Carl Jenkinson's backward header failed to reach Fabianski before Cesar Azpilicueta nipped in to score, bar a short period of Arsenal pressure in the second half, Chelsea ran out comfortable winners.
It may have been different had Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott or Lukas Podolski been fit, but on this occasion even the entry of Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud came too late as Juan Mata sealed the win with an excellent strike midway through the second half.
So it looks like once again that as with the first time round in 2005, the League Cup could well be the first trophy of Jose Mourinho's second reign at the Bridge.

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