This weeks Carling Cup games
This Weeks Carling Cup Games (Jan 2007)
This weeks Carling Cup games were, for want of a better phrase, ‘tip-top’. The Liverpool vs Arsenal game was a punch up and sending off away from being ‘the game that had everything’.
The Beast, a player that has received much ridicule over the past two seasons in my house, scoring four, the man who Wenger had seemingly consigned to the transfer list, Jeremie Aliadiere, playing the game of his life, Robbie ‘God’ Fowler scoring a cheerfully cheeky inside flick, Steven Gerrard with a trademark thunderbolt volley, Jerzy Dudek having a howler but pulling of one of the finest penalty saves I have ever witnessed and for the second time in a week, Manuel Almunia looked solid (!?!). In all fairness the game was as breathless as the previous sentence.
A 6-3 crackerjack of an encounter and Arsene’s second eleven justly look forward to a semi final against old rivals Spurs, who should, in all fairness be on their guard against a side that showed that Arsenal’s future looks upsettingly bright.
In the other tie of the competition, what a delight it was to see Jermaine Easter’s low, bobbling strike elude Hilario and earn Wycombe Wanderers of League 2 (Division 3 to you or I) a proud draw.
How much joy I did not anticipate until I saw Jose Mourinho’s beleaguered expression in his after match interview. Unable to defend, unable to score and now it would seem, unable to spend big to rectify the problems. If word from the Bridge is to be believed then Mr Abramovich is losing patience with his effervescent coach and is now reluctant to release the funds that are ironically now required to help Chelsea retain a third successive Premiership crown.
This good news was further emphasised by rumour this morning that Mourinho is already looking to take the reigns of Internazionale next year. It is the stuff of legend that Jose never saw England in his ‘managerial masterplan’, and that Serie A was always his preferred destination, but the lure of unlimited funds in west London was too much to resist.
In fairness, the nerazzurri will welcome the Portuguese coach with open arms. A team full of talented mercenaries, a link up with old ‘pal’ Hernan Crespo and a spendthrift chairman in Massimo Moratti seem the ideal recipe for the ‘special one’.
Article by David Hardy
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