The latest bizarre attempt at a wind-up from Man Utd boss
Alex Ferguson centres on the FA Cup semi-finals and specifically
the choice of venue. |
Like many, Ferguson thinks the decision to stage both semi-finals
at Cardiff again was a bit daft, because of all the travelling involved (especially for the fans of the winning teams who'll have to go back there for the final). This year Arsenal vs Blackburn could have been better staged at Villa Park, and more significantly Man Utd vs Newcastle could have been at Elland Rd.
While we applaud and sympathise with this viewpoint, Ferguson's suggestion that it's all Arsenal's fault is clearly just another attempt to wind Arsenal up as the two teams' seasons look like they could be coming down to a double head-to-head in league in cup.
"Apparently it was Arsenal who forced this through," he said. "I think they wanted it at Cardiff last season instead of Villa Park."
It's just another attempt to ram home his idea that the FA are out to get Man Utd (eg by banning a drug test cheater) and out to prtect Arsenal (eg by not throwing the book at us a little harder after last year's handbags incident at Old Trafford). Arsenal do not appear to think the daft allegations worth commenting on, although there have been comments from the club previously which agree with him regarding the choice of venue. The FA have responded however by making it clear that the decision was taken independently in the close season. Their justification boils down very simply to the size of the stadium in Cardiff and the fact that more tickets have been sold than would have fitted into the smaller stadia. Well, yes we're sure that's true. But that just shows that fans will support their team if they can and it could be argued that the FA are just taking advantage of this. The FA also confirm that once the new Wembley is ready, all semi-finals will be played there. That was always bound to be the case, because the new Wembley is going to need to make as much money as possible out of whatever games it can find to put on. And like we said before, that's probably the main thing now: getting everyone used to the idea that the semis are to played at the same venue as the final.
Of course, our own Arsene Wenger is hardly averse to similar wind-ups. Ferguson's taunt could be seen as retaliation after Wenger complained that the postponement of the Man Utd vs Chelsea league match to the last week of the season is to Arsenal's detriment. In particular, it's to United's advantage, since they'll probably need points in order to have a chance of claiming second place from Arsenal while Chelsea will probably have won the league already (and may have a Champs League final to prepare for). Again, hardly worth commenting on (we'd file it under "shit happens") except as a bit of baiting. But at least Wenger didn't come out and say that the postponement was the result of pressure on the FA from Man United!
All in all, a bit silly on both their parts. But it's just a bit of fun.