Birmingham City face the mighty Arsenal today and the bookies favourites are of course Arsenal. 4/9 on and rightly so. Technically and for so many, many other reasons they are the superior team. But this is will be a game of football and it will not be decided on paper or by computer analysis. It will be decided on a patch of grass.
Form. The value here is not so much about upset, rather the various factors that are most likely to come into play. Arsenal are going great guns in the Premiership, their form is better than anyone’s. Birmingham by stark contrast a hovering about just above the relegation zone.
But form in football can easily go out the window. If that’s not the case, how did a team as poor as Birmingham City reach to the very same point as Arsenal in this competition? This will be about resolve and desire. Spurs beat AC Milan and looked positively silky at the San Siro. They then went to Blackpool who are in free-fall and got humiliated. In football, every dog can have it’s day.
Mindset. Arsenal have been found wanting on several occasions this season. Their two biggest fiascos being at home to Spurs and away to Newcastle. In both games they totally outclassed the opposition and then threw their lead by failing to maintain concentration.
The pressure today for a side that hasn’t won anything today, in a final for what up until recently they themselves would have viewed as a second string must be huge. This is not a day for any mental weaknesses. Wembley’s surface according to Ray Parlour on Talksport earlier this week is in magnificent condition. This will of course suit Arsenal down to the ground.
But the state of the pitch won’t affect it’s size or the attitude of the players on it. Mistakes at Wembley are damn hard to put right.
Karma. I cringed when Song was quoted that he wanted Fabregas to lift the trophy after the game. You can’t wander about saying things like this before a game. You can get away with it if you say it in a jokey fashion, but that just came across as arrogant.
It’s disrespectful to think that the result of any Cup Final is a foregone conclusion. Bad form.
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My belief is that Arsenal will win this.
I would be surprised if it they have an easy afternoon of it and just hope that fair play isn’t abandoned. Arsenal have drastically raised their game of late in this department. The start of their season was blighted by petulant fouls that saw them resting for sometime at the foot of the Barclays Fair Play League.
Birmingham currently sit second from bottom and they won’t endear themselves to the watching world if they begin kicking people opposed to the ball.
My prediction is 2-1 to the Gooners and the winning goal in extra time. 15/2 for the scoreline and 10/1 for an Extra Time win.
For the Brummies, Cameron Jerome Anytime Goalscorer is decent at 10/3 and if you think the Blues can drag it out and win in extra time then you’ll be doubly elated when your 25/1 shot comes in!
Let’s hope it’s a great game and may the best team on the day win.
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