Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Who ya gonna McCall? (Sorry)

By early August I had been alerted by a mate that Andrea Dossena may well be pants. Liverpool had just signed him for £7 million and while his absence from what was already a poor Italian defence during Euro 2008 worried me at first, I still had some hopes that perhaps Rafa Benitez had spotted a diamond in the rough as Sky pundits and assorted Eastenders clichés say.

“Generally, he stands there with one hand up his hole,” was his learned (learned son, it’s pronounced learned, sorry couldn’t resist) verdict, based on watching Dossena line out in several pre season friendlies. Now, getting this right out of the way, I fully agree at this point that the former Udinese man is pretty poor, but that really wasn’t what I wanted to talk about.

The idea of watching Carling Cup games over the next two nights has about as much appeal as those pre-season friendlies just mentioned – and frankly they seem to have as much importance these days. When it comes around to January, stick the FA Cup in there as well. All these games are pretty much on the same level of those August walkabouts nowadays, with the only ones seemingly fighting against the grain being the TV companies who are trying to flog advertising time by eulogising about the magic of the Carling Cup and FA Cup in particular.

You’ve probably seen it already (via Martin Kelner), but Setanta’s intro to their coverage of the first round of the FA Cup is the latest bit of painful TV exec nonsense that tries to sell shit as shitola (FAmous Cup anybody?). Okay it does say that it’s something uniquely English, so as an Irish blog we can hardly be judge, jury and executioner but surely there has to be several fans over in Blighty who agree that the thrill is well gone.

It certainly is with regards to the League Cup, which prior to the Champions League explosion often provided the first big ‘event’ game of the season, as silverware was handed out in March. In this year’s competition, watching Arsenal’s kids destroy Wigan might be entertaining; seeing the various reserve hopefuls from Liverpool, Chelsea and United do battle could also be kind of intriguing as well but not enough to sit through 90 minutes for – anyway how many major talents have announced themselves on this stage in recent years?

Anyway, with that little rant out of the way here’s footage of Stuart McCall falling over a car while pissed. Now had Setanta included this at the start of their intro to the FA Cup they might have got me watching. Just a suggestion lads.

Later, JJ

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