Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Football can be very, very funny

Well, what a fun weekend of football that was.

First, huge congratulations to Arsenal Women who beat Chelsea 3-1 in the Conti Cup final yesterday. Given the recent record against this opposition, it’s a superb win. It’s been some time without a trophy too, so hopefully this is the first of many more to come, and it always warms the hearts of good human beings when Chelsea lose in any fashion.

For all the coverage and the reaction, Tim’s got you covered over on Arseblog News.

In the Premier League, after an incredible day on Saturday, we were witness to one of the funniest games of all time. Liverpool beat Manchester United 7-0 (seven). It does not matter who is in charge of United, who the players are, in what era this takes place, whether it’s now or some point in the distant future, them losing 7-0 will always be objectively hilarious. Being beaten by that scoreline by Liverpool adds some extra flavour to it, because of the historic rivalry.

United came into this one full of confidence after winning the least important trophy in football, and I include the Zenith Data Systems Cup, the Papa Johns Trophy, and the Lino Richie Invitational 5-a-side Jamboree. I’m far from the biggest fan of Graeme Souness, but Roy Keane and Gary Neville laughing at him as he predicted a good performance from Liverpool is now, in the cold light of day, very, very funny indeed.

Compare and contrast Neville’s face a short time later as he comes to terms with the fact that his team are 5-0 down, and Jamie Carragher is taking smug selfies in the commentary box.

The best was yet to come though. After Roberto Firmino made it 7-0, there was this wonderful bit of co-commentary.

Neville: “You might lose 2-0, you might lose 2-1, you might lose 3-1, you don’t lose 7-0. You do not get beaten 7-0 at Anfield if you’re a Manchester United team or player.”

Carragher: “You do today!”


Neville: “Do one.”

Clearly United are making progress under Erik ten Hag, there’s no doubt about that, but this is a reminder that there’s still a way to go in his particular process. The fact that yesterday chafed at Neville’s very soul is heartening too. All season long we’ve had to listen to him be wrong about Arsenal, and to grudgingly give us any credit for what we’ve been doing or how we’ve been doing it. And look, I don’t need validation from Gary Neville to enjoy this season. In fact, I’d like him to continue to be wrong and one day maybe I’ll rock up to the Sky studios wearing a Jose Antonio Reyes shirt and two-foot him into an elevator just because he still deserves it after all this time, but it is very, very funny to see him miserable.

I should also like to take a moment to laugh at Bruno Fernandes. A man who looks like a crestfallen chinchilla at the best of times, but there was something so extra about his dismay yesterday. His antics have always been pathetic, as if he was forged in the dark pits that lie beneath Mount Mourinho, but yesterday took it to new levels. Pretending to be hit in the face, shoving a linesman (avoiding any kind of censure for it too, btw), and basically having a kind of teenage strop on the pitch while purportedly being captain of Man Utd. A captain who almost cried when wasn’t subbed off! Even William Gallas didn’t do that.

My goodness, the football script writers have been on great form this weekend. Up there with the greatest comedies of all time, your Airplanes, your Hot Shots Part Deuxs, your Young Frankensteins, and so on.

Having spent all day yesterday going through as much Arsenal 3-2 Bournemouth content as possible, there’s likely to be some time spent on the Liverpool 7-0 Man Utd stuff today.

We will, of course, have an Arsecast Extra for you too. We’re recording around 10am, keep an eye out for the call for questions on Twitter @gunnerblog and @arseblog on Twitter with the hashtag #arsecastextra – or if you’re on Arseblog Member on Patreon, leave your question in the #arsecast-extra-questions channel on our Discord server.

We should have the podcast for you around lunchtime. Until then.

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