Sunday, February 27, 2011

Birmingham City's dramatic late winner at Wembley this afternoon was a great result for the English game and also the Carling Cup.

The Blues 2-1 victory over Arsenal was pleasing because they were a team that, on the whole, took the competition seriously throughout.

No fielding teams of just kids and fringe players. No performances where it made you wonder if the intention all along was just to lose and avoid the hassle of additional games. No devaluing a trophy with history.

As much as I still despise Alex McLeish for leaving Scotland in the lurch for the cash lure, it was a great Cup campaign by the tortoise headed one. It gives me no pleasure to say well done to him, but I do have to congratulate Birmingham City for a spirited performance and not just trying to sit back and hope to catch their more illustrious opponents on the counter.

The calamity nature of their winning goal was also pleasing to see. I love the whack on the head that the Birmingham player gave Koscielny as they ran off to celebrate. When the final whistle went, you could see just what the win meant to the players and the supporters.

It's a great shot in the arm to the smaller clubs and shows that it's not just the 'big five' that will always win all the silverware.

Hopefully Birmingham's win will be a wake up call to the other in the Premiership that the League Cup should still matter and if you treat it with respect, then look what you might achieve at the end of the day.

Fans want trophies, not just league survival.


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