Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Just too much excitement

Well, it was hardly the game everyone's been talking about this evening (my heart is still in my mouth after the Liverpool -v- Arsenal Champions League thriller), but Dumbarton finally got to play out our home tie against fellow stragglers Forfar Athletic this evening. It was originally set for 08 March, then due to an unplayable pitch rescheduled for 01 April, while I was up in Scotland. That too was called off due to a waterlogged pitch. So this evening the Sons' date with destiny (or, rather, the Loons) finally happened, drawing the lowest crowd of the season. A 0-0 draw and nothing to write home about, apparently. For the record, since it is really rather dated by now, my column for that programme - focusing on matters managerial and Scotland - is reproduced here.

By the miracle of text I kept Sons View editor Graeme Robertson, who has an interest in Liverpool, up to speed with the action at Anfield, which I was watching in an Exeter pub, while he did his duty at the Strathclyde Homes Stadium. Meanwhile, Exeter City were losing 2-0 away to Salisbury, necessitating a late night re-write of my programme article for Saturday's ECFC home fixture against Northwich Victoria, which goes to the printers' tomorrow morning. What a complex football web we weave.

I can't let the evening pass without offering some kind of note of consolation to the doubtless inconsolable Gunners. Liverpool deserved their victory on balance, but Arsenal have every right to be aggrieved at the two penalty decisions that went against them across the two legs of the tie. At least one should have gone the other way, and if it had done so tonight Wenger's men would undoubtedly be expecting to face Chelsea in the semi-finals. The fourth Liverpool goal was a detail after Gerrard's spot-kick, which was the killer blow. It's sad to see the aspirations of a wonderful footballing side derailed so comprehensively, even if they are one of the 'big four'. If both they and Chelsea beat Manchester United in the Premier League (not impossible but not likely), Arsenal are still liable to finish second or third.

[Picture (c) BBC - Diaby's goal for Arsenal]

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