Sunday, 27 February 2011

Congratulations to Birmingham

I only lived in England's second city for six months full-time and eighteen months part-time - and I number Aston Villa as well as Blues fans among my friends - but I'm delighted for Birmingham City tonight. Their Carling Cup victory over Arsenal was a triumph for sheer endurance, and not a little inspiration. Manager Alex McLeish, Andy Watson and the other Scots lads also really deserve this.

City, with clothing tycoon Carson Yeung’s 2009 takeover money in tow, may hardly be deemed a small provincial football club, but matched with the global might of the Gunners, they were massive underdogs, and haven't won a trophy in 48 years. Arsenal have only had to wait five-and-a-half so far. It's wonderful to see a non 'big four' side in the silverware spotlight.

That said, after they've lost to Leyton Orient in the FA Cup replay on Tuesday night, I very much hope Arsenal can win either or both of the Champions League and the English Premiership -- though I fear they'll do neither. It would be good to see sublime technical football and youth development at the highest level rewarded.

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