Oct 03

Vainly searching for some coverage of the FA Cup replays last night

TMFDPost a comment • 174 views

Vainly searching for some coverage of the FA Cup replays last night I stumbled onto Sky Sports News who were mainly covering the Carling Cup. Down at Highbury it was all getting a bit tense, after what was effectively Arsenal’s youth team had let Rotherham score a 90th minute equaliser. As extra time drew to a close, the cameras showed the scenes of the two gaffers picking those who were to take the penalties. However it all became a little farcical as the cameras then had to cut back to the studio as soon as the penalties began, leaving us watching Viv Anderson, Tony Cottee (I think), Alan Macnally (sp?) and another random ex-pro as they watched the pens. Now, I understand why they do this on a Saturday afternoon, but this seemed a little churlish. However the following ten minutes of telly were entirely gripping, and descended into the sort of thing you’d get if you were sat in your lounge with your mates round, with them all shouting over each other, Viv, in particular, getting carried away after he predicted the first half dozen hits and misses correctly. The icing on the cake was when they got to the 11th penalty, Rotherham had had a man sent off so the 11th pen was taken by the same player as their first (he missed). Then Sylvan Wiltord stepped up to take Arsenal’s 11th and win the match. Uproar in the studio, “but he took their first one”, “who’s not taken one?” “this is disgraceful”. Despite the fact that these men were professional footballers and are now professional pundits they didn’t know about a change in the rules which means once a shoot-out starts the teams are reduced to the same number of players to make it fairer (otherwise the team with 11 players will be using their goalie to take the penalty against the other team’s best player). I wish I could find a link to prove that this is a well known fact but this isn’t a lot of help…

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