The Irony of It All
Call it irony, call it poetic justice, call it karma. But sometimes football and indeed life can get you wondering. You may recall that back in March, with Arsenal leading 1-0 at Stamford Bridge; the Gunners looked to mount a counter attack. Sensing the danger, Joe Cole picked up a debilitating "injury" and, of all people, Emmanuel Eboue, not one renowned for his great sportsmanship, put the ball out of play. John Terry, the Iron Man no less, decided to reward his sportsmanship in kind by booting the ball out of play right next to Arsenal`s corner flag and urging his team to push forward. This is where the Chelsea equaliser emanated from. Last night, Chelsea performed a similar antic twice. So Carlos Tevez decided in extra time that he had had enough and responded to Chelsea with the exact same gesture. Now who was immediately on the scene expressing his dismay at such a gesture? The ever reliable John Terry. Even in the heat of battle I cannot fathom how somebody can act with such hypocrisy. Good on Carlos Tevez I say, Arsenal need to begin showing that sort of defiance and not let bullies like John Terry push them around. Sorry if I am not shedding any tears for you this morning JT, I am sure there are dozens of spittle splattered officials who think the same. Maybe the next time you want to rock up in a disabled bay, or lunge at prone Spanish midfielders when they are on the ground, you might like to think that karma can be a damning mistress. Oh and remember your comments about Arsenal`s lack of English backbone denying them trophies? Thanks for proving the point with that most English of traits, the penalty shoot out mishap. Couldn`t have happened to a nicer bloke.
With Chelsea cruelly dispatched in the unforgiving embrace of a penalty shoot out, all cameras and all players attentions were focussed on Terry. Nobody bothered to go to Nicolas Anelka, who actually missed the crucial kick, least of all Terry himself, who cried relentlessly. One can understand and identify with such a display of emotion. But weren`t all and sundry lining up to shoot our very own William Gallas for expressing his own torment by sitting on the ground close to tears after the final whistle at Birmingham? "He should have been consoling his team mates" they said, "He cannot control his emotions and is not captaincy material" they wailed. "It was not conduct befitting of a captain." Erudite pundit Alan Hansen thought it more newsworthy than Eduardo`s snapped limb. I look forward to the press account of Terry`s actions as they line up to lambaste his failure to check his emotions, his failure to acknowledge the other seventeen team mates who had lost so cruelly, his failure to put a fatherly arm around Nicolas Anelka. Terry might even have reflected on the fact that he has played in every single one of Chelsea`s defeats this season; whilst Chelsea are unbeaten in the 24 games he missed (19 wins and five draws for the record). When one peers behind the iron curtain of press hyperbole and smokescreen to see the true picture, one sometimes cannot help but wonder at the irony of it all.LD.