SUP-Ah?! Slowmo Review – 05 (Romantic Football) Edition

“The word ‘romance,’ according to the dictionary, means excitement, adventure, and something extremely real.  Romance should last a lifetime.”  Billy Graham could so easily have been referring to the drama that unfolded in this year’s instalment of the F.A. Cup 3rd Round.  The featured matches which I PUNted in the corresponding preview blog, most certainly did their fair bit to cover this definition, as we continued the attempts to justify the pairing of Footy & Romance.  Excitement was in abundance as the minnows (in their often quaint venues) hosted their more decorated counterparts.  Different kinds of 90+ minute adventures were lived out and the excitement was whipped into a frenzy as some unbelieving fans bore witness to the emergence of unbelievable results, that proved (unfortunately for some) to be extremely real.  So let’s see whose David -vs- Goliath 3rd round mis-adventure was a Bad Romance or gave cause for the wearing of a Lady Gaga inspired P-p-p-p-Poker Face-p-p-Poker Face!!.

SUP-Ah!? – PUNts

  • Crawley Town -v- Reading (my PUNt = COMFORTABLE WIN FOR READING!)
  • A 1st minute Nicky Adams goal for Crawley Town threatened to ruin Reading’s day….BUT 3 unanswered Reading goals between the 13th and 49th minutes confirmed their Comfortable 3-1 WIN.  I guess the Crawley Town Red Devils need to learn from their Premier League namesake, that it’s not how you start that matters, BUT rather they that score last, usually celebrate the longest.
  • Next Date = Reading will host Sheffield United on January 16th, with hopes of another safe passage into the next round.  But The Blades could make it dangerous.
  • Tottenham Hotspur -v- Coventry City (my PUNt = A RUNAWAY WIN FOR TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR!!)
  • It took 23 minutes for the Spurs military tank to fire 3 quick shots (a brace from Clint Dempsey + one from Gareth Bale) into the Coventry City Blue Sky as it steam-rolled through The Lane. Those shots would prove to be fatal in that 3-ni WIN for Tottenham Hotspur. Sadly for Coventry City they failed to score against Spurs for 4th straight time. The only silver lining on this single cloud that polluted the Sky Blues is that, though they failed to take down Goliath,  the deposit they paid for their borrowed slingshot will most probably be paid back in full.
  • Next Date = A trip to Leeds or Birmingham for Spurs…good thing they have that tank.
  • Mansfield Town -v- Liverpool (my PUNt = A GIANT WIN FOR LIVERPOOL!)
  • My PUNt had also included the following analogy “…Biblical Comparison:- David (too old and frail to even load his sling) -v- Goliath (battle weary & less intimidating, BUT still sees himself as a giant, which is all that matters)…”.  That analogy seems to have really held true for the Liverpool references at least.  That giant-belief would have been enhanced by Daniel Sturridge’s 7th minute debut goal, BUT the staggering that ensued would have been another uncomfortable gut-check for The “mighty” Reds who eventually needed a 59th minute helping HAND from Luis Suarez to secure progression.  BUT that was only half of the story.  The Stags made it an intriguing contest with a spirited performance that deserved more than it got.  They found the energy to repeatedly load that sling, as they impressively hit the lethargic “giant” target continuously (12 of their 14 shots were ON TARGET!, Liverpool managed 8 from 16), from all of 93 league positions back!  So even though Matthew Green’s 79th minute goal was little more than consolation, the Mansfield Town performance is cause enough for a Stag Party!
  • Next Date = Liverpool will try put their best foot forward in a January 16th, 4th round date at Oldham Athletic.

SUP-Ah?! – Quick PUNts

  •  Cheltenham Town -v- Everton  (my PUNt = an everTON of goals in a SWEET VICTORY FOR THE TOFFEES!)
  • This was a QUICK PUNt so since very little was said about the match then, very little will be said now beyond the fact that the resultant 5-1 WIN for Everton not only emerged because of The Toffees’ “ton” of goals, BUT mainly because The Dark Knight did not rise to the defense of The Robins of Cheltenham Town.
  • Next Date = Everton will travel to Bolton or Sunderland for their 4th round date on January 26th.
  • West Ham -v- Manchester United  (my PUNt = Big Sam’s boys will HAMMER OUT A LOW SCORE DRAW!)
  • So no Dark Knight rose in this encounter either….BUT… a Robin did (from the bench) to save the blushes of a British Knight!  RvP became the fastest ever Manchester United player to score 20 goals for the club (in 26 matches), as his 91st minute goal salvaged a 2-ALL DRAW for United.  So Sir Alex Ferguson’s (SAF) 9 year Bad Romance with the F.A. Cup has been given another “2nd chance” to do better.  The dramatic way in which the result was secured, may have strained SAF’s old heart, BUT you will probably only ever hear him profess that My Heart Will Go On!
  • Next Date = Don’t call me, and I won’t call you, just know that we are doing this again at Old Trafford on January 16th, in an unwanted 2nd date replay.

SUP-Aaaargh!! – QUICK PUNt

  • Swansea -v- Arsenal (my PUNt = A HIGH SCORING NARROW WIN FOR THE ARSENAL!)
  • If there is a heart that is grateful to be going on, it is probably beating in Monsieur Wenger’s knee-length-bomber-jacket-protected chest.  The Arsenal’s frustrating inconsistencies of the season were heart-wrenchingly summarised in this match’s 2nd half.  Falling behind to Michu’s 58th minute goal (ouch), enduring a further 23 minutes of fruitless dominance, which contributed to the overall 7 shots on target from 13 (aaaargh), before Podolski’s 81st equaliser (phew), soon to be followed by Gibbs’ 83rd minute possible winneeeeer….!!!(yeeeesss), only to be dashed by Danny Graham’s 87th minute equaliseeeeer….!!!(nooooo).  Final score, 2-ALL.  But hey, at least this draw did not lead to another tropthy-less cup Swansong…. for now.  shhh…Nobody mention Bradford City.
  • Next Date = Let’s do this again, say on January 16th. Okay it’s a 2nd date (aka replay for the teams at The Emirates)

SUP-Aaaargh!! – PUNt

  • Brighton & Hove Albion -v- Newcastle United  (my PUNt = SCORE DRAW)
  • Details in my PUNt probably betrayed the lack of faith I had in The Magpies.  The absence of Demba Ba (contributor of 48% of Newcastle’s league goals & now already responsible for 40% of Chelsea’s goals, since his switch) had led me to make the biblical analogy that the match was like David -v- Goliath (without his spear).  But the eventual result proved that Goliath was also without his armour, not to mention the handicapping effect of battling for the last 3rd of the match without the influence of the original captain’s armband (after Shola Ameobi’s 62nd minute dismissal).  They say familiarity breeds contempt, and it’s hard to argue against that, considering how Brighton dominated Newcastle (with 63% of the possession), dumping them out of the F.A. Cup for the second straight year.  Newcastle will have to get up and wipe off the effects of the goals The Seagulls dropped on them as they flew away with a 2-Nil VICTORY.
  • Next Date = The Seagulls await to host the “survivor” of the Arsenal/Swansea 2nd date.
  • Special mention to the 2 non-league Giant Slayers, Luton Town (6th in the Conference) & Macclesfield Town (12th in the Conference) who really turned on the Romance, while breaking the respective hearts of Wolverhampton Wanderers (18th in the Championship) and Cardiff City (1st in the Championship).  They launched their slingshots in hope, and impressively toppled giants who were 60 and 83 league positions ahead of them, respectively.
  • Next Dates = Luton Town will now have to take on a Premier League giant as they take aim at Norwich City, which is a massive 86 league positions ahead.  Macclesfield Town will be hoping for a Premiership giant of their own, BUT that all depends on whether Wigan overcomes Bournemouth in their replay.  I will be rooting for Macclesfield town to host their EPL Wigan Goliath, who is presently a mere 87 league positions away.

NB* The majority of the football stats quoted above, were sourced from www.whoscored.com and www.espnfc.com

HEZV-OhMG!! Moment!

  • All Wolves fans, look away now! The fall out from being dumped out of the F.A. Cup by Luton Town led to more dumping at The Molineux as they dumped their Norwegian manager Stale Solbakken.  It would appear not every manager has an 8 year Alan Pardew-like contract to cushion them from the fall.

PUNk of the Week!!

  • The respecting of personal space is a key ingredient to any lasting romance.  So it makes it really easy to bestow the very 1st PUNk-hood(s) to these two gentlemen.  One for reinterpreting the real meaning of Big Bash by getting all frisky with Marlon Samuels (accompanied by a foul-mouthed tirade).  The other tried to change his job description from manager to physiotherapist.  By trying to give Mario Balotelli a physical he added a new beef to his menu of mismanagement (The Argentine beef is reserved for players who don’t want to enter the field of play, while the Italian beef is for those that refuse to leave it).  Go figure.  In the meantime, arise PUNk Shane Warne and arise PUNk Roberto Mancini!

PUNisher of the Week!!

  • 4 Ballons D’Or in four years left Lionel Messi with no peer for this award.

#Mark-Oh-Row-Coat-Oh! / Congratulations! to those who have earned it.  There is some time to kill before the next round of romantic F.A. Cup dates, BUT instead of twiddling thumbs what are the teams to do until the next scalp…? Aah well perhaps they still can’t drift too far away from Lady Gaga’s advice, extend the celebrations and Just Dance…  because they may just be on the Edge Of Glory!!

Hopefully y’all will keep the fires burning and be forever accommodating enough to pardonthePUN-dit.

Until the next PUNt, be GR8!!

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