Forget Eden Hazard, there is a lot more going on in football right now than his red card. Connor Jipps runs through today's big talking points, featuring Arsenal's win, David de Gea's form, and the FA Cup.
We're here too! The tales of the forgotten
Last night we couldn't stop talking about Eden Hazard and Ballboygate. Social Media was crushed with a cluster of differing opinions on the event that had played out, whilst in pubs across the land fans either cried blue murder or yelped with delight at Chelsea's Capital One Cup plight. It remains the same this morning, all emphasis placed on this incident.
But we're forgetting something. Last night Arsenal demolished West Ham 5-1 with an outstanding second half showing, moving them to within four points of North London rivals Spurs, currently in possession of that highly desired final Champions League spot.
For Arsenal fans this will be seen as a great injustice. Their side showed fantastic mettle and courage to bounce back from falling behind early on to Jack Collison's strike and proved to the doubters that they are far from washed up. For Guy Demel however the news will have come as an absolute blessing. Hazard and said ball boy can probably expect bottles of Cognac and Ferrero Rocher's to find them this morning for their part in the distraction from his dire second half showing.
De Gea takes all the attention
This is not the only injustice of coverage served over the last seven days as Tottenham’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United at White Hart Lane on Sunday drew little in the way of praise for the home side. All news reports chose to focus specifically on the poor clearance from David De Gea that led to the last minute equaliser, perhaps emphasised by Gary Neville’s brutal assessment of the mistake.
The next most popular talking point of the game was praise of Manchester United’s discipline and shape in picking up the point. However in truth Manchester United were holding on at times, particularly in the second half, with Spurs the dominant side. If it hadn’t been for two excellent saves by David De Gea from Bale and Dempsey, United could have lost the game. The expectation before the game was that Spurs would have their backs up the wall, yet little to no attention was paid to the superb efforts of the Tottenham players.
ITV’s FA Cup Highlights Debacle
Back near the beginning of January, Premier League and Championship football fans rejoiced as the FA Cup returned to the Domestic calendar. ITV and ESPN vowed to cover all games, whether live or in their highlights show, pleasing the fears of many clubs who were perhaps not such a fashionable proposition to a TV giant.
However fans of the likes of Manchester City and Millwall were left fuming when their untelevised matches were afforded just fifteen seconds of footage in the highlights show having been made to wait up beyond midnight as they were thrown in at the end. Whilst the games were not perhaps the most exciting of ties, the disappointment stemmed from the favouritism of highlighting the matches already televised earlier in the day.
Fortunately there are occasions where a big incident has not outshone other important and significant moments. The most famous involved the infamous Joey Barton sending off on the final day of the 2011/12 season. Despite the best efforts of Mr Barton, Manchester City managed to divert attention away from the troublesome midfielder with a stunning finish to the game, slotting the winner in injury time.
Thankfully the match gained all the coverage whilst Barton was rightfully publically chastised, though in a lesser manner across social media platforms. His ten game ban was not enough to rid City of their moment. Sadly though this exception may simply be because of the momentous occasion in history created that day. Had the same scenario played out in a mid-November match at the Etihaad, would anyone have been talking about Manchester City’s expected win over relegation contenders QPR or rather the actions of one fool? I think that disappointingly we all know the answers.
It may be tough to deliver equal coverage to all parties but a lack of parity of events have seen Arsenal, Spurs, City and Millwall all shadowed, perhaps unfairly. So here is their credit for their achievements, long overdue.
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