BBC BLOGS - Robbo Robson
IN ASSOCIATION WITH
« Previous | Main | Next »

Pitch imperfect

Robbo Robson | 12:29 UK time, Monday, 20 April 2009

Here's the latest Excuse For Not Winning An Important Game Of Football. The pitch was terrible.

Somewhat typically Fergie and Wenger have blamed the turf for their defeats in the semi-finals. In fact Sir Alex has said the pitch picked his team for him... which rather suggests there was a miserable sod in charge on Sunday.

To be fair, the pitch is bloody awful. They've tarmacked over this surface for a rally event, they've churned it up with the studs of 20-stone North American hulks, they've re-laid it five times in two years and it still looks like the Horse of the Year Show has been cantering all over it after 10 minutes.

I mean seriously is this the National Football Stadium or just a very large Middlesbrough Rock Garden where they allow kickabouts from time to time?! Maybe we should be grateful they can fit these games in around the gridiron and Oasis and Take Blinking That!

I just hope Bono doesn't pull out because of the state of the goalmouths, eh? (And if you have got tickets to see U2, I ask you the question that dogs most right-minded people - why? If Bono still hasn't found what he's looking for, then I suggest he goes and searches for it in a very deep hole in the ground).

Of course they could save the great green pudding of a pitch by not playing the flippin' semi-finals on it! I've got no idea why, aside from raking in the cash, the FA have deemed it necessary to have these matches played at the same ground as the final. It pulls the rug from under the occasion that is the final almost as effectively as the pitch itself.

They used to say nothing prepares you for that first walk out on to the pitch in your Cup final day suit. Well, apart from the semi-final that is. It's nonsense! It's like spending the night before your wedding heavy petting in the aisle. Get them semis out of there and back into places like Villa Park - I mean how else are the people of Birmingham going to witness first hand a last-four match in the FA Cup?
Sir Alex Ferguson at Wembley
Despite the fact that it looks like it's been turfed over by a bunch of drunken groundsmen using a hand-held roller and some gaffa tape, the fact remains that Wenger and Ferguson's excuses have one flaw. Both teams have to play on it.

There may come a time in their somewhat neurotic minds when they swear they saw the pitch being swapped over at half-time, but for now, slippery shambles or not, it's a surface that both teams must cope with, and unsurprisingly Guus Hiddink didn't seem too bothered by it.

The fact that the first semi-final was tedious, and the second was about as exciting as a soft furnishings warehouse open day, might have had something to do with the dodgy pitch. But to me it had more to do with the fact that Everton got fazed by Ferguson's selection.

The mindset must've changed from 'If we play at our best we can really give these a good game' to 'Hellfire if we lose to this lot it'll be like when they have them specky little spods on Countdown and they turn the grown-ups over'. Seriously, how long have the two full-backs been out of the womb? Phil Neville said they'd beaten the best team in the world when they hadn't even beaten the best team at Man United.

Everton were abject going forward. Most of the time it looked like the forwards in blue were playing Pong with Nemanja Vidic. In it went, Bop! Out it came.

Fellaini continues to look like he's continually shaking an uncomfortable blazer off his shoulders every time he goes up for a header. Cahill was anonymous and the languid Saha's lack of fitness made Berbatov look positively animated when he came on.

Moyes's masterstroke came before the match when he referred to Old Mother Riley's supposed affiliations.

I'm sure there'll be the Bluenose defence, but that penalty was as plain as the nose on Mike Riley's face - and thankfully he didn't give it. Fergie's rage, which appeared to turn both his nose and the lining of his jacket blood-red, was the most vivid moment of the whole 120 minutes.

Still, I'm pleased for the Toffees. They have beaten three of the Big Four - United, Liverpool, and the Boro - not to mention Villa - to get there, so you can't say it's not deserved. The Nuts of Steel Award goes to Jagielka 'n' all, for stepping up to take the last kick.

Whether my lack of enjoyment of Saturday's semi-final had owt to do with how miserable we felt after watching the beloved Boro hardly get a whiff of Fulham's penalty box is hard to tell.

Like any North-Easterner we spent that game doing the Premier League maths - and basically Hull City are going to save either Boro or the Geordie bottlers. Blackburn aren't going down (and it's no good complaining about a lack of strikers, Mr Allardyce - if you find one send him up to our place). Blunderland have a game v West Brom, so that's them on at least 38 points. So it's all down to 11 May at St. James'.

Currently Newcastle's management are changing their minds more times in 90 minutes than my missus in a hat shop. There was a moment when Dowie and Shearer were re-jigging things when it looked like a huddle in one of them snooty estate agencies you get down in London.

(You know the ones, where Tarquin, Felix and Jemima are busy lining their portfolios before taking a year out in Malaysia and Oz. If there's an upside to the house price crash it's looking at the maudlin expressions on their faces right now.)

So forget your Chumps League frivolity - 11 May.. it's the Big One!

Comments

  • 1. At 1:01pm on 20 Apr 2009, Parish87 wrote:

    First comment - Awesome blog robbo as always!

    Complain about this comment

  • 2. At 1:07pm on 20 Apr 2009, GoonerDoogal wrote:

    I find it quite disgusting that you say that Wenger is using the pitch as an excuse for us losing.
    You obviously didnt watch the match build up where he quite clearly said that the pitch was 'terrible' and 'laughable' BEFORE the match had even begun. And afterwards has even stated that he wouldnt use that as an excuse. He has put some of the blame on our goal keeper having a nightmare but also stated that the performance of the team in general was not up to standard.

    Complain about this comment

  • 3. At 1:08pm on 20 Apr 2009, scottsewell wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 4. At 1:08pm on 20 Apr 2009, Parish87 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 5. At 1:14pm on 20 Apr 2009, GoonerDoogal wrote:

    4. At 1:08pm on 20 Apr 2009, Chelsea 4 - 4 Liverpool - Classic wrote:
    2. At 1:07pm on 20 Apr 2009, GoonerDoogal wrote:

    I find it quite disgusting that you say that Wenger is using the pitch as an excuse for us losing.

    ---

    I find you quite disgusting.
    ------------------------------------------

    well thanks for that. slightly bizarre as u dont know me though. My points are valid what ever you say.

    Complain about this comment

  • 6. At 1:23pm on 20 Apr 2009, Steve Stacey wrote:

    I agree totally that semi-finals shouldn't be held at Wembley. The whole point of a cup final is a culmination of a team effort to win a trophy. This should be part of that reward, the chance to play the final in a place where no other team has played. I fear that you are right, and this is commercial opportunism on the part off the F.A. I must say though, that I would like to see more games played at Wembley, because I never tire of hearing the commentators bleating on about the corporate seats being empty until 20 minutes into the second half. I have a solution. Why not make the coporate entertainment the same standard as Fratton Park? They'd soon be back out then! Nice to see Wenger knows how to accept defaet gracefully. We need more proper gentlemen like him in the game.

    Complain about this comment

  • 7. At 1:25pm on 20 Apr 2009, Starfire_99 wrote:

    Good fun to read as always Robbo.

    Leaving the protests of Fergie and Wenger aside it is shocking as to what they've been using that stadium for.

    Bad enough they couldn't have build a stadium aroung the Twin Towers, but the fact they've turned the national home of football into a rent-a-venue-for-all-occasions now is a terrible decision, especially when the Dome sits largely unused a few miles down the river.

    Mind at least it's comforting to know Britain will have a world class venue for F1 once Bernie gives Silverstone the boot eh?

    Complain about this comment

  • 8. At 1:26pm on 20 Apr 2009, Dennistoundon wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 9. At 1:29pm on 20 Apr 2009, Lanky-ffc wrote:

    Good blog as always Robbo :)

    I'm gonna stick around for the usual aftermath! Can predict some angry Arsenal and Utd fans, happy days!

    Complain about this comment

  • 10. At 1:36pm on 20 Apr 2009, CJ_Spur wrote:

    Good read as ever!

    The FA are just trying to re-coup some of the money that they were ripped off by when building the stadium, it's just a shame the playing surface suffers and as a result giving Wenger and SAF more excuses as to why they lost.

    Complain about this comment

  • 11. At 1:36pm on 20 Apr 2009, Ginger wrote:

    As a United fan I was naturally disappointed going out of the cup. I don't blame the pitch, the team, Berbatov or Mike Riley.

    It was just unfortunate that we lost in the shootout.

    I would swap this shootout defeat for a win in the remaining two that we may face.

    Good blog and good luck for Everton in the cup, their fans and manager deserve it.

    Message to Arsenal, please bounce back midweek!

    Complain about this comment

  • 12. At 1:37pm on 20 Apr 2009, jordanuk90MUFC wrote:

    united fan not happy with result performance of our kids were good don't care what anyone says it was the berba penalty

    Complain about this comment

  • 13. At 1:38pm on 20 Apr 2009, boomshakalak wrote:

    I also think Hull are looking at risk!... and that Newcastle could/should get enough points from their home games in front of their fantastic crowd...

    Shearer - £750k in the bank from his 3 games thus far - 1 point..... the man is taking a huge liberty.

    Complain about this comment

  • 14. At 1:38pm on 20 Apr 2009, maccarelly wrote:

    Good blog.

    £750m and they can't even get the most important bit right?

    The managers can't blame defeat on the pitch, as both sides have to suffer. Although if we want to see good football in future at Wembley it needs to be sorted.

    Complain about this comment

  • 15. At 1:39pm on 20 Apr 2009, qpr_premchamps2014 wrote:

    Great blog as usual Robbo. Does anybody else get the feeling that Hiddink might well have had something bad to say about the pitch if Chelsea had lost? It was dire though mind. How comes other pitches in the west/north west London area seem to be fine? Loftus Road used to get turfed up every week by Dallaglio and co at Wasps and it still looked good on a Saturday afternoon.

    Cant see a way out for Boro now, I think you will be "enjoying" championship football next year like so many of us.

    Complain about this comment

  • 16. At 1:40pm on 20 Apr 2009, GoonerDoogal wrote:

    8. At 1:26pm on 20 Apr 2009, DennistounDon wrote:
    to 5.

    Your point may be valid even though it does make you sound touchy as ***k, but fact reanains your teams out of the FA cup.
    Regardless of what wenger blames it on.
    -------------------------------------------------------

    lol. touchy? no im just irritated that people think Wenger is blaming our defeat on the pitch, when he hasnt. He knows our performance was poor, and we had a couple of goal keeping errors that cost us the game.
    I can handle us going out the FA Cup because our performace was dreadful. Good Luck to Everton as i hope they will beat Chelsea. Moyes certainly deserves a trophy.

    Complain about this comment

  • 17. At 1:40pm on 20 Apr 2009, rubertos_08 wrote:

    Phil Neville said they'd beaten the best team in the world when they hadn't even beaten the best team at Man United. .... funny but you cant argue that by far and away the best part about united has been the centre-back partnership of ferdinand and vidic. who were both playing yesterday

    Complain about this comment

  • 18. At 1:41pm on 20 Apr 2009, fozinio wrote:

    Robbo, you really need to check your facts before you write anything, and turn off your selective hearing when it comes to Wenger.

    Like a lot of people have said, Wenger said the pitch played no part in the defeat, but that sometimes goes missing by journalists and fans alike.

    It is amusing to hear a Newcastle fan crow about how arsenal are out the cup, not exactly setting the world alight yourself seeing as you are a big club as well...........apparently.

    Complain about this comment

  • 19. At 1:41pm on 20 Apr 2009, Matt Dalton wrote:

    All this talk of terrible pitches really does make me laugh. I play Sunday League and can only dream of playing on a pitch of the quality of a 'terrible' Wembley!!

    I watched the Big Match Revisited the other morning on ITV4 and they showed a match from 1979 at the Baseball Ground (Derby for any youngsters) and the pitch was more like a beach and there were so many divots it was unbelievable.

    It's funny really how they managed to play such good football at times on those pitches and players rarely complained of injuries due to the quality of the pitches.

    If you ask me, the current breed are spoilt brats - bravo to Chelsea and Everton for just getting on with it, after all they did play on the same pitch didn't they? Maybe I'm missing something, maybe Arsenal and United had to play on a poor quality pitch and some secret magic meant that Chelsea and Everton were playing on a pristine pitch but we just couldn't see it at home???

    Complain about this comment

  • 20. At 1:42pm on 20 Apr 2009, GenesisRed wrote:

    Not angry, but a United fan all the same. Personally, even if it is partly a case of looking on the bright side, i'm not too gutted that we're out of it. It means we can make sure of the league without rotating so much, and focus on the Champions League.

    I don't think Sir Alex has outright blame the pitch for the result, nor did he blame the failure to give an obvious penalty, which most managers would and have.

    I don't begrudge Moyes his shot at the cup, and the glory of being in the FA cup final. But I don't really get the idea that Everton deserve it just because they've worked so hard. They were outplayed by a team of youngsters for most of the game. Still, good luck to them. I hope they do it, for the glory of the cup.

    Complain about this comment

  • 21. At 1:43pm on 20 Apr 2009, StratfordBlade wrote:

    Amusing as always Robbo, and there will be those that miss the point as always. Cue for angry Man Utd fans demanding turkey-necks head, for not giving that penalty. As a totally unbiased observer, the beloved Jags never touched him! As for arsy Arsene, who picked the joke-keeper?

    Complain about this comment

  • 22. At 1:45pm on 20 Apr 2009, blueShidoshi wrote:

    robbo good times are surely a month away.i pray, wish,dream that chelsea get a double preferably king of europe and fa cup champion

    Complain about this comment

  • 23. At 1:48pm on 20 Apr 2009, Arshavin Is My Friend wrote:

    Good Blog Robbo (As always!)

    Now as a Arsenal Fan, yes I am dissapointed we went out in the fashion that we did, we wasn't at our best on Saturday and we were punished for sleeping at the back (as always!).

    I remember Wenger complaining BEFORE the game about the pitch, so even if he did complain about it AFTER he was sticking by his guns and saying that the pitch is about as much use as a cup with a crack in it, looks good on the outside, but it leaks which makes it pretty darn awful!

    As for Utd, the peno shout was a defo peno, no doubt about it BUT Moyes being the tatical genius he is, played Fergie at his own game and did mind games with the Ref, and it worked!

    The game was boring, I've had better days going round my Nan's for Tea and listening to my Grandad about the War. The only real exciting moment was when the whistle went for the end of ET 2nd Half.

    As soon as Cahill missed the 1st peno, I thought here we go again, Man Utd vs. Chelsea in the Final, and judgeing on the last FA Cup Final they had, I wasn't even gonna bother watching the last 5 mins of it, never mind the whole game, so Drogba can score in the 117th Min AGAIN and go back to defending while Utd are defending, useless!

    But I'll support Everton in the Final and I hope they win it, just to wipe the grin of Cashley Cole's Face! + I think Everton are a very good footballing side and Moyes is possibly the most Under Rated Manager in the Prem!

    So Well Done Everton, Now Go On And Win It!

    P.S - Robbo, I'm afraid to say but Boro are going down, Alves can't hit a barn door to save his life, never mind the back of the net from 6 yards to keep you in the Prem!

    Complain about this comment

  • 24. At 1:54pm on 20 Apr 2009, Hinders93 wrote:

    Fozinio - about checking your facts.....don't think Robbo is a Newcastle fan, actually......

    Complain about this comment

  • 25. At 1:54pm on 20 Apr 2009, VAMOS wrote:

    I find it funny that the “purists” think Wembley Semi’s are a bad idea. Apart from the lazy idea that it takes the shine of the final, which it doesn’t, it’s a win win situation. Will Chelsea fans be less satisfied going to Rome for the CL final, having been there months earlier? Looking at the 2 Semi’s, the Arsenal v Chelsea match is a no brainer, where else would you hold it? White Hart Lane, Villa Park, Old Trafford? Plus you ask the extra 40k of fans that made the trip, saw the stadium and the great acoustics.

    For teams that will not make the semi’s regularly, again it’s a great day out.

    The pitch is an issue but the venue in my opinion should not be

    Complain about this comment

  • 26. At 1:54pm on 20 Apr 2009, lordSUPERFRED wrote:

    old red face took the game as a joke , why send up Rio to take a spot kick when Tevez hadn,t even taken one , the toffees deserved it and this was there cup final as The Pensioners will put out a full strength side and I fear it could be as embarrisning as when Millwall or Villa played at the old Wembley , 4-0 to the London blues it grates me to say

    Complain about this comment

  • 27. At 1:55pm on 20 Apr 2009, Lokacious wrote:

    How does anyone expect the Chelsea man to worry about the pitch - its just for standing on isn't it? The ball goes in the air:-)

    Complain about this comment

  • 28. At 1:59pm on 20 Apr 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    All right, irate gooners, Wenger was moaning about the pitch before and after (and almost certainly during) the game. And yes he blamed the keeper not the groundsman on his team's defeat. Not sure how jelpful it is to bang on about the surface beforehand but it's true to say that on this occasion Fergie's whingeing seems worse than Arsene's.

    Complain about this comment

  • 29. At 2:06pm on 20 Apr 2009, uber96 wrote:

    Jelpful or Helpful?!

    Complain about this comment

  • 30. At 2:06pm on 20 Apr 2009, DavidBeckhamsBeard wrote:

    People are critisising the FA for staging so many events at the new Wembley, but didn't that old one have lots of extra events. Just off the top of my head I can remember Rugby League matches being played there, Pop concerts (live aid being a particually memorable one) Boxing fights, WWE wrestling events, plus I would imagine there was even more.

    The problem with the pitch seems to be that Wembley is such a huge bowl like structure that the pitch struggles to get enough sunlight and the artificial ones they use doesn't seem to do the job. But i'm not a groundsman so i don't really know for sure!

    Complain about this comment

  • 31. At 2:10pm on 20 Apr 2009, FailBetter wrote:

    Wenger specifically didn't blame the pitch, because it was the same for both teams.

    He was asked quite a leading question by a reporter, and answered it honestly - the pitch affected the quality of the game, not the result.

    I watched that interview on the BBC website, and read about the interview on the BBC website - how about you, Robbo?

    Complain about this comment

  • 32. At 2:10pm on 20 Apr 2009, unusedsub wrote:

    Great blog Robbo....enjoyed that one.
    Is it me or does every football match after the Chelsea v Liverpool 4-4
    rollercoaster seem dull.
    Liverpool v Arsenal tomorrow......c'mon you Reds. YNWA

    Complain about this comment

  • 33. At 2:15pm on 20 Apr 2009, blueShidoshi wrote:

    The beauty of sport lies in the tough environment be it pitch or facilities.the fact remains that players are too conscious of injuries.i remember back in the days when tennis players go around looking for their own balls and golf players too.i think the clubs should also include training facilities that enable our lazy players stand " bad" pitches

    Complain about this comment

  • 34. At 2:16pm on 20 Apr 2009, mambo wrote:

    Qauality blog as usual Robbo. I too hope that the toffee's take the cup, but I am finding it hard to think of a more boring final than Hiddink's midfield five against Moyse's midfield six, Lampard junior with his vomit inducing double finger point to heaven and Cahill's savage attack's on a defenseless corner flag.

    I believe Moyse has suggested that the pitch should be left as it is and not even cut before the final, a club insider confirms that this is so Pinaar can move about the pitch without being detected. Hiddink has countered by asking the ground staff to flood both goalmouths for obvious reasons...

    Complain about this comment

  • 35. At 2:18pm on 20 Apr 2009, derekhall18 wrote:

    What's wrong with playing the semi finals at the Millenium stadium in cardiff?

    Complain about this comment

  • 36. At 2:19pm on 20 Apr 2009, philtoon82 wrote:

    Boomshakalak

    "Shearer - ?750k in the bank from his 3 games thus far - 1 point..... the man is taking a huge liberty."

    Would just like to know from which evidence you base this on? Please advise.

    Complain about this comment

  • 37. At 2:20pm on 20 Apr 2009, StamfordHeaven wrote:

    Good Footie stuff Robbo, but leave U2 & Bono out of it.

    Still haven't found what I'm looking for is well old and you know what they are still making classics after 30 years and without loads of changes in personel, pretty damned unique I'd say.

    Complain about this comment

  • 38. At 2:23pm on 20 Apr 2009, philtoon82 wrote:

    and by the way i was refering to your in-depth knowledge of Shearer's payslip rather than the points tally!

    Complain about this comment

  • 39. At 2:23pm on 20 Apr 2009, boomshakalak wrote:

    i personally would prefer it if they only had the final at wembley - but i can't really see why everyone is getting so upset about it.. they have previoulsy had semi's at "the old" wembley - and most importantly - if they had the game(s) at Villa park, Anfield, etc (capacities about 40,000+) then around 50,000 people that attended each game at the weekend (wembley capaicty c90,000) which is obvioulsy around 100,000 spectators in total would not have been able to attend such a big game... and we spend so much time moaning about not being able to get tickets that atleast this increases ticket availability.... i guess the only alternative venues that could be used would be Old Trafford and the Millenium stadium.... but then they did say when they built wembley that the semis would be held there...

    on top of that - we moan that wembley cost so much etc - how can we expect it to make enough money to pay for itself if we say that no other events can take place there and it can only be used for the FA cup final and england games (although many will argue that we shouldn't even play these there and they should move it around)

    also - like someone says above - the pitch wasn't actually "that bad" when compared to pitches all over the country and in the past...

    ps - in the time i have taken to write this Shearer has just taken another £1000 from the Newcastle public he apparantly loves so much... can anyone else see that the man is a complete fraud?

    Complain about this comment

  • 40. At 2:24pm on 20 Apr 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    AW come on, now. Get Your Boots On or whatever the hell that nonsense was that they churned out on Jonathan Ross a while back! I prefer Nancy Sinatra any day.

    Complain about this comment

  • 41. At 2:30pm on 20 Apr 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    Those of you who have no problem with the 'Let's use Wembley for anything remotely important' policy clearly are barely out of your short trousers. It's just an old fart going on about tradition, I grant you, but there should be something sacrosanct about Wembley on Cup final day. Frankly reaching a semi-final doesn't merit playing at the home of the Final, even if that home is carpeted with furry green slurry.

    Complain about this comment

  • 42. At 2:31pm on 20 Apr 2009, Baghdad_Potter wrote:

    Robbo, as a man who also follows a team still implicated in the relegation mire, would you not agree that the battle to avoid relegation is much more compelling viewing than watching the usual suspects slug it out for the title? This run-in is testing both my maths skills and my nerves - it is fantastic!

    Complain about this comment

  • 43. At 2:32pm on 20 Apr 2009, Teffers wrote:

    Fair enough... apart from the bit where Wenger didn't say it was the pitch's fault...

    "I don't think we lost because of the pitch," said Wenger. "But it is really embarrassing. When you see how much this stadium has cost and you still can't get a proper football pitch. Somebody must give an explanation."

    But don't let the facts get in the way of a poorly-researched rant, eh, Robbo... ;)

    Complain about this comment

  • 44. At 2:36pm on 20 Apr 2009, mambo wrote:

    And Abide with me echoing around the stadium, Tommy Steele climbing onto the little platform on the half-way line to entertain the masses and get the rattles and rival good natured chants going....

    Ooops look out, here comes a meteorite to wipe us out Robbo

    Complain about this comment

  • 45. At 2:43pm on 20 Apr 2009, mm wrote:

    To blame the defeat on the pitch is rather foolish as it's not a home ground to any team. Fergi is the one who did that as opposed to Wenger who had voiced his dissatisfaction with quality of the pitch before the match so he wasn't masking an excuse for defeat. Overall the pitch conditions were poor which reflected in the match but hopefully that will not stop it from being a thrilling final.

    Complain about this comment

  • 46. At 2:47pm on 20 Apr 2009, kevthered83 wrote:

    to be fair the less matches at the new wembley the better. By my maths Utd have now been to the new wembley 5 times......scored just 1 goal.....conceded just 2 and 4 of the 5 matches have gone to penalties....Thrilling!

    Complain about this comment

  • 47. At 2:51pm on 20 Apr 2009, Ithakos wrote:

    Everyone is saying Hiddink didn't criticise the pitch, but saying 'there are worse pitches in some parts of Europe and in Africa' - isn't that a complete backhander? Eastern Europe is full of pitches I wouldn't walk my dog on, most of the Russian teams don't even bother trying to grow real grass and use astro instead because it's so bloody cold there, and if you watched the African Nations, half the pitches there looked like Fellaini's head painted green and the other half had less grass than the Sahara desert.

    Better than them is not nearly good enough - that the grass at the home of football and the national stadium of the country with the supposed best league in the world is even being compared with those pitches is a massive failure on the part of the FA.

    Complain about this comment

  • 48. At 2:59pm on 20 Apr 2009, DennyCraneWHU wrote:

    Dear Robbo,

    On behalf of us Southern Softies, ty for the blog.

    Complain about this comment

  • 49. At 3:00pm on 20 Apr 2009, CroftKid wrote:

    Good blog Robbo as always.
    The Everton - United game was like watching a reserves match, but with more spectators there. Good for Moyesy though, but realistically they should have taken it to United a bit more.
    As for Berbatov and Ferdinands penalties - they both played the game in a stroll and that's how they took their respective penalties, far too nonchalant for me and I hope old beetroot face reminds em of it.
    Can't imagine it being much of a final, be it the pitch or not.

    Complain about this comment

  • 50. At 3:01pm on 20 Apr 2009, poshPompeyblue wrote:

    MAN UNITED WERE SO BORING FERGIE GAVE A LITTLE EXIBITION OF OLD SCOTTISH DANCING ON THE TOUCH LINE.

    Complain about this comment

  • 51. At 3:05pm on 20 Apr 2009, Nixon Mclane wrote:

    Robbo,

    Take a look at Phil McNulty's blog and his comment around #160 on the list. Unlike yourself, he was at the press conference where Wenger and Ferguson mentioned the pitch but neither blamed it for their loss. Only that it shaped the team selection. SAF's selection was daring but nearly paid off.

    Just a quick question, will you still give your Premier League team rants when the Boro are in the Championship or continue laying into the great and good of the game? Only kidding... Good blog as always.

    Complain about this comment

  • 52. At 3:12pm on 20 Apr 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    Listen if Boro disappear into the Chumpinoship I'll be even more hacked off with the big boys and their self-funding Big 4 racket. Don't you fear.

    Complain about this comment

  • 53. At 3:24pm on 20 Apr 2009, Whiteoutloud wrote:

    Overall I'm pleased with the finalists that triumphed at the weekend and wish them good luck. I don't support either of them, so I hope football wins.
    It is a shame that the Semis have to played at Wembley also, but how else are the FA going to claw back the astronomical costs of building it (roofless aswell). You have to say that the Welsh certainly showed our brickies how to do it (on time and within budget).
    It's worrying that the pitch has been relaid so many times. Usually, when your garden lawn gets some new turf, your not supposed to breath on it for 2 months, so it's not surprising that the turf cuts up a bit when it's being laid one day and they're playing Gridiron on it the next.

    Complain about this comment

  • 54. At 3:28pm on 20 Apr 2009, Albanianfootie wrote:

    good blog robbo, nice way to start the week here in the states.

    this might annoy mufc fans, but having seen the supposed penalty over and over from a few angles, i am not at all sure it was a penalty. i initially thought it was obvious but on closer look the man u lad goes to ground too easily. not at all sure there was any contact there. mind you, had ronaldo been there he would have done a flip or two and riley would have had no choice!

    it is also unfair to say that man u had a significantly weakened team just because rooney and ronaldo were not there. tevez is (well can be) world class and berbatov was supposed to be good. basic point is if SAF starts a team with vidic and ferdinand at the back, that is not a weakened team. not arguing it was a full strengh team but not significantly weaker than usual.

    But i did think that it was great SAF took for once a page out of Wenger's book and gave a chance to play to some very talented youngsters, who i thought did a great job. cant blame them for berbatov's miss.

    Complain about this comment

  • 55. At 3:29pm on 20 Apr 2009, Dazz wrote:

    Blunderland! Classic!

    I'm United supporter and I am very disappointed in Berbatov's extremely lazy attitude. For someone costing £30mm, that is the greatest waste of money I have ever seen. I'd rather have a honest, hardworking Kevin Davies or a speedy and lethal Defoe?

    Fergie should get shot of all these players who do not wish to work for the team but only seek personal glory and while we're at it, Ronaldo should go too! Class player or not, players like this have a negative effect on the rest of the team and football certainly IS a team game! As shown most glaringly by the two Merseyside team - Liverpool and Everton

    Complain about this comment

  • 56. At 3:31pm on 20 Apr 2009, Nixon Mclane wrote:

    That is good to hear... I never really doubted your commitment to banging the world to rights. Someone needs to keep every football fans feet on the ground and you are therefore nominated. Hopefully the Boro won't go down though.

    Viva the Robbo Revolution...

    Complain about this comment

  • 57. At 3:33pm on 20 Apr 2009, Spitfire wrote:

    Arsenal did not look threatening against the Chelsea midfield and the solid(er) back four.

    Though I normally fret how Wenger makes excuses after every loss, this time however he has got a valid point. The dung heap that is the new wembley was more a setback for Arsenal's style of play than it was for the Blues.It is perhaps is perhaps the worst track there is in all of England and would definitely do Cheltenham proud.

    Like it or not (and I most definitely dont) the Semis will be hosted at Wembley for the next 29 years as well. So thats sorted.

    Complain about this comment

  • 58. At 3:36pm on 20 Apr 2009, Lineandlength wrote:

    Glad to see Arsenal out, although Chelsea and Man U's playacting, getting away with decisions, and other all round disgraceful antics are pretty depressing too, but a sad reflection of the modern game.

    Can't stand U2, blooming awful. Has nobody realised that The Edge knows less chords than Status Quo?! (PS Guess who's just come on the radio...?!)

    On a less whingy note, I wish Everton all the best for the final, it'd be good to keep the underdogs record going after Pompey's win last year.

    Complain about this comment

  • 59. At 3:42pm on 20 Apr 2009, doctoraldworth wrote:

    am i the only person who thinks that iain dowie looks how alan shearer would look if he had been badly beaten?

    Complain about this comment

  • 60. At 3:44pm on 20 Apr 2009, lobotics wrote:

    "Here's the latest Excuse For Not Winning An Important Game Of Football. The pitch was terrible.

    Somewhat typically Fergie and Wenger have blamed the turf for their defeats in the semi-finals."

    Actually Robbo, Wenger specifically said that he was NOT blaming the pitch, that his side had let in two bad goals, but was commenting on the pitch as inadequate for such a prestigious venue. Ferguson did say he picked a weakened team because of the pitch, but he didn't actually blame the surface for the result.

    Complain about this comment

  • 61. At 3:51pm on 20 Apr 2009, Thanks A lot BBC7 wrote:

    I love the idea of an Chelsea Everton final, as it gives Michael Ballack another great chance of missing out on another title.

    Since you - cleverly - started using your blog to hit out on 7-9 teams in one blog, I like them much better.

    Complain about this comment

  • 62. At 3:52pm on 20 Apr 2009, jasmanio wrote:

    Surely these comments should scroll down from the most recent first. Just a thought.

    Anyway, delighted for Everton. Certainly not a classic, but played in the right spirit and both sets of fans were class before and after the game around the stadium.

    I really think Moyes is a top drawer manager and the Toffees have a real chance of winning the final if only because of their team spirit and togetherness. I think Sir Alex will be rooting for the Blues if only so Everton have something to show for Moyes' tenure before Man Utd rob him off us!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 63. At 3:55pm on 20 Apr 2009, excellentcatblogger wrote:

    If the grass pitch is going to be taken up every so often and replaced with tarmac etc, would it not be better to give up on grass and lay astroturf? The Sunday Times mentioned that some rugby players had been injured due to the spongy surface and were considering a lawsuit. Considering the cost of the stadium, you would have thought that the design of the stadium would also cater for sufficient light to enable the grass to grow properly. After all the Emirates stadium has conquered this problem, or is it simply the case that the authorities know F all about football pitches?

    Complain about this comment

  • 64. At 3:58pm on 20 Apr 2009, Notorious Enigmatic Red Devil AKA Wookiee wrote:

    Robbo, very funny again as always, but when did Fergy or the Professor actually blame the pitch you numpty?

    If you actually saw his interview he was actually quite philosophical about the whole thing, something McNulty has even stated in his blog.

    Our kids were great against a well oiled Everton side and just shaded it over the game for me, shame it had to go to peno's!

    But good luck to Everton, they held their nerves on the peno's and I will be cheering them on in the final.

    Complain about this comment

  • 65. At 4:03pm on 20 Apr 2009, Spitfire wrote:

    Guessing from the comments, Robbo might blame the dip in quality of his recent blogs to the uneven surface of bar in Bluebells!

    Complain about this comment

  • 66. At 4:07pm on 20 Apr 2009, United Dreamer wrote:

    "In fact Sir Alex has said the pitch picked his team for him... which rather suggests there was a miserable sod in charge on Sunday"

    Heh - even I can admit that was a little clever on your part despite being a sworn disciple of the gaffer.

    Well done to Everton. They deserved it - their fans were a credit to the club - very vocal and Everton played hard. Nevertheless it was a stonewall penalty decision not given but tbh no guarantee we would have scored given our performance in the shootout. Although Tevez would have probably taken it seeing as the hopeless Berby doll (0 out of 10 what a shower) wasn't on yet so that would have increased our chances.

    Re Wenger, I have to say its never a good idea to comment on the state of a pitch before the match as it gives the wrong signals to your players and the opposition.

    Complain about this comment

  • 67. At 4:07pm on 20 Apr 2009, gunner_spain wrote:

    Without doubt the most boring semis in history. Confirmed by supporters of ALL teams here in our local. Both AW and SAF got their selections sooo wrong. Nasri has been outstanding this year and Arshavin a breath of talented fresh air. How could he not start either or both ? Should have had the courage to play to our strengths and let Chelski worry about us. Fabianski and Denilson both had a woeful afternoon. SAF obviously thought it was a foregone conclusion that they would win. Lovely to see his Rumplestilkin impression though - although not quite up to AW's Fire Dance !

    Complain about this comment

  • 68. At 4:08pm on 20 Apr 2009, bourghgate wrote:

    "I DON'T THINK WE LOST BECUASE OF THE PITCH," said Wenger. "But it is really embarrassing. When you see how much this stadium has cost and you still can't get a proper football pitch. Somebody must give an explanation."

    now this quote is from bbc football website. WHY O WHY are there so many ignorant small minded so called football fans who cant get to grips that wenger (or ferge) never used pitch as an excuse- along with david moyes they all agree the pitch is a shambles and is degrading the world famous fa cup.

    Robo, usually like your blogs but you gotta hold your hands up at your mistake here.

    Complain about this comment

  • 69. At 4:14pm on 20 Apr 2009, DenistheGenius wrote:

    ok, ok - everyone lay off Robbinho - he's held up his hand (sort of) over his clumsy Wenger rant...perhaps he shouldn't wear the "grey brassiere" while blogging - it can cause abject Bendtnering.

    semis @ Wembley are quite stupid, to be fair.

    Complain about this comment

  • 70. At 4:20pm on 20 Apr 2009, PeterD wrote:

    Never mind the pitch at Wembley, can someone explain why we need a 'National Stadium' at all? The 'National' side should be made available to the nation and not play all its home matches in the bottom right hand corner of the country ( you know like when they were building the new stadium). The only possible reason for this is to save the great and the good of the FA (lol) having to slum it north of Watford 'cos at least if they came up here the team would get proper support and not have to put up with the corporate hospitality brigade not bothering with most of the second half.
    Someone mentioned about Bernie Ecclestone using a tarmacced (is that how you spell it?) Wembley for the GP. Well tough! As I understand it we're keeping that one out of the southeast of England!
    P.S. Does Fergie realise thereis only Big Sam and him who think Raffa was being nasty in telling Torres to go easy on Blackburn. All he was saying was 'Just keep it to 4. We don't want to demoralise them too much and it's much cheaper taking the team to Blackburn than the northeast and when RBS pull the rug from under the Yanks we'll need to save as much money as possible if I'm going to sign David Villa!'

    Complain about this comment

  • 71. At 4:20pm on 20 Apr 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    All right, Gooners!!!! 40 posts ago I acknowldeged Mr. Wenger's declining to blame the pitch!(SEE BELOW)

    To be fair, Fergie blamed his selection on the quality of the turf. Think he's muddling himself in his old age with his horse racing interests. Bless.

    28. At 1:59pm on 20 Apr 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:
    All right, irate gooners, Wenger was moaning about the pitch before and after (and almost certainly during) the game. And yes he blamed the keeper not the groundsman on his team's defeat. Not sure how jelpful it is to bang on about the surface beforehand but it's true to say that on this occasion Fergie's whingeing seems worse than Arsene's.

    Complain about this comment

  • 72. At 4:21pm on 20 Apr 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    As for Fergie v Rafa - give em a couple of pillows and a ramp across a vat of piranhas and let em slug it out.

    Complain about this comment

  • 73. At 4:27pm on 20 Apr 2009, Xavierneville wrote:

    Robbo,
    You've read my entries from McNulty's blog and truned them into yours.....shame on you!

    From underdogs to favourites in an hour before kick off, genius by Ferguson and it nearly worked, the Everton team must of gone eh?

    They got cuaght in be twixt and between, the result total dourness, this is coming from a die hard toffee!

    A severe lack of bravery on Everton's part, but do I care...not one jot semi finals are about winning any team who's been in one can atest to that.

    Complain about this comment

  • 74. At 4:43pm on 20 Apr 2009, lightedcigarettes wrote:

    In Reply to 21:

    The offender himself admitted he was lucky with the penalty decision and here u are claiming otherwise?? But again you should know it better than the player himself, shouldn't you?

    Complain about this comment

  • 75. At 4:52pm on 20 Apr 2009, SportsFan wrote:

    Terrible Blog

    Wenger never blamed the pitch for the match, just pointing out quite rightly it isn't fit as a national football team pitch.

    Fabio Capello, Slaven Bilic, the Australian Rugby team and now Fergie and also Moyes (who won, obviously) have all criticised it. I know Wenger the Whinger is an easy stereotype to trot out but come on Robbo, you can better than this drivel.

    And secondly, OF COURSE playing semi-finals, racing events and NFL at Wenbley is about money. Are you really that naive? Obviously we'd all prefer the semis to be at neutral venues but £750m is a lot of money to pay back! I can't believe people are even still talking about this.

    Complain about this comment

  • 76. At 5:01pm on 20 Apr 2009, Theo Logical wrote:

    Robbo, it is fair to say that this is my first ever negative comment on your articles. I am fed up with your cheap pops at Wenger. So far I have tolerated them. But this is just a step too far. WHY were his comments a whinge? Did he not say clearly that it was not the reason for his team's loss? Why can't you just admit you are wrong in calling them a whinge and go on with your business?

    It is manly to accept one's mistake. Don't try to wiggle out of it by saying Fergie's whinge was worse than Wenger's.


    ~~~~~~
    Fergie's whingeing seems worse than Arsene's.
    ~~~~~~

    Complain about this comment

  • 77. At 5:02pm on 20 Apr 2009, littlejklc wrote:

    I think Everton do deserve to be in the final and I do hope them win.
    But if the other final team is Arsenal, it will be better.
    Moyes shows some class yesterday. Wenger probably should learn something from him. He did admit it should have been a penalty instead of saying I didn't see it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 78. At 5:02pm on 20 Apr 2009, Muesli_used_for_cheese wrote:

    I don't think Ferguson or Wenger blamed the pitch for their sides losing. But the pitch had a huge affect on the two games. Both games were an appalling spectacle. Friends of mine went to the Chelsea v Aresenal game and had nothing positive to say about the game. All they could say was "at least i've been to the "new" Wembley". Great. I miss the days of Villa park.

    Why don't they just use Wembley for concerts and Monster trucks?

    Complain about this comment

  • 79. At 5:04pm on 20 Apr 2009, chelsearule83 wrote:

    Love the blog Robbo, i read it every week and it never fails to make me smile!! However to all you people who post the same things as each other every week i have just one thing to say - try reading the comments BEFORE you make any. It gets so very dull reading the same criticism time after time.

    Complain about this comment

  • 80. At 5:10pm on 20 Apr 2009, DenistheGenius wrote:

    re67:
    good call on Wenger's "Fire Dance"...that is truly a classic - looks like he's shaking light sticks onstage with the cast of "Cats"!

    no idea why he would omit Nasri & Arshavin - he's clearly out-thought himself there, and apparently it showed in the performance.

    Complain about this comment

  • 81. At 5:10pm on 20 Apr 2009, Godez23 wrote:

    Sunderland fan in peace.

    I reckon Berba is the reason Man Utd lost, Cahill had just blazed over and you can heap all the pressure on the Blues so what do you do? pick a corner right... WRONG "I'll be a clever d**k and put it down the middle at less than a mile an hour so when it rolls in past the keeper he feels like a right pillock"

    Dimitar Berbatov = the least worthy premiership footballer I have ever seen. Average Distance for a prem player to run in a game is about 10k...Berba maybe just over 3k. Makes me sick.

    Complain about this comment

  • 82. At 5:13pm on 20 Apr 2009, Bournemouthy wrote:

    Why are people having a go at Robbo for not getting his facts right.. facts should never get in the way of a good rant!!!

    Be a bit dull otherwise

    Complain about this comment

  • 83. At 5:14pm on 20 Apr 2009, JR wrote:

    I have to say, I agree with Robbo and his Old Man tradition, Wembley should be used for the final. I know they have it contracted to host semis for the next 30 years to pay off the cost of the darn thing [no joke, unfortunately], but it does take some of the shine off the 'reaching Wembley' thing.

    Also, I know holding it in London means most United fans had less of a distance to travel to watch them play [ba-dum tish], but they could have held it somewhere closer, couldn't they? Anfield was free that day, and neither United or Everton like the place, so why not there?

    Complain about this comment

  • 84. At 5:17pm on 20 Apr 2009, Muesli_used_for_cheese wrote:

    Agree on the lazy Berbatov rant. Utter waste of human flesh.

    Complain about this comment

  • 85. At 5:22pm on 20 Apr 2009, Muesli_used_for_cheese wrote:

    AAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Now i'm really angry about Berbatov. It was almost like he intended to miss it. PUC!

    Complain about this comment

  • 86. At 5:28pm on 20 Apr 2009, GazUtd wrote:

    My God!

    I don't read this for a few weeks, come back and find...

    I actually agree with Robbo!

    Not on the football of course, but on the Bono hating.

    Finally after all these years Robbo you have come out with something sensible; lock Bono in a box and throw away the key.

    At least you're not Irish like me and have to live on the same island as him (difficult as he has enough trouble fitting his ego on it).

    Complain about this comment

  • 87. At 5:29pm on 20 Apr 2009, BigKoko2004 wrote:

    Semi's are usually poor but the 2 played over the weekend really took the biscuit. Some of the most inept football to ever grace a major venue. Very glad I will be sunning myself in the tropics when the final is on or I'd probably feel obliged to watch what will inevitably be another dull match.
    As for the EPL my girlfriend did the BBC predictor and had 'Boro and Newcastle going down with WBA and unfortunately for you Robbo I can't seem to fault her logic.

    Complain about this comment

  • 88. At 5:31pm on 20 Apr 2009, AnalMcAnal wrote:

    I like the way that everyone refers to Robinho as the biggest flop of the season. He may have been disapointing so far, but in his defence:
    - he cost practically the same as Berbatov
    - he's done as much, if not more, than Berbatov
    - he's playing in a much poorer team than Berbatov
    - he's playing in his first season in England and still adapting (unlike Berbatov)

    Complain about this comment

  • 89. At 5:38pm on 20 Apr 2009, Andyspur37 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 90. At 5:46pm on 20 Apr 2009, The One-Armed Man wrote:

    17. At 1:40pm on 20 Apr 2009, rubertos_08 wrote:

    Phil Neville said they'd beaten the best team in the world when they hadn't even beaten the best team at Man United. .... funny but you cant argue that by far and away the best part about united has been the centre-back partnership of ferdinand and vidic. who were both playing yesterday



    Yeah you could argue that. You'd be wrong, but you could argue that.

    Complain about this comment

  • 91. At 5:47pm on 20 Apr 2009, Andyspur37 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 92. At 5:49pm on 20 Apr 2009, eezy_squeezy wrote:

    Godez23 wrso when it rolls in past the keeper he feels like a right pillock"
    ote:

    Sunderland fan in peace.

    I reckon Berba is the reason Man Utd lost, Cahill had just blazed over and you can heap all the pressure on the Blues so what do you do? pick a corner right... WRONG "I'll be a clever d**k and put it down the middle at less than a mile an hour
    Dimitar Berbatov = the least worthy premiership footballer I have ever seen. Average Distance for a prem player to run in a game is about 10k...Berba maybe just over 3k. Makes me sick.
    _____________________________________________________

    So, by your rationale, the further someone runs during a match the more "worthy" they are?

    Berbatov hasn't been a huge success at United (yet), but judging his performance using simplistic and nonsenical criteria is just stupid; ie a player in League Two regularly covers 12-13k a match, so he must be worthy of the Premier League?

    Absolute tosh.

    PS - I whole-heartedly agree that Berbatov's penalty was total poo, by the way.

    Complain about this comment

  • 93. At 5:52pm on 20 Apr 2009, Piresistable wrote:

    Wenger wasn't using the pitch as an excuse. We'd have probably lost had the pitch been decent.

    The point is that because of the pitch, the two games were very dull as everyone needed to take a touch and as a result slowing the game down.

    The final will be even worse on May 30th if it's as hot as it can be.

    Complain about this comment

  • 94. At 6:35pm on 20 Apr 2009, kasbah wrote:

    Another problem with having the semi-finals at Wembley as well as the final is that the FA's ticketing structure for the final means that the two clubs involved will have FEWER tickets available than for the semi. That can't be right! At least playing the semi at a smaller stadium means more tickets will be available for the final than the semi, not the other way round.

    After all Luton could take 40,000 to Wembley for the johnstone paints trophy but Everton and Chelsea can only take 25,000 each.....for a 90,000 seater stadium!

    Complain about this comment

  • 95. At 6:36pm on 20 Apr 2009, kasbah wrote:

    "17. At 1:40pm on 20 Apr 2009, rubertos_08 wrote:

    Phil Neville said they'd beaten the best team in the world when they hadn't even beaten the best team at Man United. .... funny but you cant argue that by far and away the best part about united has been the centre-back partnership of ferdinand and vidic. who were both playing yesterday"

    Yep, and Everton couldn't score, suggesting the best part did their job!

    Complain about this comment

  • 96. At 6:37pm on 20 Apr 2009, Starfire_99 wrote:

    Well let's look at Berbatov's form then.

    At Spurs he must have scored about 50 goals, was a killer combo with Robbie Keane, tormented defences with his trickery, and had White Hart lane giving him the sort of adulation they used to give Klinnsman.
    He was a big fish in a small pond so to speak and loved the attention.

    He moves to Utd and he's no longer the center of attention. He's got Tevez, Ronaldo, Rooney, Scholes, Giggs to compete with on the ego front. He's no longer top dog or first name on the team sheet like he was at Spurs and rather than prove himself and force his way onto the team sheet like Darren Bent has for us week in week out, he bumbles about, with a Couldn't-give-a-damn-about-the-team-where's-my-payslip-for-the-week-thankyou-very-much atitude.

    I think Shevchencko (sp?) may have lost his crown on that front to him now.

    Complain about this comment

  • 97. At 6:38pm on 20 Apr 2009, lorus59 wrote:

    Actually now I don't like seeing any matches at Wembley since they decided to use this new lower TV camera position. It takes away the impression of the large Wembley pitch. I was thinking as to why this has happened and came to the conclusion that, they have sold more expensive seats where the TV camera was last year.

    Complain about this comment

  • 98. At 6:39pm on 20 Apr 2009, mdb500 wrote:

    A message to all those annoyed by "Chelsea 4 - 4 Liverpool - Classic"'s comments on this and Phil's blog:

    Don't feed the trolls.

    Complain about this comment

  • 99. At 6:41pm on 20 Apr 2009, kasbah wrote:

    Number 34: "Lampard junior with his vomit inducing double finger point to heaven"

    With all due respect....but Lampard only started doing that when his MUM DIED. Don't you think it's a little harsh to consider it 'vomit inducing' that he points to heavent when he scores?

    Complain about this comment

  • 100. At 7:03pm on 20 Apr 2009, Wash wrote:

    The FA are just trying to re-coup some of the money that they were ripped off by when building the stadium, it's just a shame the playing surface suffers and as a result giving Wenger and SAF more excuses as to why they lost.
    ----------------------------------------------

    Sorry, but the FA have no-one to blame but themselves. When the contract was put out to tender, all of the recognised construction companies with experience in this field all turned it down on the basis it could not be completed in the timescale required within the budget guidelines set. The only company willing to take it on already had a reputation for going over budget and over time, but the FA refused to listen to the combined wisdom of companies who's success is based on their experience of projects such as these.
    At the end of the day, the FA can't even seem to run football properly, so what made them think that they knew better than the recognised construction companies when it came to a project of this magnitude? It beggars belief...

    Complain about this comment

  • 101. At 7:06pm on 20 Apr 2009, richjseymour wrote:

    great blog robbo.

    i can't understand the decision to have semi finals at wembley. it's a complete devaluation of cup final day. when utd didn't enter the comp in 2000 there was an all mighty row about how the cup was being devalued but because it's an f.a decision nobody dares make any noise about it.

    shame on all the "fans" for not doing so.

    wembley for the final

    Complain about this comment

  • 102. At 7:13pm on 20 Apr 2009, Wash wrote:

    You have to say that the Welsh certainly showed our brickies how to do it (on time and within budget).
    ------------------------------

    For the record, it was an Aussie company that was responsible for the debacle known as the New Wembley...

    Complain about this comment

  • 103. At 7:15pm on 20 Apr 2009, One-Henry wrote:

    Mr Bloggo Bobson or Bobby Robson or Robbo Bloggson or in fact whatever you affectionately call yourself, you are supposed to be a respectable journalist by presenting facts and not falsehoods. I know you are supposed to be creatively funny (some call it humour), but surely you can do it without blatant untruths?

    Complain about this comment

  • 104. At 7:19pm on 20 Apr 2009, stokielloyd wrote:

    Well I believe it's going to a Chelsea double now, with Liverpool winning the title. Man Utd are going bottle it against Arsenal And Man CIty and hand the scousers the title... haha Ok i don't even believe that but, that's what im hoping for. A decent blog this week Robbo, room for imporvement though of ones you've previously done :D

    Complain about this comment

  • 105. At 7:20pm on 20 Apr 2009, Unbiased_Pundit wrote:

    What annoyed me was Ferguson's way of implying that the poor pitch affected him more than Moyes by claiming that he was forced to play a bunch of kids, whereas Everton played the best team they had available (save injury). But then he went on to say that United jumped at the chance to give their youngsters a chance, as has been their policy over the years. Well if you're so geared towards helping out the youngsters, Fergie, why are you so willing to risk them all on a supposedly atrocious pitch?

    It seems pretty clear to me that playing a bunch of kids had nothing whatsoever to do with the pitch, and a lot more to do with the league threat of a resurgent Liverpool. Although I can understand him not admitting to resting his first-teamers, he could at least not lie about his reasons and try to belittle Everton's achievement into the bargain.

    Complain about this comment

  • 106. At 7:20pm on 20 Apr 2009, NEARPOSTHEADER wrote:

    Is there no-one out there who understands simple economics? Not using Wembley as much as possible is like buying an incredible expensive (David) Bentley, and then leaving it in the garage. Costs have to be recouped, period.
    Glad a team from out of the top four got to the final - Chelsea will probably win the penalty shoot-out after an excruciatingly boring 120 minutes - Jagielka making a hash of the 5th spot-kick.
    Would it be possible to strap Felllaini's arms to his sides - he's going to take someone's flamin' eye out!

    Complain about this comment

  • 107. At 7:24pm on 20 Apr 2009, The Chong wrote:

    Nice try Robbo BUT:

    Wenger clearly stated he didn't blame the pitch for the defeat and...

    It isn't the same for both teams. Some teams like to knock the ball around quickly with a slick passing game while others do not, so one team can be more affected.

    Also Alex F clearly stated that a heavy pitch would lead to his players getting tired while both ManU and Arsenal have an incredibly difficult run in to think about.

    I thought your blog would be a bit 'deeper' than that, or perhaps you don't really understand football as well as you make out?

    Complain about this comment

  • 108. At 7:24pm on 20 Apr 2009, Wolvesdotcom wrote:

    Who wants to see another Chelski vs Man U final, well done to Everton, the point of the F.A Cup is that any/every team has a chance.

    Complain about this comment

  • 109. At 7:27pm on 20 Apr 2009, United Dreamer wrote:

    "72. At 4:21pm on 20 Apr 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:
    As for Fergie v Rafa - give em a couple of pillows and a ramp across a vat of piranhas and let em slug it out. "

    Well we know who will take longer to eat.

    Complain about this comment

  • 110. At 7:35pm on 20 Apr 2009, PeterD wrote:

    Kasbah - Thanks for that. I thought Fat Frank only started pointing at the heavens after he saw Kaka doing it. Silly me!

    Complain about this comment

  • 111. At 7:47pm on 20 Apr 2009, fox_in_the_box wrote:

    "Seriously, how long have the two full-backs been out of the womb?"

    -----

    Actually made me laugh out loud. Quality blog Robbo and very true about Wembley. What do the fans sing while they're winning or after they've won the semi?!

    Que se ra, se ra! Whatever will be, will be! We're going to Wem-ber-lee...again!

    Complain about this comment

  • 112. At 7:48pm on 20 Apr 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    #107

    Actually Fergie said he didn't fancy extra time with is first team on the pitch. Rather unnerving that the Old Beetroot was expecting Extra time. And why not have Ronaldo ready on the bench, and Giggs, and Carrick, as he has done in the past when resting players. The pitch did not pick the team, he did, and it was a risk too far. Thank Gawd.

    Complain about this comment

  • 113. At 7:49pm on 20 Apr 2009, gringo Loco wrote:

    The F.A. have to use Wembley for semis and any other oportunity to recoup some of the ¡vast amount the stadium cost. Was there some incompetence there? It became the most expensive stadium in the world. The new Yankee stadium is the 2nd most expensive, and they can't win on it.

    There is obviously more incompetence when they can't proiduce a pitch in the most expensive stadium in the world. The old Wembley hosted horse shows etc and the pitch was better than the current one. The camera shots made it look like they were playing polo, but I didn't see the people replacing the divots at 1/2 time.

    88000 at each semi, that's got to bring in some hard cash.

    Maybe they could have the semis at Twickenham!

    both matches were dour, but they usually are, too much at stake. why did Fergy play 7 or more reserves? The other day, he was talking about Rafa's lack of repect. Playing your reserve team is gross disrespect!!

    For that and nothing more, I'm glad Everton won. I hope they win the final, but I think it will be Hiddink's goodbye pressy. Unless Roman buys out his contact with the Russians.

    As an ex-pat, I won't be seeing anymore of my team for a while. the Baggies are going down down down.

    Can Shearer walk on water, I hope so. Middleboro to go down along with Blackburn.

    How does Mark hughes keep his job? Sven did better and he went.

    That's enough rant for one day. I'll go and have a lie down

    Complain about this comment

  • 114. At 7:53pm on 20 Apr 2009, gringo Loco wrote:

    For the record, it was an Aussie company that was responsible for the debacle known as the New Wembley...

    For the record it was the muppets at the F.A. who awarded the contract and therefore take the can.

    It goes along with selecting the wally with the brolly as England manager!

    Complain about this comment

  • 115. At 7:56pm on 20 Apr 2009, Starfire_99 wrote:

    Weren't the FA getting compo from the Aussie firm for ballsing up the construction and being late with the project?

    Or did I eat too much cheese before bedtime on that?

    Complain about this comment

  • 116. At 8:49pm on 20 Apr 2009, SportJournoStuden wrote:

    I would just like to point out that Robbo is NOT a journalist. ( In fairness he hasnt ever claimed to be one ) He does keep being referred to as such though.... its just not true. Agree with the guy who mentioned people reading the comments before commenting as well... it gets a bit old reading the same point being made over and over and over and over and over and over.... you get the point. Well done to Everton... good pitch or not there were 5 pens each, Everton scored more of theirs than United did.

    Complain about this comment

  • 117. At 9:05pm on 20 Apr 2009, bramwellpowers wrote:

    Re No. 18
    Fozinio - Firstly do you understand the difference between a big club and a successful club. Perhaps too subtle a difference for you to comprehend but it's an important difference.
    Secondly - when do Newcastle fans say Newcastle is a big club? The perception that Newcastle is a big club comes from the media and the fact that for a club winning nothing they take up an awful lot of press attention - often much to the dismay of the fans.

    Complain about this comment

  • 118. At 9:05pm on 20 Apr 2009, Wengers Optician wrote:

    I suppose if theres one team in the bottom 3 I'd like to stay up, its probably middlesborough. Probably coz the manager is Southgate, who I think has done a good job until this season.

    Complain about this comment

  • 119. At 9:26pm on 20 Apr 2009, CerezoANDSocrates wrote:

    #118
    I second that

    Complain about this comment

  • 120. At 11:01pm on 20 Apr 2009, chippy23dec78 wrote:

    Come on Robbo, you've got a reputation to hold up. Leave the lazy journalism to the tabloids and satellite TV. You're spinning what Wenger and Fergie said. I've read enough of your stuff to know that that you're capable of a lot better. That pitch was a beast and even brought John Terry down at one point. It was that bad he was given a free kick.

    Complain about this comment

  • 121. At 11:16pm on 20 Apr 2009, Paul Moore wrote:

    "I suppose if theres one team in the bottom 3 I'd like to stay up, its probably middlesborough. Probably coz the manager is Southgate, who I think has done a good job until this season. "


    AAAGGHHHHHH!!!! It's Middlesbrough actually!!
    Stick to Boro - it's easier to spell!

    I'm with Robbo - I still believe Boro will stay up thanks to us sneaking 3 points up the road and Hull imploding!

    p.s. didn't even notice the semi's but well done Everton. I think they deserve far more lines of print than they get - and a lot more than that lot up the road from the Boro (obviously not talking about Blunderland 'cause nobody bothers writing about them - which is only right!)

    Complain about this comment

  • 122. At 11:24pm on 20 Apr 2009, Paul Moore wrote:

    "It is amusing to hear a Newcastle fan crow about how arsenal are out the cup, not exactly setting the world alight yourself seeing as you are a big club as well...........apparently."

    Ermmmm... I guess Mister fozinio is either:
    a) incredily witty and skilfully employing irony or...
    b) not really a regular reader of Robbo's blog

    Robbo a Newcastle fan - now that is funny!!

    Sentiments about the jawdees totally reasonable though!

    Complain about this comment

  • 123. At 11:47pm on 20 Apr 2009, veneztiger wrote:

    don't kid yourself you and the geordies are going down can't see where your 2 wins are coming from unless you fancy your next two games, your away form is absymal, so not much there, maybe a point at Newcastle in a bore draw.
    Don't diss Hull we've got Cousin coming back to net us a couple and 1 win and a draw will see us through, take your pick Stoke and Bolton, pity WBA are so bad it would have been nice to see Sunderland go down too, a North East pity pot in the Championship next season, oh well we can dream !

    Complain about this comment

  • 124. At 11:48pm on 20 Apr 2009, ROCKDR wrote:

    Robbo:

    I agree that it is an insult to the history of the FA Cup. The FA (what does that stand for again?) don't even value the history of the greatest football cup competition in the world. Even interviews with those FOREIGNERS people seem to dispair at (Malouda and Evra) show their awe at the importance of the FA Cup. The FA have lost the plot and should be burried beneath the pitch.

    Droves left the game before the end on Sunday to get home/on the way home before the traffic got bad. Another major error by the FA. Let's start the game at 5 pm it won't go to extra time will it? Chinless wonders with less than an iota of Footy nouse between them.

    Put it back to Villa Park etc.

    As to Fergie. There's another one who has lost the plot. I still cannot get my head around the game now where managers rotate their players and leave the best swanning at the pub and who knows where, rather than putting them on the pitch.

    How many games did Alan Ball, George Best and others miss because they needed a rest?

    Come to think of it. The FA and Fergie have both slighted the FA Cup. Fergie cannot be bothered to give the paying supporters and public what they deserve. To see the best play for the best. What an idiot

    United fans should be livid!

    He cocked up, he knows it and he will use any excuse under the sun, including I told you so (re going for the illusive 5). If you don't put the ball in the back of the net you ain't going to win games! Stop whining about one penalty decision. If you play your second string players you are less likely to score goals.

    Serves him bloody well right.

    Complain about this comment

  • 125. At 00:14am on 21 Apr 2009, CarefreeCoors wrote:

    To the clowns blaming the Australian company for the state of the pitch.

    The company is called Multiplex and they had nothing to do with the laying or condition of the physical pitch. The stadium was designed by 2 companies called Foster & Partners (UK) and Populous (US I think?). The engineer was also UK based if I recall correctly. Surely they are more to blame than Multiplex.

    There were also complications with the existing pipe system being laid incorrectly, again not Multiplex's fault. So Cactus99, kindly shut up as you clearly have no idea, cheers.

    Starfire_99, the FA (more specifically, a subsidiary of the FA who's name escapes me) were actually forced to compensate Multiplex for the unforeseen costs, some 40 million pounds in excess of the fixed price contract.

    All this aside, I am so glad that Ferguson got what he deserved by being dumped out of the Cup. First he says how he's "worried" that Moyes may have influenced the referee prior to the game. You could cut the irony with a knife, couldn't you? Yes Sir Alex, because you've never tried this ploy before, have you?

    Next he shows Everton complete disrespect by fielding a team made up largely of United's Under 14s.

    During the game, he has a marginal penalty decision go against him. Sure, it probably was a penalty, but how many times have we seen marginal calls go in favour of United? Too many times, that's for sure. His reaction was embarrassing, jumping around like a lunatic. Even the United players didn't react that badly.

    Finally, he blames the pitch for all this! Yes, the pitch was bad. Ask Everton, they had to play on it too. So did Chelsea, who didn't complain. Wenger can be excused as he voiced his concerns prior to the game.

    I couldn't believe it when he said the state of the pitch forced him to pick the team he picked. Chelsea, Arsenal and Everon all fielded full-strength sides (or very close to). Saving his players from injury is a poor excuse; Chelsea are still in the CL and Premiership (just about), Arsenal are still in the CL and fighting for 4th place and Everton are looking to cement their European place.

    Poor show Ferguson, although I can't say I've come to expect any different from you.

    On a side note, I think blaming the pitch is a weak excuse anyway; as Mother Guus said, there are much worse around than Wembley.

    Agree with you Robbo, U2 are God-awful and Bono is the fakest person alive.

    Complain about this comment

  • 126. At 00:30am on 21 Apr 2009, bramwellpowers wrote:

    Venez Tiger - Not sure why you think it'd be such a good thing for all 3 north-east teams to go down. The Premiership would be a quieter, duller place without them and I'd bet the vast majority of football fans and players look forward to visiting St James and Stadium of Plight a lot more than the KC arena or whatever it's called (and not just because they've got a good chance of winning).

    Not sure if this applies to Hull (suspect it does but can't be certain) but I'd like to see any club that needs to play music when they score a goal to be relegated. If your stadiums are that plastic and lifeless you don't deserve premier league football.

    Complain about this comment

  • 127. At 00:47am on 21 Apr 2009, M wrote:

    Yup, that's it Robbo, jump right on the bandwagon.

    Complain about this comment

  • 128. At 06:01am on 21 Apr 2009, gerardlwk wrote:

    whatever SAF likes as an excuse, you can say that his team selection is a weakened side but when it comes to taking penalties, none of the takers were from the reserves and the misses came from "the most expensive defender in EPL if not the world" and a "30m striker". so, no excuses and all the best to the Toffees whom I hope will make Chelsea end up without any honours this season.

    Complain about this comment

  • 129. At 09:09am on 21 Apr 2009, dhenry wrote:

    AF and AW were not blaming the pitch for the fact that they lost-everyine is criticising the terrible pitch.
    If Middlesborough go down and no longer appear on MOTD on the BBC does that mean you will be also relegated to another channel?

    Complain about this comment

  • 130. At 09:19am on 21 Apr 2009, DougCoglan wrote:

    Nice to see the BBC resorting to employing gutter press mentality journos... and they're proven correct by the number of people that praise this tripe each week.

    Never mind honesty, integrity and decency - popularity is what counts and if 'moving with the times' means pandering to fools then I guess that's what the beeb will do.

    So many flaws in your stupid blog I won't bother to begin.

    Complain about this comment

  • 131. At 09:21am on 21 Apr 2009, Lambo51 wrote:

    "Pitch imperfect" - that's what this article is headlined. Forget about whether the managers blamed it for their defeats, the real issue is that the contractors have made a pigs ear of laying the pitch. For the best, most expensive stadium in the world, it is an absolute disgrace.

    Funny how they can redevelop Twickenham and build new stadia elsewhere around the UK and get decent pitches - Emirates for example. The only other ground with such problems with the surface seems to be the Millennium Stadium and that suffers from lack of sunlight - a perennial problem in Wales.

    By the way, wasn't Wembley meant to have a working retractable roof. Whatever happened to that - it probably cost a big chunk of the £750 million - and if they had saved the twin towers instead of the stupid arch that would have saved another £150m or thereabouts.

    The new Wembley will never have the magic of the old stadium and because its such a white elephant they'll keep doing anything to recover some of the costs - including playing the semi finals there. Oh well, nostalgia ain't what it used to be!

    Complain about this comment

  • 132. At 09:28am on 21 Apr 2009, Chelsea_Jakeinho wrote:

    Not a fan then DougCoglan

    Complain about this comment

  • 133. At 09:35am on 21 Apr 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    #130
    C'mon mate - you say I'm pondlife and then resort to terms of abouse like 'journo'. Who said I'm one of them? I'm as entitled to my ill-informed opinion as anyone else is, and I'm quite willing to the counter arguments of self-appointed superiors like yourself.
    "So many flaws in your stupid blog I won't bother to begin"?
    No mate! Begin! Begin!

    Complain about this comment

  • 134. At 09:43am on 21 Apr 2009, Zidanepirouette wrote:

    #37

    U2 are not still making 'classics' - Get On Your Boots was terrible, and they have been rubbish now for over 10 years.

    Good blog this, in summary - don't have the semis at Wembley, Fergie is a whinger, Newcastle are going down and U2 are awful.

    ...all stuff i agree with!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 135. At 09:47am on 21 Apr 2009, Starfire_99 wrote:

    @ DougCoglan

    Since when did Robbo claim to be a 'Journo'?

    And as you're going to attack his readers as well, I keep an eye on this column for the same reason I do with Jeremy Clarkson over on The Times's website: They both have a lighthearted dig at what going on around them in the world without pandering to the PC brigade at every sentence. And I find both of them amusing.

    Critisise Robbo all you like, but by all means try and write something better and get it published on here first before putting him down.

    Complain about this comment

  • 136. At 09:52am on 21 Apr 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    There must be 100s of U2 fans out there prepared to stand up for them otherwise how do they sell out Wembley stadium? Who are these people and why do they think a groaning pixie in wrap-around shades is the height of cool?

    Complain about this comment

  • 137. At 10:18am on 21 Apr 2009, MU_Andy_58 wrote:

    Good blog as usual Robbo.

    The semis should indeed not be at Wembley, it completely ruins the magic of the cup!

    As for the pitch, both teams have to play on it, true. However if one team is trying to pass the ball and the other is just using route 1 trying to locate a hairy Belgian then it does have an influence!! By the way that is not why we lost, the kids just were not good enough to finish it in open play and as for the penalties?????

    This is our National stadium and should be treated as such, it is a disgrace at the moment. I thought this was to be the home of football not rallycross.

    Complain about this comment

  • 138. At 10:37am on 21 Apr 2009, raszobbo wrote:

    Great blog Ro

    Everton to win the FA cup
    MU to win the PL (or they already have it??!)
    Arsenal to win the CL

    Newcastle and Hull to go down!!

    Wembley to host semis for the next 100 years

    Complain about this comment

  • 139. At 10:54am on 21 Apr 2009, stevo7777 wrote:

    Robbo - can you show the quotes that Fergie and Arsene made blaming the pitch for their defeats?

    Complain about this comment

  • 140. At 10:58am on 21 Apr 2009, Xavierneville wrote:

    Clearly not too many grounds staff on this blog......

    Yes the pitch ahs been used for dust ups mud fights and a landing strip but.....

    Like all similar closed bowl shaped stadia, the air flow and growing conditions simply aren't suited to a good pitch.

    Arseanla is a more open bowl and well they do have a world class groundsman.....

    Complain about this comment

  • 141. At 11:22am on 21 Apr 2009, 2bagooner wrote:

    mattydalton

    Man UTD / Arsenal both like to move the ball about quickly. So yes we did play on thew same pithc as Everton / Chelsea but the quality of the pitch doesnt affect their game as much.

    EG - both Chelsea's goals came from long balls punted up to Malouda / Drogba / Arsenal's goal came from passing and moving until Gibbs was able to get in the box and put a cross in.

    The pitch didnt help our cause but obviously the defence is mainly to blame - Silvestre / Fabianski in particular - Hope we can bounce back tonight

    WBA / Newcastle / Hull to go down (Phil Brown got too big for his boots after a good start and will pay the price)!!! Southgate will turn things around!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 142. At 11:33am on 21 Apr 2009, Tina wrote:

    "Cahill was anonymous and the languid Saha's lack of fitness made Berbatov look positively animated when he came on."

    ======================================================================

    Hilarious :-)

    Complain about this comment

  • 143. At 11:44am on 21 Apr 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    The point is that the playing surface is the same for all of the players. Lots of teams play long balls and as you admit it's up to your defence to cope. Arsenal didn't. United, to be fair, did very easily with Vidic and Rio.
    This 'oh the pitch wasn't nice' excuse is the same tired one that gets thrown around when a Prem team gets dumped out of the Cup in the third round. Sometimes a pretty passing game isn't enough and a bit of old-fashioned gumption has to be used n all.

    Complain about this comment

  • 144. At 12:05pm on 21 Apr 2009, JaytenWatch wrote:

    You know it's odd, these multi millionares at the top of their profession can't produce a decent game between them. Yet somehow on that very same surface just scant weeks before Luton and Scunthorpe produced a cracker with some very classy goals . . .

    Forget these Premiership nancy boys and come watch some real football for a change!

    The Premiership managers are just becoming caricatures of what they once were with all these pathetic "mind games" and feeble excuses for why people paid so much money can perform so abjectly half the time.

    Complain about this comment

  • 145. At 12:12pm on 21 Apr 2009, RedBlueArmy92 wrote:

    #144... yes mate!

    And Robbo, when clicking on the cartoon picture of a grey pundit with a silly hat and the tag line "The Tees Mouth" i was expecting the sort of hard nosed journalism the BBC is world famous for! You can only imagine my shock when i learnt that it was a light hearted look at a "GAME" written in a comedic manner... I for one wont be renewing my TV licence this year!

    Complain about this comment

  • 146. At 12:18pm on 21 Apr 2009, Tina wrote:

    55. At 3:29pm on 20 Apr 2009, DazzlinDapsy wrote:
    Blunderland! Classic!

    I'm United supporter and I am very disappointed in Berbatov's extremely lazy attitude. For someone costing ?30mm, that is the greatest waste of money I have ever seen. I'd rather have a honest, hardworking Kevin Davies or a speedy and lethal Defoe?

    =========================================================================

    speedy and lethal Defoe .... struggled not to fall off of my chair laughing at this:-))

    Complain about this comment

  • 147. At 12:27pm on 21 Apr 2009, Retirethenumber17shirt wrote:

    Phil Jagielka Nuts of Steel Award - love it! Almost as good as James Richardson's comment on Setanta that Fergie was going through the kids like Madonna at an orphanage!
    The pitch was dire and probably explains the wizard of Oz's punt of a penalty, but it doesn't explain Berbatov's effort from the spot. Total disinterest in the proceedings and looking like Fergie's biggest mistake to date. If Teves leaves because Fergie's hung his hat on this waster, he needs his head testing.
    Boro v Barcodes is going to be the game of the season. Done the maths too Robbo and I'm going for Tigers, Barcodes and Baggies to drop. Keep the faith!

    Complain about this comment

  • 148. At 12:30pm on 21 Apr 2009, Y-I-1892man wrote:

    spot on blog Robbo BUT..roll on May 11th?putting all your eggs in one basket?as a NUFC fan,I can´t wait either-however!take a gander at the run in for you boys,us,Blackburn and Hull-rather tasty.I´d like to think that W.Brom,Blackburn and Hull will be relegated but honestly think both Boro and the lads in black and white are in dire straits.
    I agree with many others about NOT playing the semi´s at Wembley,old fashioned?not at all-but the feeling to play at "THE ARENA" has always been and should be something special(the final).
    The surface is another matter-Barcelona have resolved their pitch problem,"bought" the gooners groundsman,who is English-so why wasn´t he approached for Wembley? keep on blogging Robbo,riveting stuff!!get´s a few going!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 149. At 1:37pm on 21 Apr 2009, IrishTel wrote:

    So four of the top teams in the world cannot manage to play football or score goals on a pitch where Luton and Scunthorpe produced a feast of a game for the JPT Trophy. Next time any of these whingers churn out a list of complaints can the interviewers do us all a favour and laugh in their face.

    Complain about this comment

  • 150. At 3:27pm on 21 Apr 2009, Nessy wrote:

    The semi's have to be played at Wemberley because it cost so much cash and needs to earn some back. It's either football or yet more concerts.
    My feeling was always that we could do without building the thing, I'm sure the RFU would have let Twickenham be used if the FA had stumped them £100m or so. And that has a proper pitch. The game would be £600m better off and no-one would be moaning except the rugger purists, which is always funny, so EVERYONE wins.
    But we've got the thing now, bad grass and all, so expect to see more semis played on it. And how about QFs? What about one game from each round?
    Maybe the Premier League could hire it for the reverse fixtures of their 39th game proposal?

    Complain about this comment

  • 151. At 4:35pm on 21 Apr 2009, megaforest1 wrote:

    Pitch to blame huh! How many thousands per week are these players paid to play football?
    And they cannot play football on the wembley pitch? I agree it was below par (and not for the first time) than most prem stadiums and games if not all of them. However, this is a just as much as a disadvantage for the other team too!
    Arsenal and Man U lost! Simple. Congrats to Chelsea and even more so to Everton! Well done for performing on such a bad pitch!
    Wembley- sort the pitch out and make Wembley look on the grass as good as the rest of the stadium looks!

    Complain about this comment

  • 152. At 5:27pm on 21 Apr 2009, ClockEndMike wrote:

    Pretty much rubbish as usual, Robbo. Still, it seems to get people talking (and often making comments that were so bad they broke the house rules). And I do agree with your point about the semi-finals being held a Wembley.

    Someone on 606 suggested that the extra 40,000 fans would be happy the match on Saturday was at Wembley. Well, I don't know. Would you rather see a poor match at Wembley, or take your chance on seeing a good one, even if it was at White Hart Lane? I know which I'd choose...

    Complain about this comment

  • 153. At 6:12pm on 21 Apr 2009, unseenforces wrote:

    boro goin down with blunderland....Geordie next season top table finish in the epl...

    Complain about this comment

  • 154. At 8:01pm on 21 Apr 2009, BillBobJoeKenny wrote:

    Excellent Blog as always Robbo, good to see all those die hard Gooners and Mancs failing over themselves to defend their team's honour.

    Several things

    1) Man Utd lost because of Berbatov's peno
    2) Berbatov is garbage
    3) Berbatov should be worst player of EPL
    4) Semi's should NEVER be played at Wembley, and doing so is a bl**dy joke.
    5) Is it me or is SAF ranting more this season than usual?..............pressure?
    6) Is it true SAF is off at the end of the season?
    7) Wenger should change his name to Whinger
    8) I liked it better when Wenger had his post............and never saw anything
    9) Why did Wenger not buy anyone in the summer.......................no French players were for sale.


    Keep up the good work Robbo

    Complain about this comment

  • 155. At 8:46pm on 21 Apr 2009, Wash wrote:

    To the clowns blaming the Australian company for the state of the pitch

    ------------------------------------------------

    No-one blames Multiplex for the state of the pitch.

    I was merely pointing out that the FA made such a balls up of the contract that they are now financially in the do do and need to recoup the money lost by staging as many events at the stadium as they possibly can (I believe they are limited to 39 per year, although I am happy to be corrected).

    Complain about this comment

  • 156. At 11:33pm on 21 Apr 2009, Teiam - problem solved wrote:

    Both teams do have to play on the pitch that doesn't mean one team doesn't have a disadvantage, if Stoke play Arsenal on a muddy uneven field, who do you honestly think is gonna have the upper hand?

    Also, Robbo, where you refer to your previous comment, shouldn't it read "see above" rather than below? I still think despite both teams having to play on the pitch, our team prefers the ball on the floor rather than in the air, unlike Everton who had Fellaini, Cahill, Saha etc... (I know Cahill is 2 foot) for their ability in the air whereas we had no one with height or ability so we had to have the ball along the floor!

    Complain about this comment

  • 157. At 11:40pm on 21 Apr 2009, CarefreeCoors wrote:

    First of all, I would like to apologise to Cactus99. Mate, to avoid confusion please put some sort of separation between yours and other comments when replying to another post, otherwise the comment will be mistaken as your own (as was the case here).

    Wash-CARU. Direct quote:

    "For the record, it was an Aussie company that was responsible for the debacle known as the New Wembley..."

    Hmm, certainly sounds like you are placing the blame on Brookfield Multiplex there. But you hit the nail on the head the second time around; this is the FA's fault. The fact that the pitch is used for numerous other events without being subsequently properly maintained highlights the fact that they are a bunch of money grabbing politicians with no regard to the game whatsoever.

    Complain about this comment

  • 158. At 01:19am on 22 Apr 2009, Djemba-Djemba-Djemba wrote:

    Re:
    86. At 5:28pm on 20 Apr 2009, GazUtd wrote:
    My God!

    I don't read this for a few weeks, come back and find...

    I actually agree with Robbo!
    -----------------

    Jeez the irony, GazUtd DOESN'T have a pop at Robbo's blog (regular readers will understand what an event this is), and yet this is the first time I've EVER been really irritated by reading it (well, at the baseless pop at Wenger & Ferguson to be specific)! Come on Robbo, you know you've done bad, now apologise to BOTH of them or I'll join Gaz on the 'lazy journalism' bandwagon every week...

    Complain about this comment

  • 159. At 01:30am on 22 Apr 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    Have apologies (slightly) to wenger. Not going to bother with SAF. He did blame the ptich for his selection. NO question. Bandwagon leaves in 5 minutes

    Complain about this comment

  • 160. At 08:39am on 22 Apr 2009, Willdink wrote:

    Great blog Robbo, havent seen any in a while so good to have them back. Agree with the SAF comment although the pitch did look like the Lions training ground. Need to get that sorted, don't want to have to hear Hiddink bemoaning the 'grash' pitch in the final. Everton for the cup!

    Complain about this comment

  • 161. At 02:24am on 23 Apr 2009, TrotterUSA wrote:

    Always a pleasure to read your weekly ramblings Robbo and you should be forgiven for the Boro distraction that must occupy your thoughts at this time.

    Any road up....Moyes moaned about the pitch too. #55 is spot on about Berbatov but Harry is taking back all previously sold players at 50% off. It's handy timing for Kenny Dalglish too because he can have Robbie Keane's shirt and if they can just get Ian Rush and Crazy Horse back too they could mount a challenge in 2010.

    Toffees and Chelsea gave us a fine preview of the cup final tonight.

    The F.A. is looking to recruit Percy Thrower on a consultancy basis. He had nowt to do with the Baseball Ground which was, as pointed out, good enough for Hector, O'Hare, Gemmill, Mc Farland, Todd and some other greats of yester year.

    Complain about this comment

View these comments in RSS

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.