In the era of celebrity, the attention of fans has shifted from the quality of the football to the lives of the individuals. Yesterday I went to Wembley to watch West Brom (ranked 5th in the championship) take on the last remaining Premiership side, Portsmouth (ranked 6th in the league) in the Semi-Final of the FA Cup. It was a tense but exhilarating game which the untrained observer would have found difficult to point out the Premiership side.
Earlier today, two Championship sides, Barnsley and Cardiff battled it out for the second spot in the final. A tight game won narrowly by Cardiff. Those two sides had managed to defeat big Premiership opponents along their way to Wembley. The competition has shown true football fans, where the entertainment lies, along with the suspense. At the start of the season, West Brom and Watford were touted to win automatic promotion by comfortable margins, now both teams sit in the agonizing Play-off spots with just a couple of points separating the top 5. It all makes for thrilling games every week. The competition is equally as close at the bottom end of the table.
The Premiership is equally close, but the top-three are the same top-three its been for years, Arsenal, Chelsea and Man Utd. Whenever they face eachother the entertainment almost always disappoints. Some players in the top-flight seem to believe they are bigger than the club or even the league, that doesn’t happen in the Championship. It’s teams that do battle in that league not characters.
That’s why West Brom’s play dominated the match for most of the 90 minutes, unfortunately we let in a sloppy goal. That one mistake will live long in the memory, but we did ourselves proud. We passed the ball with ease and poise across all ends of the pitch, never relying on one player, we relied on 11 to show up.
I’ll be backing Cardiff to win in the final. I hope West Brom get promoted but whatever happens, I’ll be keeping a close eye on the Championship to get my football entertainment!