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FA Cup Semi Recap and Thoughts

I think it is important to begin by saying that Chelsea are one of the five best teams in the world. I don't think anyone touches Barca (at least in terms of true talent) and I think Inter has a pretty firm grasp on second. (It pains me to say this because Serie A makes me want to nap for hours. I don't understand how a league can inspire such impressive displays of fandom and devotion while being so incredibly boring. But I digress.) Point is, when they are on their game, Chelsea are the best team in England, and I don't believe it's particularly close.

For large portions of the match, they weren't on their game, and in many ways Villa were able to capitalize. Unfortunately, they were not able to capitalize in the most important way, which is putting the ball into the net. While the build up to Milner's whisker-wide miss in the early going was a thing of absolute beauty, a flash of Villa's undeniable talent coupled with the smarts that we all are dying to see, the end result was a goal kick. Ashley Young's cross that John Terry was somehow able to redirect just away from John Carew was inches away from changing the nature of things completely. And so forth. At the half, Villa were arguably the better side but their performance resulted in no tangible advantage.

And of course, Chelsea scored and from that point on it was something of a lost cause. We hung in it for a bit, but in an effort to find the equalizer led to Chelsea's second and third goals. I can't fault MON for his strategy of pushing the team forward, but I can fault him for his decision to bring on Heskey in place of Carew. I am one hundred percent in MON's corner and believe he has this club headed in the right direction. I am also willing to believe that Emile Heskey offers some value that I am not yet capable of quantifying. His ability to control possession is fairly impressive and I certainly cannot fault his pace. In this case, though, you need a goal and fast, and your best chances would appear to be on the counter. If Carew must come off (and I believe this to be the case) why not Delfouneso? He certainly could use a bit of polish, but the ability is there and he's nothing if not dynamic.

At any rate, what happened happened and Chelsea took advantage of our positioning and put another two in to seal things. I don't think it's unfair to say hat Villa were tired and pressing towards the end, and Chelsea are far too talented and far too deep to overtake in such a situation. Well played to them; they're a fantastic club.

But now to the bitching. First off, the pitch was a pile of crap. This is becoming a serious embarrassment, and it needs to be fixed. Secondly, this happened: