At 12:45 on Saturday afternoon, a game kicked off that I didn’t think I would see much of any more. Two teams went head to head not just to play football but to win a battle. Everton faced off against Man City in what was a definite 6 pointer for two top clubs instead of the usual bottom. From the off both teams got stuck into each other and made a real game of it.
In the end it was decided by to two extremely well taken goals, the first from Osman from out side the box and the second in injury time when Man City were pressing for the equaliser. Everton caught City’s defence off guard and Jelavic made space for himself and curled his shot, albeit from a deflection past the outstretched Joe Hart in goal.
There were several bookings in the game as a result of the harsh but fair game that was played out between these two. Fellaini found himself on the wrong side of the ref who gave him his 10th yellow of the season putting him out of the next two games for Everton. Steven Pienaar could also have no complaints when he received his marching orders for a second yellow in the second half when his foot was to high for the referees liking. And looking at replays of the incident he had little to complain about.
But bookings aside, as I said earlier it was a harsh but fair game of football in which two teams walked away from in the end without rows or arguments. And in my opinion there just isn’t enough of these games anymore.
Do you remember years ago when the top teams used to take each other on. Weeks before the big games I remember the press doing interviews with the top players in each club saying how much they look forward to the game and the hard battles that would no doubt erupt. And when they actually got to the game they would put there money where there mouth is.
Everyone would look forward to the titanic clash that Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira would put on year in year out. Do you remember those pictures on sky of the two players in the tunnel starring straight ahead, not even a flinch from either of them.For weeks after there was massive debates on who won he battle of the wits just in a tunnel, let alone on the pitch
But not any more. Can anyone think of an upcoming game where they cant wait to see two players try to win a battle on and off the Field. I bet you cant. I bet right now your going through all the teams in your head to see if you can find someone. There is only one that i can think off at the moment and it involves the two best players in the world right now. Messi and Ronaldo. And even at that its only about who can score the most goals and win the FIFA Player of the year award.
I think this is the reason why games and football in general has slipped a bit. No doubt that players do want to win games and no doubt they want to win trophies but if they are not willing to make a battle of it then the game will sadly turn into a run of the mill “lets not hurt each other” boring spectacle.