Two of our top teams took to the lush, summer turf of Wembley at the weekend and despite it being an entertaining enough start, a couple of issues that arose from this niggly encounter left me fuming.
I know that Pedro won’t be missing out on the start of the real thing when Chelsea take on Burnley in their opening Premier league fixture, but I would still have approached the whole incident differently to how Bobby Madeley did, I’m afraid.
For me, Pedro’s challenge on Mohamed Elneny was standard, if pushing the boundary of a yellow card. What I’d have told the lad is, “That’s it, stop it NOW… anything else and you are off.”
Even though I know the Egyptian lad’s Achilles was at risk thanks to the naughtiness of the tackle, I still think the incident could have been handled better.
You think you know the next incident on my list, don’t you? Well, you don’t, because it really infuriates me when goalkeepers think they can come along and take a a penalty, especially one as crucial as the one missed by Thibaut Courtois.
For heavens’ sake, he hit that ball like it was a goal kick and proved once and for all what a lunatic your average goalkeeper is! They all think of themselves as frustrated centre-forwards, when they should all stick to keeping them out.
Now, I thought staggering your run-up had been outlawed by the way? Well, I do know Madeley would have done the big Belgian buffoon a favour by stopping him in his tracks before he could make such a fool of himself out there.
At Ipswich in the late seventies and early eighties, we had one of the very best at saving spot-kicks… he saved nine out of 10 one season, which was a record, I’m sure. Paul Cooper may not have been the tallest, but he had this method which he would simply never have got away with these days, what with all the laptops and the opposition research that goes on.
No one worked it out, even though he never changed his ritual over all those years he played: look right, look right, look right again, then dive right!
That did not stop Paul trying to play upfield in training or whenever he sniffed half a chance, however. There was no telling him.
I stand by my theory that keepers are only keepers in the first place because they are so poor it’s the only way they can get a game. It’s high time they acknowledged that fact and stopped kidding themselves they can actually play.
And don’t talk to me about this new ABBA shoot-out sequence, what a nonsense that is! I’m all for change if it’s proven to work or if it gets rid of something bad, but you’re not seriously telling me it’s such a disadvantage going second in a shoot-out that we have to make changes this drastic.
We should be keeping it just as it was, when you know, more often than not, if you miss two penalties on the spin, it’s all over, and goodnight.
If any Chelsea supporters thought they were cheated out of a penalty during the game itself by the way, I would point them to the English women’s claim in the Euro semi-final against hosts the Netherlands. Now that was a stonewall pen, and I would also remind Chelsea of the phrase ‘swings and roundabouts’.
Until next time you can catch me on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast every week day on TalkSPORT, 6-10am.