Ten things that made the Carling Cup Final less boring

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The Spoiler’s list of stuff that made yesterday’s mundane Wembley showpiece interesting


The team line-up balloons
Of all the naff gimmicks on display at Wembley yesterday, the black balloons that displayed the team line-ups were the classiest.

Harry Redknapp’s giant flower
While Alex Ferguson took the dignified approach of wearing a Mourinho-style jacket, Harry Redknapp offset his outfit with a comically huge flower. He must’ve struggled to stay standing upright with that thing weighing down his lapel.

The Fan-o-meter
In their attempt to make the fans feel more like they were at Disney World, Sky and Carling concocted the ‘Fan-o-meter’. Using a mixture of microphones and pseudo-science, we were given constant reminders of the decibel levels in the stadium, and therefore whose fans were the loudest. Alas, the fan volume was virtually even throughout the entire game, rendering the exercise as inconclusive as the football after 120 minutes.

David Bentley’s rubbishness
He can put a football in a skip from the top of a building, but putting a penalty on target is too much for DB. How long until ‘Arry kicks him into a skip?

Fergie and Harry’s gigantic portraits
On either side of the Wembley scoreboards were huge effigies of the rival managers. Fergie looked stern and authoritative, while Harry opted for the hand-on-chin Alan Partridge-style catalogue pose.

Fan violence
Prior to kick off, tempers flared between rival supporters, and police used batons to keep baying fans apart. Fortunately, no incidents of horses being punched in the face were reported.

Ronaldo paying the price for crying wolf
Maybe if C-Ron didn’t hit the deck so often, he would have been awarded the penalty he deserved, rather than receiving a yellow card.

The ref stopping play when O’Hara was winded

Not particularly interesting, but that doesn’t happen very often.

The fan messages of support
The advertising boards around the pitch were dedicated solely to fan messages that fans had submitted to a Carling website prior to the game. Family-friendly messages such as “UNITED DEFENCE = BRICK WALL” were more watered down than the over-priced beer being touted by the sponsors.

Eric Steele’s iPod
The Manchester Utd goalkeeping coach gave Ben Foster some last minute tips by showing him pictures of Spurs taking penalties on an iPod. It was this innovation that inspired the keeper to dive left for Jamie O’Hara’s effort.

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