Chelsea and the Curse of England’s Coach in FA Cup

Arsenal did not perform at their best this season. Every pundits can imagine Arsenal ending the season in rank 8th in the league. However, despite appearing chaotic English League, it is a totally different story in the FA Cup. In the FA Cup, Arsenal are performing well. In fact, Arsenal again showed that they were indeed “the rulers” of the FA Cup.

Yes, Arsenal can still end the 2019/20 season with pride. The team bearing the cannon logo appeared as FA Cup champions after defeating neighboring team Chelsea 2-1 in the final at the deserted Wembley Stadium on Saturday. This is the 14th FA Cup trophy won by Arsenal since it was first won in 1930. Arsenal is the team that most often wins, outperforming Manchester United with 12 champions. Arsenal are also the team that most often appears in the FA Cup final (21 times).

In the final match, Chelsea actually started the match perfectly. Playing a 3-4-3 scheme, Chelsea are able to excel quickly. In the fifth minute, the United States’ striker, Christian Pulisic had broken into the Arsenal goal, Chelsea winning 1-0. In the 28th minute, Arsenal got a penalty that could be completed perfectly by Pierre-Emerick-Aubameyang. Auba beat Argentine Chelsea goalkeeper Willy Caballero, who has been known for his ability to drive penalties.

In the second half, in the 67th minute, Arsenal turned superior. Aubameyang showed how dangerous he was when he entered the penalty box. The Gabonese striker easily outwitted Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma, then put the ball in. Seeing that goal, Chelsea coach Frank Lampard seemed to not believe, his defender could easily be fooled by opponents. Lampard showed an expression of disappointment by stretching out his hands while his mouth muttered.

It was also a ‘yellow light’ for Chelsea that they need to go for to transfer new defender to strengthen the team in the next 2020/21 season. Because, what does it mean to buy some players with the attacking type when their defense line turns out to be still awful. Reporting from, Lampard said his team actually performed well in the initial 15 minutes but then slowed down. Especially after the team captain, Cesar Azpilicueta and Pulisic were injured and could not continue the match.

However, Lampard was reluctant to find reasons for the defeat of his team. He said his team did not perform well in the final. If he could still play, he might go down by himself to the field. “We are not good enough to win the final. Today we played slowly. We played a lot in the back so that they were free to press. All I could do was shout from the sidelines,” Lampard said.

But indeed, it is natural that Lampard is disappointed. The man who was a player, won four FA Cup trophies with four different coaches was forced to be willing to lose the opportunity to win his first trophy as a coach. Instead, Arsenal coach, Mikel Arteta was the one who won the first trophy as a coach. As a newbie coach who was appointed on December 20, 2019 and then coached Arsenal, the FA Cup title clearly boasts.

Therefore, as soon as Aubameyang scored the second goal, the Spanish coach who used to play a long time playing for Arsenal was jumping up and down to celebrate the goal. Arteta (38) who is the same age as Zlatan Ibrahimovic who is still playing, is one of the youngest coaches to win the FA Cup. Previously there was 35-year-old Kenny Dalglish when he brought Liverpool to the 1986 FA Cup champion. Likewise Ruud Gullit was the 1997 champion with Chelsea.

There is a believe that native English coach has difficulty winning the FA Cup trophy. When drawn a common thread who is the coach who won the FA Cup in recent years, it turns out that Arteta’s victory and Lampard’s failure left an interesting story. The FA Cup was not friendly enough for the England coach. It is very difficult for England coaches to win the FA Cup when they have appeared in the final round. So difficult, as if there is a ‘curse’ for the original English coach to win the oldest tournament trophy in the world.

Before Lampard, there was Alan Pardew who brought Crystal Palace to the 2016 FA Cup final against Manchester United (MU). The Wimbledon-born coach lost out on a strategy battle from Louis van Gaal (the Netherlands). In fact, Palace fared unlucky. Manchester United’s decisive goal in extra time.

In 2015, Lampard’s senior at the England national team, Team Sherwood could bring Aston Villa to the FA Cup final. What happened, Villa was destroyed by Arsenal. They lost 0-4. The list of ‘bad luck’ English coaches in the FA Cup final grew longer when the former MU defender who is now coach, Steve Bruce, took Hull City to qualify for the 2014 edition finals.

Hull met Arsenal who were coached by Arsene Wenger (France). It was a dramatic final. Hull had a two-goal lead in the eighth minute before Arsenal leveled 2-2 until normal time. What power, Hull conceded a goal in extra time, in the 109th minute and finally lost. If the facts are accumulated, in the last 12 years, the FA Cup has always been won by coaches from outside England. The details, there are four coaches from Italy, then three coaches from Spain and France, and two coaches from the Netherlands.

Starting from the charismatic coach from Guus Hiddink who brought Chelsea champions in 2009, then successively Carlo Ancelotti (Italy / Chelsea), Roberto Mancini (Italy / Manchester City), Roberto Di Matteo (Italy / Chelsea), and Roberto Martinez (Spain / Wigan). Then Arsene Wenger (Arsenal) who won three times during that period, and Louis van Gaal (Netherlands / Manchester United), Antonio Conte (Italy / Chelsea), and Pep Guardiola (Spain / Manchester City) before continuing to Arteta this year.

Well, the British coach who last won the FA Cup was Harry Redknapp. The senior coach who is still a relative of Lampard is a champion with Portsmouth on. At that time, he collided with fellow English coach Dave Jones, who coached Cardiff City. In fact, if pulled backwards, before Redknapp won the 2008 championship, it took 13 years for the English coach to win the FA Cup. Previously there was Joe Royle who won with Everton in 1995 before the invasion of foreign coaches dominated the FA Cup race.

Before Lampard lost the ‘balanced’ final last night, we might call English coaches always training ‘non-winning teams’. Call it Pardew with Palace, Sherwood with Villa and Steve Bruce with Hull City. They met non English coaches who coached large teams. However, isn’t the FA Cup famous for its ‘magic’ which often shows surprising results. Although it is possible, the shock only happened in the final round.

But clearly, the achievement of the English coach in the FA Cup is still better when compared to the achievement in the English League. Imagine, since the English League changed its name from the Football League First Division to the Premier League in the 1992/93 season, there has never been an English coach who has brought his team champions.

The last time an Englishman was able to win in the Premier League was when Howard Wilkinson brought Leed United the championship in the 1991/92 season or in the last season of the First League Football League. But we believe, in football, there will always be a miracle. In the future, who knows Lampard will be the first English coach to win the Premier League. Or also Steven Gerrard who is now training in the Scottish League, later training in the English League.


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