OK. Obviously, like all decent people, I want Everton to win the FA Cup Final today. But I have a beef with Everton that is better out than in.
Mikel Arteta won't be lining up for Everton today - he is deservedly crocked, and that will make supporting them a bit more possible.
I've posted elsewhere in the past about 'cognitive polyphasia' - that unthinking mild hypocrisy that infects everyone's thinking at some point.
But then there is the Moyes / Arteta problem, where it spills over into straightforward hypocrisy.
- Mikel Arteta - more than any other Premiership player, feigns injury and dives whenever an opponent comes near him in an attempt to deceive the Referee. I know of no player that does it as artfully or with as much commitment as Arteta. He plainly does it with the blessing and encouragement of his manager, and his calculated cheating routinely changes the course of games that he plays in.
- David Moyes - more than any other manager - rushes to speak to TV cameras at the end of a game, complaining about the poor refereeing decisions and how they cost him the game.
If there were any justice in the world, Referees would be able to permanently brand players like Arteta as habitual cheats and would be able to ignore all challenges on them - no matter how brutal. Instead, they are placed in the impossible situation of having to pretend that every challenge visited on a lying cheating shithead has to be judged on face value with the benefit of the doubt being shared equally.
It's probably not the greatest sin in the world - a bit like mucking around with your designated second home when you're an MP - but it's one that I find particularly hard to forgive.
I don't hate (almost) anyone, but I'm pretty close with Moyes and Arteta. I suppose the best thing we can say for both of them is this;
At least they aren't based in Stamford Bridge...