By Mike Ebonugwo
THE much-talked about and awaited big match had just ended. And its dramatic outcome was the talking point among parliamentarians as they passionately analysed and argued over the high-points of last Sundayâ€™s entertaining English Premiership encounter between Arsenal, otherwise known as The Gunners, and Chelsea, popularly referred to as The Blues.
But as the crowd of spectators spilled out from the commercial viewing centre, somewhere in the Abaranje area of Lagos, a parliamentarian was overheard exclaiming thus: â€œHonestly I wonâ€™t have believed it if I did not witness it with my two koro-koro eyes. The man just dipped his hand inside his pocket and removed N10,000. I thought it was a joke O until I saw him giving the money to the other guyâ€.
The fellow who gave his name as Sunny Ogunbor then went on to add: â€œWhen I asked, they said that he betted with somebody that Arsenal will beat Chelsea, but unfortunately for him, it was Chelsea that now won. And so when the match ended he has to give the other person the N10,000 he betted. Is that one not foolishness?â€
By way of a response, one of the fellows standing beside him had quipped thus: â€œAh, it was not foolishness to him when he was making the bet. Thatâ€™s because he must have been very sure that Arsenal would win. It didnâ€™t occur to him that Chelsea will come to the Emirates to beatÂ Arsenal. And that is what betting is all about, itâ€™s either you win or you lose. In the case of that man, he lostâ€.
Another parliamentarian, Sam Irabor took it up from there. â€œI agree that the man is foolish; heâ€™s foolish not because he took a bet but because he betted that Arsenal will beat Chelsea. Only a foolish man will make that kind of bet. And itâ€™s good for him that he lost N10,000. Doesnâ€™t he know that Chelsea is hot and smoking now, that no team in the Premiership can beat them? And even if any team will be ableÂ to beat Chelsea, itâ€™s not Arsenal with all those their small-small boys who only know how to play school boys-type of football,â€ he posited with feeling.
But parliamentarian Chidi Ibeh who is an ardent supporter of Arsenal chipped in thus: â€œYouâ€™re just talking like this because luck was on the side of Chelsea today that made them to win. At least everybody here can bear witness that we(Arsenal) clearly outplayed Chelsea but luck was not on our side today.
Apart from that the referee also helped Chelsea small by disallowing a beautiful goal we scored. Up till now I donâ€™t even know why he disallowed that goal because he didnâ€™t give any reason for it. All I can say is that he did that to favour Chelsea so that they will beat Arsenalâ€.
Parliamentarian Akin Salami took it up from there. â€œThe reason why Arsenal lost that match is because of many of our key players are injured. If Clichi and Abou Darby .had played in the defence, thereâ€™s no way Drogba would have had the chance to score. And we also missed (Robin) Van Persie in the attack. Another thing that contributed to it is Arsene Wenger bad selection and poor substitution during the match.
I donâ€™t know why he used Eduardo as the main striker knowing that heâ€™s fond of wasting chances. I am also not comfortable any time Alumina was in the post for Arsenal. Look at those goals they scored against him: Petr Cech could have caught the shots, especially the free-kick Drogba scored,â€ he stated..
But as far as Sam was concerned: â€œAll that one youâ€™re saying are nothing but excuses. The fact is that Arsenal met a superior team; a team that will win the Premiership title this time around. So, if Arsene Wenger had fielded all his best players, it wonâ€™t have made much difference; Chelsea would still have beaten them.
In fact, theyâ€™re even lucky that the match ended 3-0 because Chelsea had the chance to win by more than that. And talking about the referee, I will even say that he favoured Arsenal. At least we all know that he denied Chelsea a penalty when Arsenal defenders brought down Anelka in the box 18… ”
He was interrupted by some dissenting voices.