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FA Cup – past it’s sell by date?

Home Forums General Sports FA Cup – past it’s sell by date?

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  • #6177
    SwallowCottage
    Member
    • Total Posts 1008

    This season seems to have been the worst so far for the FA Cup. Poor attendances at a lot of the matches, players publicly stating that they do not care about the Cup, managers fielding weaker teams, premiership teams going out at their first opportunity or struggling to beat lower opposition. I read that Sunderland and Wigan played with no passion and it appeared that neither team wanted to get to the next round.

    Obviously there is so much money now in the Premiership that staying in it is the top priority for all the teams but this has devalued the FA Cup in my opinion.
    Can anything be done to save it? It was suggested that the winner would qualify for the Champions league which didn’t seem a bad idea but it was eventually rejected.
    Anybody got any ideas how the Cup can be restored to it’s former glory when every team ( and not just the lower league teams ) were passionate about winning it or has the FA Cup simply had it’s day?

    #133819
    MikkyMo73
    Member
    • Total Posts 1789

    You’re absolutely spot on Peter, the FA Cup has certainly lost it’s magic.

    I think one of the problems is that most teams go into the competition thinking they have no chance of winning it because of the record of the ‘big four’.

    Either Arsenal, Chelsea, Man Utd or Liverpool have won this competition for the last twelve years, and only twice in the last 20 years have a team outside the big four won – and even then it was Everton & Spurs (big teams in their own right).

    Premiership status is far more important than winning the FA Cup to most teams. A perfect example is that Derby County apparantly received in the region of £60m for winning the play-off and making it to the Premiership. Yet Stoke City, a big club with a good fan base, and just a few places behind Derby County in the league ladder, were absolutely delighted with a draw yesterday because the replay will bring in much needed income.

    Surely this proves that being in the Premiership is worth multi-millions of pounds, whereas being in the top four of the Championship is worth next to nothing. So ask Stoke City what they would prefer, promotion or a good run in the cup? Ask Derby County what they would prefer, staying in the Premiership or winning the FA Cup?

    Like a lot of people have said, I can certainly understand why clubs put the FA Cup on the back burner – but I certainly don’t agree with it. I really would be annoyed if I turned up to watch Boro in the FA Cup only to see them field a weak team.

    Although I don’t agree with what Reading done, at least they can take more credit than most as they did announce they would be playing a weakened team a few days in advance and the fans knew what they would be paying to see – unlike some other clubs who let their fans pay full whack before announcing a weakened team.

    You also have to look at what sort of message did Man Utd send out when they refused to defend their trophy in 2000. What example did that set when you had the biggest club in England, arguably Europe at the time, refuse to play in what was widely recognsed as the best cup competition in the world. The message I got was the the FA Cup is no longer the biggest club cup competition in the world, and the demise of this great competition has continued since.

    How can it be saved? God knows. I think it’s on it’s last legs to be honest – the sad thing being that ‘being on it’s last legs’ seems ok with many.

    Mike

    #133883
    graysonscolumn
    Participant
    • Total Posts 6965

    I really would be annoyed if I turned up to watch Boro in the FA Cup only to see them field a weak team.

    They field a weak team in the Premiership week in, week out, don’t they? Wherein lies the difference? :mrgreen:

    (says the Oldham fan….)

    gc

    The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.

    #133885
    MikkyMo73
    Member
    • Total Posts 1789

    I really would be annoyed if I turned up to watch Boro in the FA Cup only to see them field a weak team.

    They field a weak team in the Premiership week in, week out, don’t they? Wherein lies the difference? :mrgreen:

    (says the Oldham fan….)

    gc

    :lol: – They certainly do Jeremy.

    So imgaine my disgust if Boro ever field a weakened version of an already weak team :lol:

    Mike

    #133916
    insomniac
    Participant
    • Total Posts 1453

    A topic worthy of debate.
    Yes – it has lost some of its appeal to the bigger clubs and yes, perhaps giving the winner a Champions League place may have stopped the rot – but not if you’re Arsenal or Man Utd and already confident of your Champions League place the following season.
    The competition has to be persevered with though. Just because some Premier League clubs don’t take it as seriously as they once did shouldn’t spoil it for all the other clubs. There is more to football in this country than just the top clubs.
    Personally, I don’t think that this current trend spells any long term danger to the competition. The "weakened" sides that some premiership clubs send out can punch their weight and don’t just roll over and die. It’s also a valuable opportunity for those clubs with large squads to give those on the fringe of the first team a competitive outing; try new combinations etc.
    As for clubs playing "second strings" whilst charging top whack to supporters – it’s up to the supporters to complain. Either by not attending or by booing and barracking the club if they do.

    #133921
    crizzy
    Participant
    • Total Posts 789

    I too think it’s lost it’s old magic for all the reasons stated above but did you see those faces of the Havant fans when Liverpool came out of the hat with them? There was that ‘If we can just beat Swansea’ feeling going round the room. It was great and one of the reasons why It is special to the small clubs and must keep going. Ultimately the team that wins will have worked hard and will want to win it and be very happy when they do? A reward of a CL place might wake some of them up sure…

    #133948
    davidbrady
    Member
    • Total Posts 3901

    The cup has lost its glamour but it’s not because the big clubs aren’t bothered with it, it’s because nobody else can win it, as MikkyMo pointed out.

    Having said that, the couple of matches I saw at the weekend were among the most entertaining I’ve seen in a long time, and that includes the Champions League.

    #133981
    MikkyMo73
    Member
    • Total Posts 1789

    The cup has lost its glamour but it’s not because the big clubs aren’t bothered with it, it’s because nobody else can win it, as MikkyMo pointed out.

    Having said that, the couple of matches I saw at the weekend were among the most entertaining I’ve seen in a long time, and that includes the Champions League.

    The thing is David, they probably could win it, or at least give it a damned good try – but they just seem to go in with this negative attitude that one of the big four will win so why bother.

    Something that really got me thinking was why both Everton and Blackburn fielded weaker teams than they normally would. Neither Blackburn or Everton are going to win the Premiership (or even finish in a Champions League slot), neither Blackburn or Everton are going to be relegated – so why save your best players for the league so that they can make a push for the top 6 and a UEFA Cup slot.

    Someone needs to tell the Evertons and Blackburns of this world that winning a few games in the FA Cup can also get you a UEFA Cup slot, and you don’t even have to win the bloody competition (beaten finalists will qualify for Europe if the winner has already qualified via the league).

    Mike

    #134060
    TMWANG50
    Member
    • Total Posts 69

    Having watched Bristol City v Boro on Saturday (I’m a season ticket holder but went because prices were cheaper than Championship games).

    Firstly Boro brought down less fans than the average Championship side, the home support didn’t even come out in high numbers as we played them twice last year which I also found odd due to the slashed prices of around avg £20 as opposed to avg £30. The gate in total was no better than an average league fixture.

    Secondly even Boro played a few reserves, until finally giving us a sight of Turkish international Tuncay late in the second half and he was easily the best player on show.

    It was a very strange atmosphere and our players looked less up for the game than a league match despite the MOTD cameras being present.

    I have to say if I was to single out this game there is indeed limited appeal in the FA Cup for anyone.

    Hopefully Oldham will win the competiton to teach the big boys a lesson. I was interested to read that its been some time since a team outside the big 4 won it so no wonder interst is reduced.

    Another interesting fact was that our rivals accross the city took 7000 fans to Premiership Fulham and actually out numbered the home support in a total gate of 13,000? Does anyone know if this has ever happened before where away numbers exceed home fans?

    #134071
    Friggo
    Member
    • Total Posts 1593

    Another interesting fact was that our rivals accross the city took 7000 fans to Premiership Fulham and actually out numbered the home support in a total gate of 13,000? Does anyone know if this has ever happened before where away numbers exceed home fans?

    I’d wager that this happens at practically every Gretna home game.

    Personally, I used to love the FA Cup, even up until a couple of years ago, before teams (I say ‘teams’- managers & boards) realised that staying in the Premiership was more important than getting into Europe or even getting your name on the most famous domestic trophy in the world. It’s sad, but once again it’s a sign of football moving away from being a sport and becoming a business.

    In Scotland it’s obviously a similar state of affairs as down South in terms of domination, but here only Rangers and Celtic are head and shoulders (and probably a torso) above the rest (in fact, an upper leg as well). Thus there is a much less exciting league, but a more interesting cup as there are only those two sides to knock out before it’s wide open, as in 2006 when we had a Hearts- Gretna final.

    #134078
    MikkyMo73
    Member
    • Total Posts 1789

    Thanks for that insight TWANGO.

    I’m not disputing that Boro played what may have looked a weakened team – but this was due to injuries and suspensions rather than being Southgate’s choice.

    Tuncay had a knock during midweek and he was very doubtful to be involved but because all our other first team strikers (Mido, Aliadiere & Lee) were out, he was reluctantly put on the bench. Boateng was suspended and Woodgate was injured, so basically what you saw is the strength of Boro’s squad (not very strong).

    As for our supporters. I’m afraid they have been disappearing in their droves for years now. We’ve lost 10.000 home fans in just over 5 years. I noticed on Sky today that we were in the top half of a poll for having the loudest fans – I am absolutely amazed by this because when I go, I take my mam as she likes to read her books in peace :lol:

    Mike

    #134095
    TMWANG50
    Member
    • Total Posts 69

    Blimey, if that is the depth of Boro’s squad you could be in real trouble this season. Pogatetz was probably the only starting player to even look upto Premiership standard. Boro were very poor until our keeper let in a soft shot from Downing who was no where near as good as last year. The second half you passed it around well to be fair but chances for both teams were minimal in a fairly lack luster contest that MOTD only decided to dedicate about 3 minutes of action to!!

    Lee Dong also come on as well in the second half but is he up to scratch with 1 goal in 26 appearences, he was easily marshalled by our defence.

    Is it true that Southgate has fallen out with Boateng?

    #134097
    MikkyMo73
    Member
    • Total Posts 1789

    Blimey, if that is the depth of Boro’s squad you could be in real trouble this season. Pogatetz was probably the only starting player to even look upto Premiership standard. Boro were very poor until our keeper let in a soft shot from Downing who was no where near as good as last year. The second half you passed it around well to be fair but chances for both teams were minimal in a fairly lack luster contest that MOTD only decided to dedicate about 3 minutes of action to!!

    Lee Dong also come on as well in the second half but is he up to scratch with 1 goal in 26 appearences, he was easily marshalled by our defence.

    Is it true that Southgate has fallen out with Boateng?

    Our squad is very weak when it comes to strength in depth and I do fear the worst if we don’t sign anyone in the transfer window.

    Schwarzer is nowhere near as good or as agile as he used to be, and yet our reserve keepers have little or no first team experience.

    Of our central defenders, Woodgate is arguably the best, but he has been dreadful this season and has made some shocking errors – he is playing as if his first team place is assured and doesn’t really care. Huth and Riggot are/have been inury prone and are proably not up to Premiership standard anymore. David Wheater has been great and has been one of our best players of the season so far.

    Pogatetz is a real pro and plays well no matter where he plays (CB or LB). Luke Young and Andrew Taylor are ok full-backs.

    Our midfield is very weak. Downing is very good at his best but he very rarely shows his true form and is far to inconsistent. Adam Johnson is a very good left winger but can’t get his game because of Downing, while on the right, Gary O’Neill is ok. In the middles we are shocking. Cattermole is too hot headed and has no discipline about him, Rochenback is just crap, and Boateng is the worst passer of a ball I have ever seen. The rumours are that he had a big bust up with the manager (something to do with his agent Barry Silkman advertising his services on Sky Sports).

    Up front is our strongest position – a bit of a daft comment considering our lack of goals. But there is a lot of potential there with Tuncay and Mido being very good strikes, and Aliadiere having a lot of pace. The problem is they just haven’t played together because of injuries, and our next 3 strikers in the pecking order are really sub-standard (Dong-Gook Lee, Ben Hutchinson and Tom Craddock).

    So yes, we have a poor squad of players in my opinion. But saying that, after beating Arsenal and Portsmouth away I was saying that our squad is great. I really am a fickle fan who thinks we are crap one week but great the next :lol: .

    Basically, we do have the ability to put in a great performance, but a few injuries or suspension and then we soon run out of talent and ideas.

    Sorry for rambling on.

    Mike

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