Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Pundits Get it Wrong on FA Cup

I'm sure many cliches have been written since the weekend over the FA Cup and the extraordinary results that emerged. My only comment is that it just goes to show how some of the so-called experts who pontificate on the state of the world's game just get it so damn wrong. I remember such experts saying confidently at the time of the third round that all the romance had gone from the competition because only the big teams were going to win. Indeed, there was some justification for this given that the tournament has been won only by the big boys in recent years. But it is only a game played by human beings and almost anything can happen.
Granted, Havant and Waterlooville were never going to beat Liverpool at Anfield having actually taken the lead twice but they gave them a fright. I wrote way back about non-league Horsham frightening the life out of League One leaders Swansea in the second round. The gap is too large for such giant-killing but clearly, as the weekend showed, Championship teams can beat the Premier giants. Barnsley, who had already beaten Liverpool at Anfield in the previous round, dumped Chelsea out and now face the prospect of possibly winning the Cup and being relegated. A first? Or maybe it will be mighty Cardiff City to take the FA Cup out of England? And let's not forget the achievement of Portsmouth. Granted, a Premier League team who have been playing very well this season but to go to Old Trafford and beat United really was a fantastic performance. Oh the romance.

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