Thursday, March 13, 2008


Not up for the cup? What if...

Let's see: we have four Premiership teams in the last eight of the quote-unquote "Champion's" League. English football is going places, but...

This is three more than the number of Premiership teams in the FA Cup semi finals.

This being England's foremost domestic cup competition, one might reasonably expect to see the likes of Arsenal, Man Utd et al gracing the last four, but no: the sole representative of the Premiership in this year's competition's penultimate round is Portsmouth. The rest are teams from the Endsleigh, or whatever it's called this month.

Naturally, the above is likely to fuel criticisms that the FA Cup is losing its value as a competition with the big clubs more interested in their continental payday than doing away with the likes of Barnsley in midweek mud in front of football fans who still buy pies in this day and age.

(Yes, Barnsley are in the FA Cup semis also, beaten Liverpool and Chelsea in this season's competition.)

All very romantic, every dog has its day, etc. But how about the following: what if one of the Premiership's Champion's League qualifying spots (say: fourth place which is well off the pace) were removed and the winners of the FA Cup won the right to compete in the Champion's League?

Would the big clubs give their big names a day off for FA Cup ties if their Champion's league dosh was on the line?

Well, quite.


11That's a good point Danny, but with the tasty challenges flying around at the mo it probably is a good idea to give Gerrard the day off. Lampard's welcome to play though
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