The Groundsman’s Shed


The FA Cup: A Football Player’s Production by groundsman

Blah, blah, no “Big Four teams” left in the FA Cup… blah, blah, blah, first time since 1995… Incredible opportunities for the smaller clubs… zzzzzzzzz…

*jerks awake*  Wait, what? This isn’t all a dream?  Well, let’s get to business then.

So, is this season of upsets? Or do the self styled (and financed) teams at the top of the Premier League not care about the FA Cup?  

I believe it’s the second option- though the romantic in me would like to think it’s a mixture of the two.  With the vast array of silverware available to clubs these days, managers have consistently reminded fans and journos alike that they must choose wisely when deciding the prizes they will really compete for each year. 

How cynical can the game really get?  If simply picking and choosing titles (rather than actually competing for them) is what the managers have on their minds at the start of the season, why not just enter into Gentlemen’s Argreements with the other big clubs? 

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[Scene I, Act I: Arsene Wenger sits stage left on a purple squashy recliner in a dimly lit pub, flexing his long fingers and staring straight ahead.  Sir Alex Ferguson sits next to him on a hard, straight backed chair.]

AW:  So you’ll take the Premiership, then?

SAF: I’d prefer the Champions League, and–where’s Rafa? Shouldn’t he be here? Or at least that doughy looking bloke the Blues have got.

AW: Sadly, Rafa was not invited to the meeting.  For now, Liverpool do not belong in our set.  As for Grant, his owner sent word requesting the Carling Cup and the Champions League– but I think it’s a bit much.  Before you arrived, I pinned a note denying his requests to Sheva’s collar and sent him back on his way.

SAF: (sighs heavily) So what about this FA Cup nonsense, then? I’d just as soon give it to Middlesborough, but if you want it- enjoy it, mate.  One less evening spent driving back from a wee shit town in the middle of BFN, I say.

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Even if that were the way it was working out, it shouldn’t take away from the accomplishments of Middlesbrough, Portsmouth, Bristol Rovers, West Brom, Barnsley, and Cardiff.  The teams worked hard, their fans cheered just as hard, and the final is sure to be passionate.  Perhaps it’s best not to look too deeply at the factors surrounding the tournament, and instead be thankful for the results. 

This is supposed to be entertainment, after all.

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