Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Matt Tubbs for Salisbury City (v Nottingham Forest), 3 December 2006

I don't know whether it is just me, but when I was watching Ricky Hatton and Amir Khan draw the magic balls for the FA Cup third round draw, I couldn't seem to get even remotely excited about it.

I know a lot has been made about the "magic of the Cup" having been lost in recent years, particularly with bigger clubs playing second-string sides against lower level opposition. It wasn't even so much that, more that I couldn't bring myself to get excited about anything other than one or two of the matches.

OK, so maybe it was an unlucky draw. It seemed like most of the ties were drawn between two teams of a similar stature or league standing (Preston v Sunderland, Southend v Barnsley, Everton v Blackburn, Portsmouth v Wigan, QPR v Luton etc etc etc) or that the minnows left in the draw got landed with teams which would have raised more groans of disappointment than cheers in their club bars (with the exception of Macclesfield Town).

So, of course Liverpool v Arsenal is the tie everyone is singling out, although more intriguing may be Newcastle's visit to Birmingham or Tottenham's visit to Cardiff. Winless Macclesfield will no doubt take the hopes of every underdog with them before getting tonked by Chelsea's C team.

Anyway, of the 32 games scheduled for that weekend, I can't recall a year where I care less about the outcome of so many of the ties. Shame, really.


United113 said...

I care about the outcome of the ties...

I hope macclefield stuff chelsea and i hope arsenal and liverpool get into a 22 man brawl on the pitch and both get kicked out of the cup, relegated to league one and fined lots of money...

I saw the magic of the cup the other night.. Kings Lynn v Oldham.. Their biggest game in how long? you wouldn't have thought it.. I have never seen so many (excuse my un politically correctness..) retards in one place since last time i was in liverpool....

El Tel said...

The draw has been flat, and I don't think there's yet been any stories of national footballing interest.

United113 is right in that the lower leagues are the only place that you'll find much cup verve at this stage of the season. I imagine Macclesfield is fairly feel-good (ignoring the league), right now.

As a general rule of thumb, I'd be much more impressed with the BBC if they'd have the bottle to screen a Preston v Sunderland (or equivalent) than the predictable Liverpool v Arsenal type of tie.

And on the retard front: that was my first experience of Shrewsbury. Second time at the Gay Meadow, I opted for the away end (with Darlington fans) - much better.