How The FA Cup Rewards The Brave
There have been quite a few teams in FA Cup action this evening with the only real shock being League Two Portsmouth getting the better of Championship side Ipswich Town by beating them at home 2-1. This seems to have been quite a theme this 3rd Round with many Championship teams getting beaten by either League One or League Two opposition. Bolton Wanderers just managed to scrape home this evening by beating non league Eastleigh 3-2 in the replay also.
It seems that not only do some Premiership teams put out weakened teams in the FA Cup, but increasingly many Championship teams are doing the same which is a crying shame. All the Championship teams are now out of all the other competitions so all they have is the league and the FA Cup so why not give it their best shot?
It is not beyond the realms of possibility to have some luck with the draw and you can soon find yourself in the 5th or 6th Round with a trip to Wembley only a game or two away, and this can really help to promote the profile of the club and give the supporters a big day out. There have been many occasions also when a good Cup run can go hand in hand with a promotion challenge and can help teams build their confidence and get used to handling a big occasion. Burnley under Owen Coyle a few years ago had great runs in both Cup competitions and still went on to claim promotion through the play offs.
And there is absolutely no reason why teams from the lower to middle tier of the Premiership should not be trying to win the FA Cup, but sadly this seems to not be the case in some quarters. The teams at the top end who have squads that can cope with two games every week do give the Cup a good crack, as managers see winning it as a good way of keeping their job if they fail to win the League or heaven forbid do not finish in the top 4!!
Hats off to Manuel Pellegrini at Man City as he is still in with a chance of winning the quadruple and he goes in with the intent of winning every game his team plays, regardless of the competition. Now if you were a supporter of Southampton, or of West Brom, or of Crystal Palace, or maybe Everton, would you not want your team to go all out to win the FA Cup? Your team is not going to win the league so if you want some glory you need to win one of the Cups and what better one than the FA Cup.
Treating the old Cup with the respect it deserves will reap its rewards for any club over the course of time, lets hope all the clubs begin to realise this obvious fact.