Too Big For The Cup?

When you’re sitting at your desk, wishing the day away and daydreaming about the football career that you were so cruelly robbed of, what do you think of? Captaining your national team to victory in the World Cup? Winning the FA Cup or the Premier League? Scoring the winning goal in the FA Cup final? Saving a penalty in a crucial play-off match? Whatever it is that you do idly daydream about, I wouldn’t mind betting that you probably don’t idly daydream about finishing in thirteenth place in the Premier League. Why is it, then, that clubs such as Reading have taken the decision to field weakened teams in the FA Cup? They’re not the only ones to have to done this over the last few seasons or so, but Reading’s decision to pick an under strength team at Tottenham in the Third Round of the FA Cup has been this season’s most high-profile case, so it’s worth taking a closer look at them in particular. Reading are, you may be surprised to know, one of the oldest clubs in English football. They were founded in 1871, and were voted into the Football League in 1920. As long ago as 1913, they toured Italy and beat Genoa and Milan on their own turf. They were nicknamed “The Biscuitmen” after the massive Huntley & Palmers biscuit factory that dominated the...

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