Tales Of The Unexpected

You could tell that, by yesterday lunchtime, large parts of the media had run out of things to say about this year’s FA Cup. With Manchester United and Chelsea having been eliminated, the autocues ran dry and the tippity-lapping of the hacks hunched over their laptops slowed to a halt. Barnsley, Cardiff City, West Bromwich Albion and Portsmouth? Oh. What can we find to say about them? On Sunday afternoon, the final two FA Cup quarter-finals were played out and, surprise surprise, the penultimate Premier League club left in this year’s competition fell by the wayside. Once again, this year’s FA Cup has demonstrated that rumours of The Death Of English Football might just have been over-exaggerated. There’s life in the old girl yet. There was something quite predictable about Middlesbrough not turning up for their match against Cardiff City. I have slated Gareth Southgate on here before, but he has at least taken the Cup seriously, and probably deserved better than the lethargic performance that he got from his players. Faced with an outstanding chance (they will surely never have it that easy again, would they?) to win the FA Cup, his team folded and Cardiff City will return to Wembley for the semi-finals for the first time since 1927. In the evening, West Bromwich Albion had too much in the tank for Bristol Rovers to be able...

Read More