Tag: Havant & Waterlooville

FA Cup Fourth Round Review

The FA Cup Fourth Round, played out last weekend, was most peculiar. There were sixteen matches played, involving thirty-two clubs, and not a single one was drawn. It was the first time that this had happened in a shade of fifty years. I bet no-one at the BBC saw that one coming. Equally strange is the layout of the last sixteen of the competition. Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool are all ominously present and correct (fingers crossed that they draw each other in the fifth round, then), but the rest of the Premier League has been absolutely decimated. I pointed out here before that the best possible Premier League representation in the Fifth Round would be eight clubs, and the weekend’s results mean that just six have survived – the Big Four, plus Middlesbrough and Portsmouth. I can’t offer a definitive solution to this riddle. I remain less than convinced that this idea that “the Premier League doesn’t care about the FA Cup any more”. I simply cannot accept that professional sportsmen could sell their supporters down the river like that, and I also don’t think that it is in the genetic make-up of the professional sportsman to not want to win. I remain convinced that it is simply that the majority of the Premier League is nowhere near as good as it thinks it is. If the...

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On How The BBC Got It So Wrong

Earlier this week, apropos of nothing, really, I sat down and watched the 1979 FA Cup Final between Arsenal and Manchester United. It was like a breath of fresh air, and a reminder of how good the BBC used to be at broadcasting football. I’ve watched their recent coverage, however, with increasing dismay but they managed a new nadir last night with FA Cup coverage that lurched into the realms of farce, leaving the corporation looking like your trendy uncle at a wedding, wearing a medallion and asking the bride’s friends if they’ve seen The Blurs play lately. More or less anyone with any nous could have told you that Manchester City vs West Ham United game was going to be terrible. Manchester City are the kings of the 1-0 win, and the first match between them at Upton Park last week was an absolute shocker. Yet again, though, the BBC failed to see the wood for the trees, ignored one of the stories of the round (in the form of Conference South Havant & Waterlooville playing Swansea City for the right to a trip to Anfield after the two sides played out a bad tempered first match at the Liberty Stadium) in order to put the names of two Premier League clubs in their Wednesday night schedules. The match kicked off in a half-empty and disinterested City Of...

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