Sunday, 19 February 2017

The FA Cup... Is the magic back?

Its Sunday so its time to grab that cup of tea, get them biscuits out, and lets take a look into how the FA Cup has got its sparkle back! 

 Cast your mind back a few seasons... Everything in terms of the Footballing bible was ringing true - 'Money brought success.' Man City proved testament to this. Teams that had to sell to survive ended up falling further and further behind. 'Instant success' was what the fans and the media alike wanted. Managers chopping and changing teams, Arsenal & Chelsea signing individual players costing more than most Championship teams are valued at as a business! It looked like the gap between the divisions was never going to be breached, a similar pattern and fait to what WBA faced in the early 00's 'Boing boing, Baggies Baggies...' Flittering between the two divisions for almost a decade! You could guaranty at least one club coming up from The Championship would end up going straight back down the next season. 

The priority for clubs up and down the country was to make sure they stay in their respective leagues! In theory The FA Cup was a distraction that managers could do with out. *Wigan proved this theory right in 2012/13 When they managed to beat City in the final, only to be relegated a few weeks later! Wigan have not been close to returning to the top tier since. In fact teams of a 'lower' profile that have made it to the final in recent seasons, have ended up being relegated either that season or the following..... Things don't look to good for Big Sam and Palace at the moment! 

After the third round of fixtures it looked nailed on that it was going to be the same old 'Billionaire clubs' making it to the latter stages... But then things started to get interesting, Sutton United and Lincoln City started to cause the odd tremor amongst the lower tier teams. This effect managed to spread across the footballing network and then BOOM! The term 'shock' became less of a shock, Liverpool were fed to the Wolves in their own inclosure, and The Lions who came up against massive off the field distractions made short work of The Cherries and The Hornets (You can also add The Foxes to that list too) and as if by magic The FA Cup started to trend once again... 

Now we're half way through the weekends fixtures concerning the Fifth round, and my gosh its been fun! The early kick off between a solid Burnley at Turf Moor against the non league 'have a go heroes' of Lincoln City. Now no disrespect to the Imps but the biggest test they had faced so far in the cup this season was High flying Brighton in the Championship. (A distraction Brighton could do with out) No one not even the BTSport pundits had given them a chance, The Imps management team of the Cowley brothers, looked calm and collective as they approached the dugout, Danny representing a modern day version of the Legend that is Brian Clough, jogging bottoms and a distinctively coloured top, applauding the traveling fans as he took his seat. 

Before long it was a full on old fashion fight to the death! The script was written for the pantomime villain otherwise known as Joey Barton... Lets just say he got his lines right and hopefully he will end up getting retrospective punishment for being a total tool! Rhead was outstanding for Lincoln and although it must of been tempting to put a cheeky number on Barton the old fashion centre forward restrained himself, allowing for his team to continue with 11 v 11...Something the Burnley lads hadn't expected! 

With time almost up and a replay looking likely, The Imps found themselves with a corner, prior to this set piece it would be fair to say that the others hadn't really gone to plan... The TV cameras focused on the crowd, fans praying for the final whistle so they could walk away with a replay... 

The rest they say is history, and the name Raggett will be talked of for years and years to come! 


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