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Viewpoint: Does the F.A. Cup now mean sweet F.A. to too many clubs?

fans viewsHenry returns with his long absent viewpoint column, this week discussing the merits and faults of the F.A. Cup.

The first week of 2008 marked a return of the prestigious FA Cup. A competition lasting for over a hundred years, the FA Cup has witnessed memorable moments, and with it being the oldest cup competition in the world, it’s a catalyst of pride to British football.

A lot of great captains have lifted that famous trophy along the years, and traditionally it’s the one trophy that every young kid dreams to win.

According to Peter Schmeichel on Match of the Day, he wanted to win the FA Cup more than anything else, despite him being non-British. Not even the Champions League or bloody World Cup. Jesus Christ!
If Schmeichel was indeed telling the truth, we have to think why the FA Cup is so popular. The reasons are so obvious that I struggle to understand why I am writing this. However, I haven’t written in a while and if I go past 2 pages A.S.A.P, my confidence will rapidly rise.

The FA Cup has been going for years, and during the sort of time when the likes of Bobby Robson were young (not that he’s too old I must add *cough*), The Champions League wasn’t a competition that existed in those days, and that meant that the most overseas opposition came from the other members of Britain.

So the competition that brought the widest range of opposition was indeed the FA Cup. As well as this, it was the first cup competition in Britain so errrm you know … Oh, and another reason is that Bobby Robson and his mates used go down to the ground, pay almost nothing to get in, and a few hours after the match they would be on the streets practicing and trying to copy what their heroes did on the pitch. It brought a lot of talented and remarkable players onto the big stage, and these players later went on to become idols for the kids.
This all went on for years and years. However, arguably there won't be many years and years into the future and the beauty of the competition is rapidly fading away.

As you may have realised by the first two paragraphs, I have high respect for the FA Cup especially how long it has kept it’s traditions, but I am afraid I feel this ’ beauty’ of it is dieing away as every year goes by.
Football is a completely different game to how it was all those years ago. Nowadays teams would prefer to lift the Champions League or even the Premiership than the FA Cup. The FA Cup with the big clubs is now regarded as (dare I say it) a chance to play a few youngsters.

The League Cup is known to be that sort of competition, but that’s the road the FA Cup is going down.
Yes, it will be brilliant to watch Chasetown beating Arsenal at the Emirates, but with all the hype from Match of the Day about the possibility of an upset, it perhaps won’t be that surprising.

Also yes, it is fantastic to watch a ‘classic cup tie’ which is end-to-end, tackles flying everywhere and plenty of goals, but the phrase ‘classic cup-tie’ has been used so often that it’s pointless saying it. Again, I blame Match of the Day.

And yes, it is interesting to see a team that you have never heard of. However there is an actual number of non-league teams, and I get the feeling that soon there won’t be any unknown teams left.

Brian Barwick will probably argue back to me saying that the FA Cup is still special in the respect that it still seems to attract unbelievable atmospheres at games. My simple reasoning of that is that 15% of the attendance are away fans, much more than at Premiership games.

I never get the tingle in my belly when the 3rd round draw is made. I never seem to get that feel of excitement when it’s 3rd round weekend. I simply don’t care as much as I should do about the beauty of the competition and I sigh deeply when I admit that the FA Cup is more or less levelling off with the League Cup in terms of excitement.
Money and foreign players in England have contributed to the FA Cup becoming a pointless and tedious event.
If I had high authority in the FA, I would stop the FA Cup while it is still decent…ish.
Henry Kibirige

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