The FA Cup. A trophy we were favourites for at various points last season even as we laboured past Cheltenham, Watford, Stevenage and Bolton – no little drama there of course – before getting stitched up in the semi-final. Mata and Martin Atkinson combined to make Wembley both memorable and a game to forget, Juan appealed for a goal when his shot clearly hadn’t crossed the line and the other gave it. Is a cheat worse than an incompetent? No, I haven’t let it go.
Who needs a rest and who will get one are probably two different things. Under Redknapp all of Walker, Vertonghen, Defoe, Sandro and Lennon at least could expect to start Saturday afternoon watching from beneath one of those eiderdown coat efforts but Villas-Boas appears to approach things differently; he’ll probably pick as close to a full strength team as he feels able to rather than as close to a completely weakened one that he thinks he can get away with.
It’s pointless attempting to predict our side so here we go – Friedel, Naughton, BAE, Caulker, Dawson, Townsend/Falque, Huddlestone, Parker, Dempsey, Sigurdsson, Adebayor. That guess of an eleven should have too much for a Coventry team whose recent good run was brought to an end by mighty Shrewsbury at the weekend. A cursory glance at their results seems to indicate that they’ve got goals in them; David McGoldrick has been a key man but unfortunately for them he’s gone back to Forest, his parent club, having been on loan.
They’ve been given a big allocation and sold them all so their fans will no doubt become the latest in a growing line who think that saving up for some balloons and plumping up the profits of the local coach companies is unique and impressive when in fact they should just get out more. It’s not that long since they were in the top division, selling their allocation then wasn’t a common occurrence. Still, I for one can’t wait for endless rounds of ‘One Gary Mabbutt’ and the Eton Boating song.
Michael Naylor, who as far as I can tell has never refereed a Premier League team before is the man in the middle. Wembley here we come? COYS.
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