The FA Cup – Antiquated and Meaningless

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Dare anyone contest that conclusion after the past 24 hours? United find themselves in Cambridge and play listlessly to a 0-0 draw that gives the home side precisely what they wanted all along: an Old Trafford pay day. Southampton take the pitch at St. Mary’s with one of the best defensive records anywhere in Europe and promptly surrender three goals and the game to Crystal Palace. (No, it’s not Alan Pardew working miracles) Man City continue their walkabout with a 0-2 Etihad defeat to Middlesborough in which both goalkeepers shone until the City substitute and half the Sky Blue defense wilted for the winner and Boro could easily have scored three more. Chelsea make good on Mourinho’s pregame “disgrace if we lose” comments with an unthinkable 2-4 defeat at formerly impregnable Stamford Bridge (Sunderland and Bradford City. Wow. When Jose loses he loses big) to a League One side. And Spurs complete the madness by throwing away a lead late, though to be honest one wonders whether Michel Vorm understood the plan when he bolloxed up the winner and avoided a dreaded replay in two weeks.

And this all can be laid at the Football Association’s feet. An insane holiday period jammed with fixtures followed by two FA cup weekends under a replay structure that guarantees some sides play extra games and what do they expect? Spurs will have played eleven games in just a little more than 5 weeks by the time of their visit to the Hawthorns next weekend—if Schlupp hadn’t won it for the Foxes today, we would have been guaranteed four more out of five midweek games culminating with a trip to Florence. Poch decided to save his best for Sheffield and the League Cup semi-final. Spurs had ample chances to get a second goal and salt this away, but they were never dominant. This was the least of the four fish in the fryer—time to move on.

The pessimist will conclude that an uneven night in Yorkshire followed by another in the Midlands could effectively knock Spurs out of three competitions in just eight days time. I typed to a mate “Leicester will equalize” today and five seconds later they did, like Albert Brooks on Broadcast News telling Holly Hunter “It’s amazing– I say the words here and then I see them coming out of the TV seconds later”. Let’s beat the Blades and have Mourinho say it would be a disgrace for Chelsea to lose the final at Wembley. Karma might just be our friend.


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Paul is a respected U.S. political pollster (Democrat) based in Madison, Wisconsin and Los Angeles. His love for Spurs began when the Premier League games started appearing regularly in the U.S. and an American lover of football had to choose a side. Bale, Rushdie, Adele, Shakespeare, the Spurs faithful, The Lane, etc. were all irresistible attractions and have made Maslin a Spur for life.


  1. Stupid post. It's the greatest cup competition in the world.
    Spurs lost because they put out a crap team and paid the price.
    If top players earning thousands of pounds a day can't play a couple of games each week then they're not fit.

  2. I sympathise with the excess of games. I am not sure if it is the FA's fault. Rather, as I thought last year and this, I wish we had "thrown" the Europa and avoided a large number of matches for a competition we are unlikely to win.

    The FA Cup is not meaningless. It gives clubs who are unlikely to win the league, such as Leicester – and Tottenham – a chance of glory.

    Now Spurs will get to the LC Final and beat Chelsea. Without the Europa we would have a chance of 4th place in the PL.

  3. I'm sure I'm not the only Spurs fan who would rather win the FA Cup than the League Cup. Obviously Pochettino doesn't agree by his teal selection. Chriches at right back instead of Walker.If he wanted to rest Walker why not give Yedlin a run. He's a right back after all, not a centre half filling in. Kaboul in place of Vertonghen? words fail me with that. Davies is a far better left back than Rose yet hasn't started a game for weeks. He seemed to have made the position his own with some solid displays, now Rose seems to be back in favour. We'll probably top it off by losing in Sheffield midweek. We're good at that :(

  4. Good post. though i understand how some people rate the importance of the FA Cup, i think focussing on the League Cup and the Europa League are better in the long run.

    We are one game away from a final and winning the League Cup will secure Europa League for next season, allowing the team to focus more on 4th spot (hopefully) or winning the Europa League later in the season. I know it sounds naive but we still have a lot in store for us in the season.



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