A few days ago I wrote why seeding would be a major step backwards for the FA Cup and how the tradition of it supposed to be the only Cup where anyone from Arsenal to Chasetown can win it would be broken with silly new laws like it. Today, I’m going to write the ways to which you can improve the FA Cup and make it the top domestic cup competition again.
1) Bring back the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup – I know this isn’t a ‘FA problem’ so to speak, and there’s nothing they can do to stop UEFA making tournaments defunct or merging them with other tournaments, but I do believe this would make the FA Cup a bigger priority for some mediocre Premiership Clubs who finish 8-14th ever year. UEFA and The Premier League will never warrant the 4th or 5th Champions League spot ever going to a winner of the FA Cup, its just not seen today as plausible. Unfortunately, prospects of seeing clubs like Cardiff, Portsmouth and Millwall (just to name a few recent finalists from standards below the top 4) in the overly-prestigious European Cup (however wrong it sounds) is a recipe for disaster. If it came to Portsmouth or Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League for the following season, UEFA will be starting riots that Portsmouth (again, these are not my views, just my assumptions of UEFA) got in over Tottenham. However, UEFA will not argue if Portsmouth are in the CWC playing against other Cup winners as much because to reform that tournament now will make it 3rd rate, despite its popularity and it being put over the UEFA Cup/Europa League when it came to Super Cup.
2) DON’T schedule England friendly matches when teams are playing replays – Whoever was on the phone to the Danish FA and said “Yeah, we can put you in 9th February, don’t worry” should be hung, drawn and quartered. Surely, in BOLD letters it said “4TH ROUND REPLAYS” for that midweek? In fact, is it even 4th Round Replays? I’m so confused who’s playing which fixture. How could the FA mess up that much to schedule pointless internationals that week? Or even worse (seeing as it was an international week for internationals) why did they put the replays that week?! It baffles me how stupid they are in that place.
3) DON’T put the draw before games are played – I’m 17, I’ve loved Football properly since 2001, yet even I know more about the best traditions then the TV does. I remember running home from school in 2005 after taping the draw on a Monday Lunchtime to find out who Arsenal and Wolves had (funnily enough, they had each other). It was a tense experience, it was an experience I cherish, because it felt right, no-one had internet access through a PC or smart phone so you waited (I don’t mean don’t post the draw on the internet by the way). The only draw you had on a Sunday was after the 2nd round games were finished and they did it for the 3rd Round. I find it ridiculous that they schedule the draw before TWO games are played, where’s the fun in that, Leyton Orient yesterday could have decided to hand the game to Arsenal if they didn’t fancy a trip to United (which would be silly), you shouldn’t know your future opponents before you’ve at least played once.
4) Give the rights to the BBC and Sky – ITV made a mockery of the Premiership rights, they made a mockery and almost forced the Football League to implode when they had those rights, why did the FA ever consider their bid for the FA Cup? One thing worse, is they’ve gone to ad breaks and missed two crucial goals in an FA Cup Merseyside Derby replay and FIFA World Cup and yet the FA still like them and worse is they have the worst pundits on the box, Adrian Chiles, no-one cared for him on the BBC Match of the Day 2 program, people only liked his dull dingle voice when he was on the One Show, so ITV here’s a thought, give Des a call and keep Chiles on DayBreak with Christine Lampard where no-one can see him. I may get annoyed at Hansen’s annoying comments like “Walcott doesn’t have a football brain” or Shearer's leaching mentality but at least I can stand them and I can watch them. I also may get annoyed by Jamie Redknapp and his terrible punditry, but at least he’s not worse than Andy Townsend. Bottom line, give it to the BBC and Sky and leave ITV and ESPN to cover Volleyball with their poxy £2 tables from the Aldi at pitchside.
I think those 4 points sum up the problems and solutions fairly well, anyway, enough of FA Cup trauma’s the Carling Cup Final is Sunday (I should be there) and I shall give you a nice little report on the Monday afternoon.