Romance of FA Cup Will Officially Die Next Season

While the preparation and hype build for this Saturday’s first FA Cup Final at the new Wembley, my message to Chelsea and Manchester United fans is to enjoy it while you can. I don’t think either team will put much emphasis on the tournament next year.

We saw this year how competing for four trophies can ruin a team. Chelsea definitely ran out of gas during the past few months which was also hampered by injuries.

Even with larger squads and fewer injuries, the top four Premiership clubs will need to prioritize next year which competitions they want to push for. The Champions League will be on top of Chelsea’s list once again as well as getting the Premiership title. The FA Cup and Carling Cup will simply get in their way.

So expect to see a lot of clubs playing reserve players. Arsenal showed this past season how it can be done. While Liverpool, Man United and Chelsea don’t have reserve squads with that calibre, the only way to get them to improve and gain confidence is by playing them in important matches in the FA Cup and League Cup.

Of course, for Arsenal the plan backfired. But that was more the fault of the Gunners’ first team who were unable to get past PSV Eindhoven and failed time and time again in the Premier League.

All of these clubs playing reserve players is going to make it harder for Fox Sports International to justify charging customers $25 to watch latter round FA Cup matches at home on TV. Maybe next year we’ll see a team emerge victorious that’s outside the top four?

5 thoughts on “Romance of FA Cup Will Officially Die Next Season”

  1. Well, I wont be playing any dirges yet. The League Cup is dead. But, I think if one of the big four get a favorable draw into the later rounds they will still take the FA Cup seriously. Unless there is a four way title race coming into march and april and all of them are still alive in Europe, I can’t see none of them going for it.

    Wenger blusters about not fielding a full strength side, but if they are out of the title race and out of Europe again is he really going to not try to win the FA Cup?

    It also might make things a bit more exciting to have some of the lesser teams.

    If they want to assure teams taking it seriously, they should get rid of replays.h

  2. FA Cup is a competition with a lot of history and winning it still means a lot, even to the big four.
    But I agree that $25 for p-p-v this year was a bit too much. I paid only for the Liverpool-Arsenal game and I am planning on watching the final on Saturday morning.

  3. Agree with billeshears. Make it a one and done round, no replays. Yes, you may have more upsets but a Wycombe upset of Chelsea on a given night would make it more exciting as a whole.

  4. I don’t agree that the romance has gone for the lower league clubs, it’s still a big deal for them to draw a premier league team.

  5. I suspect The Big Four will all be reassessing their priorities for next season.

    While Sir Alex wants to successfully defend Man Utd’s PL title next year, he clearly wants one more Champions League title on his CV before he rides off into the Scottish sunset. To be brutally honest, United wasn’t supposed to get as far as they did in this year’s CL, and had United’s defense not been wrecked by injury they might have made the final. Acquiring a little more quality depth and another striker during the summer transfer window might be enough.

    I’ve heard some Liverpool fans grumbling about their side always does well in the CL but can’t win the PL. Will Liverpool alter the pattern somewhat and make a run at the PL?

    After what Arsenal went through this year, they’d be happier than pigs in mud to win anything in 2007-08. Everyone points out how much they missed Henry, but I sometimes think Arsenal losing Van Persie gets lost in the shuffle.

    Then there’s Chelsea. I just have this feeling The Blues are about to implode on themselves. Rumors about Mourinho, rumors that Terry wants out, rumors Lampard might want out, rumors Terry and Lampard will leave if Mourinho gets sacked. It’s like watching Dream Team on Fox Soccer Channel.

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