FA Cup Saturday, 6th Round: Open Thread

Today’s FA Cup action kicked off with Birmingham City against Bolton Wanderers. The game has been an exciting encounter thus far between two teams trying to win to take their side to a FA Cup semi-final at Wembley. Bolton has history on its side and more motivation. Their Bolton legend Nat Lofthouse died recently, the man who won the 1958 FA Cup for Bolton after scoring two goals. But as soon as Bolton looks like they’re heading to victory in this game, back come Birmingham.

In the other match of the day, Arsenal travel to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United in a scintillating match.

For those of you looking for a 10am ET match to watch today, Derby is playing Swansea City on FoxSoccer.tv. The Rams are trying to avoid relegation, while Swansea are trying to narrow the gap between second place and first in the Championship.

Before, during or after the matches today, feel free to post your rants, raves and observations in the comments section below.

13 thoughts on “FA Cup Saturday, 6th Round: Open Thread”

    1. Agreed, Gaffer. Amazing goal by Phillips to level in the 80th, great setup by Bolton for Lee to score the winner at the end…

      Let me see United/Arsenal live up to that one!

      1. And that would have been a game that the ‘EPL haters’ would have ridiculed before the match started, saying something along the lines of ‘Who would want to watch two boring teams such as Birmingham and Bolton?’ But both teams played well, but only one could go through. Great performances by both sides. And yes, that Kevin Phillips goal, at age 37, was a beauty!

        The Gaffer

        1. Thanks Gaffer. It was a great game and fantastic to see the youngsters Mutch and Redmond slot so well into the team combining well with the front men and creating good opportunities. Beausejour is coming along very nicely and Larsson was immense again (I hope he stays at Blues). And Jerome finally got the monkey off his back. Bolton played great too and I cannot fathom why Lee isn’t automatically starting for them. They are having a great season and I hope they go all the way and win the cup.
          I hope Laurence McKenna didn’t bother to watch the game because I don’t want to have to listen to him talk about it. A derisory sarcastic comment was all he could muster when Richard invited him discuss it in the mid week podcast. Laurence can wax lyrical about the top teams, the sky 4, Barca, Madrid et al , but doesn’t seem interested in these kinds of clubs. I hope Richard asks Kartik to talk about Bolton and Blues because Kartik has an open mind, is enthusiastic about non-oligarchical football and takes the trouble to watch the games.

          1. It was a bit of a tongue in cheek response from Laurence. But I’m sure Kartik will be effervescent in his descriptions of how wonderful the Birmingham against Bolton match was. I certainly enjoyed it and hope that any readers who missed the match catch it when it’s replayed on television (or FoxSoccer.tv).

            The Gaffer

  1. Between the injuries and the attackers going into one of their “ignore the goal” moods, I think Arsenal is more likely to finish 3rd in the League than 1st.

    Yet another season that sees us limping across the finish line.

  2. Who is really surprised that Man Utd is through and Arsenal isn’t? To go from the last English club to still be all 4 competitions, to having failed at three in two weeks.. Awful and tired. the biggest choke. The biggest fall has already occurred in the form of the Carling Cup.. it really couldn’t and can’t get any worse this season, with the exception of, obviously, winning the league. The Carling Cup trophy was my only concern as a fan, but now it really truly is the Premiership, as that’s the one that seems the most tangible. If the guys can get it together, stay strong, stay as fit as possible and see it through the end (including Spurs away, including Liverpool and, most decisively, Man Utd at home on May 1st) then I’ll be so grateful. The other half of me, the one that is getting used to Arsenal falling short, is already looking forward to next season.

  3. When will I learn not to doubt Sir Alex’s tactical acumen. When I saw 6 defenders in the starting XI, I wondered if United really wanted to win this. Then the opening goal from Fabio, wonderful followup from the biplay between Rooney and the Little Pea. Some excellent saves from Van Der Sar and solid play by Vidic and 98 min later we see off Arsenal.

    I was also heartened by the 2nd half play of Valencia. There was a little rust, but he was a constant threat down the right side, especially when it was 2-0, providing the counter opportunities. With Nani out for a month, he will be a key piece.

    Now if we can stitch together a starting XI to see off Marseille, we might be able to do something this year.

    As to Arsenal, the ghost of Viera strikes again. No heart, no mental strength, and the kids are bullied off the pitch again. If they follow the script (and I see nothing to indicate otherwise), they should lose at least 2 away games to bottom 10 opposition and fade into the setting sun. Another year, another empty shelf but oh do they play beautiful football.

    1. It was great to see Tony back out there. I knew when I saw him on the bench he’d get some time. I thought he looked pretty good considering the amount of time off and who he was playing. His pace will definitely help us until Park, Anderson and Nani return after the int’l break.

      I’ve heard rumblings of moving Fabio out to the wings permanently (especially considering Evra just signed a new deal) and don’t see how he couldn’t thrive as a winger. He delivers a decent ball, has great pace and a motor that doesn’t stop. The only thing is that sometimes he tackles a little rashly (as does Rafael). I thought the two of them looked great today.

      Today’s result definitely makes me feel a lot more confident about the upcoming CL tie.

  4. The Birmingham – Bolton game was just what an FA Cup tie is about. Loved every minute of it as a neutral. Bolton will have to tighten up on defense if they are to get to the final.

    Arsenal once again showed their defensive frailties. Getting rid of Gallas and Toure who had toughness and replacing them with defenders who aren’t tough is why Arsenal aren’t winning trophies anymore. I just cannot see Arsenal winning the league title if today they couldn’t beat a United side that didn’t have their strongest team while Arsenal had their strongest team of those available.

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