All the excitement of the 3rd Round of the FA Cup has died down, and now it’s all about the 4th Round FA Cup Draw.
But before we get into the 4th Round FA Cup Draw, it’s a good time to look back on the weekend’s action.
We still love the FA Cup if others don’t.
FIVE THINGS FROM THE FA Cup 3rd Round
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR
As an Ipswich Town fan, now and again you wish they will break out of the cycle of mediocrity. Unfortunately that seems to be happening but it is going from mediocre to awful. For the second year in a row, Ipswich Town couldn’t get past lower league opposition at home (last year it was fourth tier Portsmouth), and on the weekend it was Lincoln City from Non League 5th tier. All reports point to Lincoln being the better side, and Ipswich needed to equalise twice in the game to save some face. Ipswich haven’t beaten anyone too high up the ladder too often in the Championship this season, and if things don’t turn around it may be League One for the first time in many decades.
LOOKS LIKE TOP 6 ARE THE GOODS
Most of the Top 6 (Liverpool aside) had good wins. Arsenal had the toughest game and snuck home. Both Manchester sides looked real good. As did Chelsea. Given how competitive the top 6 is in the EPL this year, it wouldn’t be a bad thing to have all 6 in the final 8.
FIELDING ANYTHING LESS THAN YOUR BEST IS A RISK
Liverpool named a very young side for their game against Plymouth, and one of the reasons would have been to give their main players break. Problem is that when you don’t beat the fourth tier side at home, you end up with another you didn’t really want, and away from home, a long way from home, and on a midweek evening. And you’re probably going to have to play your better players too to get through. Although resting players for the FA Cup is traditional, it should still be taken more seriously in the early rounds.
“MAGIC OF THE FA CUP”
Media outlets like the BBC wheel of this tired cliché before each FA Cup 3rd Round. All the talk about big upsets, and romantic talk of going to other grounds fill the previews.
So one wonders why every Manchester United game needs to be played. They are at 50+ in a row, and no doubt their 4th Round FA Cup against Wigan at home will be televised.
The selection of Manchester City v West Ham also stunk, and got the results they deserved. One sided blowouts.
How about once a year dropping the standards a little and televising not only games from lower divisions grounds, but ones that don’t feature any EPL sides.
LOWER LEAGUE TEAMS GUARANTEED PASSAGE TO FIFTH ROUND
After the 4th Round FA Cup draw was released today, there will be five teams from outside of the EPL who are guaranteed a place in the 5th round of the FA Cup. Where no doubt the big money EPL fixtures will await.
Given there’s still replays to be played from the 3rd round, and the potential for more upsets in the 4th Round FA Cup it could be a good number of non EPL sides in the last 16.
We hope anyway.
TOP 5 PERFORMANCES
WORST 5 PERFORMANCES
FA CUP ROUND 4 DRAW
Given that you know one of the televised games will be Manchester United v whoever they are playing regardless of division, we’ll select our favourite three other games in the hope that at least one of them are selected. Although, there will no doubt be at least one boring same old all EPL match. A match we could see every other week.
TOTTENHAM V WYCOMBE – Hopefully one for the TV as it will mean the return to our screen of the big man Adebayo Akinfenwa aka The Beast.
DERBY COUNTY v LEICESTER CITY – A midlands Derby, and a game which could happen next season in either division depending on how the form goes in the second half of the season for both teams.
AFC WIMBLEDON or SUTTON UTD v LEEDS – The great thing is that one of these lower league sides will make it to the 5th round.
Tottenham Hotspur v Wycombe Wanderers
Derby County v Leicester City
Oxford United v Newcastle United or Birmingham City
AFC Wimbledon or Sutton United v Leeds United
Plymouth Argyle or Liverpool v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Southampton or Norwich City v Arsenal
Lincoln or Ipswich v Brighton
Chelsea v Brentford
Manchester United v Wigan Athletic
Millwall v Watford
Rochdale v Huddersfield Town
Burnley or Sunderland v Fleetwood Town or Bristol City
Blackburn Rovers v Barnsley or Blackpool
Fulham v Hull City
Middlesbrough v Accrington Stanley
Crystal Palace or Bolton v Manchester City