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FA CUP: Is the Magic of The FA Cup Dying?

Is the magic of the FA Cup dying? Are Premier League clubs taking the competition seriously? Sam Macey takes a closer look at footballs oldest club competition

 

 

Cheltenham Town may not have been able to pull off an FA Cup upset on Saturday when they lost 3-1 away to Accrington Stanley at the Wham Stadium.  National League South side Woking produced the upset of the round knocking out League 2 Swindon on Sunday afternoon, thanks to a goal from Jack Hyde. That poses the question, are cup upsets a dying commodity and are teams taking the FA Cup as seriously as they used to?

See how Cheltenham Town got on here:

When you look back over the years there have been some massive upsets over the years and have offered some iconic moments in English footballing history. For example in 1972 when non-league Hereford upset First Division Newcastle at Edgar Street. Or when Sutton United defeated Coventry City in 1989, when the Sky Blues had won the competition two years earlier. However in recent years the oldest competition in football has been somewhat neglected with teams in higher divisions playing second string teams filled with youth players. So what are the potential reasons for this?

Bigger clubs seem to prioritise European and Premier League fixtures over the FA Cup primarily for financial gain. For winning the Champions League clubs will earn around £17 million and for finishing in the top 4 of the Premier League clubs will get upwards of £32 million. In comparison for winning the FA Cup clubs will only get £3.6 million.

But in the lower leagues has the magic gone? Barnet produced the upset of the round when they beat Bristol Rovers in the 1st round. Goals from Craig Robson and Byron Harrison gave the Vanarama National League outfit a victory over League One opposition.

Barnet manager John Still said he wasn’t as big a shock as people may think. “You know what, its really weird. 20 odd years ago i think a non league team beating a league team is a shock, but I don’t think its a shock now. I don’t. I think so many teams as you go down the leagues have good players, are organised and have good discipline. Is it a shock I don’t think so. To a lot of people I think this is a shock whereas i think it can happen. Look at the game Bradford against Aldershot the other day was a draw and went to penalties but for me i really don’t think this is a shock”.

The draw for the third round takes place at 7:30 tonight on BBC Two, with teams from the Premier League and Championship in the hat for the draw.

The numbers for each club are as follows:

1 AFC BOURNEMOUTH
2 ARSENAL
3 ASTON VILLA
4 BIRMINGHAM CITY
5 BLACKBURN ROVERS
6 BOLTON WANDERERS
7 BRENTFORD
8 BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION
9 BRISTOL CITY
10 BURNLEY
11 CARDIFF CITY
12 CHELSEA
13 CRYSTAL PALACE
14 DERBY COUNTY
15 EVERTON
16 FULHAM
17 HUDDERSFIELD TOWN
18 HULL CITY
19 IPSWICH TOWN
20 LEEDS UNITED
21 LEICESTER CITY
22 LIVERPOOL
23 MANCHESTER CITY
24 MANCHESTER UNITED
25 MIDDLESBROUGH
26 MILLWALL
27 NEWCASTLE UNITED
28 NORWICH CITY
29 NOTTINGHAM FOREST
30 PRESTON NORTH END
31 QUEENS PARK RANGERS
32 READING
33 ROTHERHAM UNITED
34 SHEFFIELD UNITED
35 SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY
36 SOUTHAMPTON
37 STOKE CITY
38 SWANSEA CITY
39 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR
40 WATFORD
41 WEST BROMWICH ALBION
42 WEST HAM UNITED
43 WIGAN ATHLETIC
44 WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS
45 GUISELEY OR FLEETWOOD TOWN
46 LUTON TOWN
47 WREXHAM OR NEWPORT COUNTY
48 TRANMERE ROVERS OR SOUTHPORT
49 BARNSLEY
50 SHREWSBURY TOWN
51 SOLIHULL MOORS OR BLACKPOOL
52 GRIMSBY TOWN
53 PETERBOROUGH UNITED OR BRADFORD CITY
54 WOKING
55 OLDHAM ATHLETIC
56 LINCOLN CITY
57 AFC WIMBLEDON
58 OXFORD UNITED
59 BARNET
60 PORTSMOUTH
61 WALSALL OR SUNDERLAND
62 ACCRINGTON STANLEY
63 DONCASTER ROVERS
64 GILLINGHAM

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