Talking point: Will the magic of the FA Cup affect promotion hopefuls?

For Championship promotion candidates, is this the worst season to remain in the FA Cup? QPR, Cardiff City, Norwich City and Leeds United are all out of the competition but the likes of Watford, Swansea City and Nottingham Forest remain. Given how competitive the division is this year, will that prove a help or hindrance?

On one hand, you could argue that momentum is the most important factor of all in bringing about a successful second half of the season. The feelgood factor around the City Ground, for example, at the moment can only improve if Forest can knock out Premier League strugglers West Ham United in the fourth round.

Swansea, meanwhile, have an eminently winnable home tie with Leyton Orient – conquerors of Norwich in the previous round – up next. Win that and there is a fifth round game to look forward to.

The FA Cup is still a prestigious competition and the likes of Millwall and Southampton have proven in recent years that lower league sides can go far to provide supporters with magnificent memories.

But with fixture pile-up an increasing concern and the prospect of the cold snap returning ahead of this weekend’s fixtures, are extra games the last thing that teams need? So many at the top of the Championship can now concentrate on the league and a week off for tiring legs after a busy festive period might be as good as a new signing for some teams, particularly those that do not rotate very often.

Whether your team is still in the FA Cup or not, leave your comments below about the importance you place on the competition.

The Seventy Two
The Seventy Two published an outstanding series of articles about the Football League between 2010-12 and was the brainchild of Leicester City fan, David Bevan. As well as collaborating with The Two Unfortunates on the Football League Blog Network and a mammoth 2011-12 season preview, the site featured a host of leading bloggers and David was rewarded with a nomination in the 2011 Football Supporters’ Federation awards. Latterly, he was joined as co-editor by Joe Harrison and TTU is happy to present this archive of the site’s output.

1 Comment

  1. Lee Sharrard
    January 21, 2011

    For me, as a Leicester City fan, it is difficult to overstate the importance of the FA Cup. We’ve made four finals, in 1949, 1961, 1963 and 1969. We lost them all. I would dearly love a Cup Final for my generation (I’m 27), and a winning one for the generations who saw us fall at the final hurdle. My darkest (on the pitch) moment as a football fan was that which saw teletext transfer Roy Essandoh head home the winner for Wycombe at Filbert Street in March 2001. I remember standing dejected at full time, behind the very goal into which Essandoh nodded his side through to a semi final date with Liverpool.

    The FA Cup hasn’t been very good to me over the years. But still, every season, I wait in eager anticipation for the third round draw. Maybe, just maybe, this will be the year. I like to think I’m a realist. We will never win the league in my lifetime. Not unless somebody pumps billions into the club. But the FA Cup? Why not? I’ve watched at Wembley as we have won play off and League Cup finals. I’ve witnessed European football at Filbert Street, and seen automatic promotion to the top flight secured at the Walker’s Stadium. But success in the FA Cup has eluded us, both in my time following Leicester City and throughout the history of the club. It is perhaps for that reason that it is the competition I would love us to win most of all.


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