F A Cup

After 4 league games without a win, 9 goals conceded, only 2 goals scored and with injuries and suspensions exposing our paper thin squad, a trip to our local rivals Sunderland in the F A Cup is the last thing we need. A good hiding against premiership opposition could set us back even greater. Our midfield is threadbare Kevin Thompson and Julio Arca suspended, after both getting red cards at Coventry, Nicky Bailey still injured, as is Merouane Zemmama.
Of course in cup games anything is possible, just ask my two Real Radio legends partners Micky Horswill who was in the Sunderland team which beat the great Leeds Utd back in 1973, against all the odds the Black Cats lifted the F A Cup at Wembley, on the other hand Malcolm Macdonald was part of a successful Newcastle side and back in Feburary 1972, travelled to Hereford as red hot favourites, don’t forget the Magpies were a 1st division outfit and the opponents were non league, what happened? Newcastle were dumped out of the competition losing 2-1.
My own memories of cup competitions are, I remember Middlesbrough struggling to overcome minnows Sutton United back in 1988. It took us 2 games and extra time to disperse of them. Every year I was involved it was a early exit I’m afraid. My only fond memory of the F A Cup was scoring a hat trick in a 3-0 victory over Blackpool.
Of course Middlesbrough FC’s first ever Wembley F A Cup final appearance was against Chelsea back in 1997. I remember doing the commentary that day and I had just taken my seat when we were 1-0 down after only 45 seconds, Roberto Di Matteo was the goal scorer.
In my opinion the F A Cup in recent years has been tarnished and lost its sparkle. Ever since Man Utd agreed to skip the competition back in 1999 to take part in the World Team Championship held in Brazil, it has never quite recovered. Crowds have fallen, managers have picked inferior teams. At the time the F A used Man Utd as a pawn, they thought that by releasing the Red Devils, this would aid England’s chances of a 2006 World Cup bid. For me the F A and Man Utd decision to bow out of the F A Cup proved again that there is only one thing that really matters in football, money.
Back to Sundays clash against the Mackems, it will be a benchmark as to how far we have come under the influence of manager Tony Mowbray, or it will highlight how far we have got to go.
Regarding the ticket fiasco.
I sympathise with the Middlesbrough fans who failed to purchase a ticket, of course there has only been 3,000 up for grabs, despite it being played at a stadium that holds 49,000. By all accounts the poultry ticket allocation is down to Sunderlands safety advisory group. I have to ask the question, when is our club going to learn, when it comes to dealing with tickets? By all accounts people started queuing outside the ticket office at 4 in the morning in arctic conditions, the que seemingly went round to the north stand. When the doors opened people were purchasing as many tickets as they liked. We had umpteen callers on the legends show, some delighted, some distraught. One guy came on and said ” I’m here to defend my mam, she purchased 60 tickets and people are giving her stick.”A father of 3 followed ” I was fortunate enough to purchase 10 for my family and friends. ” Colin who has been a season ticket holder for 35 years wasn’t so lucky, he raged I qued for an hours only to be told sold out.
I have not got a problem with the people that purchased large amounts of tickets, good luck to them, if I was offered a large amount, I would gladly accept them. But shouldn’t the football club have restricted people to 4 per person. Going with the people at our clubs theory, purchase as many tickets as you like, what would have happened if the guy that was first in the que had wanted 3,000, I will tell you what would have happened there would have been a riot.
Good luck to Mogga and the team on Saturday, win, lose or draw we all know what the priority is this season.

One Response to “F A Cup”

  1. Andy M says:

    ‘the poultry ticket allocation’ Ha ha! I like it !
    Maybe Boro fans are just chickens and don’t want to go ….

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