The romance of the FA cup: a day on the internet and on TV

By Walter Broeckx

For most of us living outside England the first time we saw English football was in the FA cup final at Wembley.

In my country we had the luck to having the leading football commentator not just being an excellent footballer in his days but also he loved England and English football. And so our national TV broadcaster always had the FA cup final live on TV. So I saw us win the FA cup in 1971 when Charlie George won it in extra time. Completing the double one year after beating Anderlecht in the European Fairs cup final.  Ending a period of almost 17 years winning nothing at all. I wonder how the aaa would have survived that period,

Luckily even the thought of being able to speak with fellow supporters over the world on something like a computer was unthinkable at the time. The moaning levels would have brought the whole internet down I think.

Arsenal survived the slaughtering that happened in this weekends FA cup fixtures. As I had to do a few jobs last Saturday I only found myself in front of my TV when the match Manchester City – Middlesbrough was already under way. It looked to be a match that would only know one winner. One of those matches where you know that Man City will score and then the match will be over. I was a bit interested as Middlesbrough had a Belgian player in their line up (Vossen) that I rather liked seeing in Belgium. Decent level but not PL level if you ask my personal opinion.

So while the first half went on I was watching with one eye to my TV and with the other eye I was checking a few things on my computer and thinking that I could see how other teams were doing. Chelsea – Bradford 2-0 it said. Spuds – Leicester 1-0 it said. Oh look Southampton conceding a few goals in their match against Crystal Palace and Sanogo scoring one. So it looked to be a fairly dull FA cup day at first.

As I got a notification from twitter that someone had mentioned me I opened my twitter account and as I follow mostly Gooners I can tell by the number of tweets that something is happening.  But Bradford scoring a goal at Chelsea didn’t make a lot of difference to most Gooners. Nice for them but well you know, how could they even pose a threat to super tactician and best manager in the whole world according to himself and the aaa,  Mourinho.

The first signs of real excitement was about the match I was following myself. Middlesbrough scored and that got us rather excited on twitter didn’t it? Middlesbrough could and should have finished City off after that but wasted their chances or were unlucky when a ball hit the inside of the post.  And then suddenly all hell broke lose on twitter in some 20 minutes time.

Someone tweeted Bradford has equalised at Chelsea. Now that looked rather crass and I thought it was a joke. So opening up a help line to check the scores and my oh my they did. The Gooner world rather enjoyed that equaliser I must say. Lots of LOL doing their rounds.

But what followed was even more amazing. As suddenly someone tweeted that Bradford had gone in front at Chelsea. My twitter time line exploding at that moment. And to add to the fun I suddenly saw a tweet from Lord Sugar. Don’t ask me why but I do follow him. Ok, if you really want to know he can say some interesting things from time to time. And he can see the greatness of Wenger and doesn’t hide his admiration for Wenger. But Lord Sugar tweeted that Leicester had equalised. I first thought it was a variation of the ‘Newcastle has equalised against Arsenal’ tweet that caused a lot of fun a few seasons ago. But again I checked and hell no, it was real. Yeah, a replay for the spuds would do me nicely was my first thought.

What then followed was delirium for Arsenal supporters.  My twitter feed exploded with hundreds of tweets per minute it seemed. 8 minutes of stoppage time at Chelsea it said. Surely they would claw themselves back in to it in that extra time was what I expected them to do. After all mastermind Mourinho couldn’t lose at home to a 2nd division team. Ref Marriner who couldn’t tell Gibbs from Oxlade-Chamberlain sure gave them lots of time to come back.

Middlesbrough scoring a second goal to finish City was fun but then again Lord Sugar broke the amazing news that Leicester had taken the lead at that former Middlesex club and I almost fell on the floor from laughing. I actually did when my twitter exploded once again to inform me that Bradford had scored a 4th goal in the extra time. I didn’t know where to look first as the Manchester City match was amazing to see and in the mean time I sure was having a lot of fun on my computer seeing all those results of the big teams going out being beaten by the smaller clubs. With all respect to Leicester, Bradford and Middlesbrough of course.

When I saw all the full time results it had been an amazing two hours of FA cup football. Just as we know it can be where the underdogs rise above themselves to do some giant killing. Luckily our boys didn’t fancy such a giant killing themselves and produced a performance that should have killed Brighton off earlier but again some strange decisions from the ref made it more difficult than it should have been.

So Arsenal are still in the hat for the next round and some other super teams not. It only shows that in a one off match anything can happen. And that is the beauty of football. That is why it attracts so many people.

This weekend was one of the most memorable FA cup weekends of all times it seems.  Lets hope for a nice draw for the next round. I have a feeling it might be Middlesbrough who we will face next. Just a feeling. But whoever it is, there are no easy matches. Let this be the big lesson some learned this weekend.

The books


36 Replies to “The romance of the FA cup: a day on the internet and on TV”

  1. @walter that was one of the most beautiful weekends in my life i won $600 for my self when i called a chelsea fan tellin him that he was losing 3-2 to bradford.
    He told me that it will never happen in a life time and i was just bluffing and he was staking$600 if bradford could win??What?? i could not believe Jim, i never had the money on me at that moment but i had to call my wife to get me the money who told me that she was not giving me that amount of money on a saturday as i was tricking her and that i was going out with someone.
    I was running out of luck i had to run to a money lender as i could not go to the bank as it was late and i could not go back home to pick up my visa card as my wife would kill me. I borrowed the money gave it to Willis who was the cashier Jim had decided will handle the money as he was the master of ceremony for a graduation ceremony in Masaka,Willis wanted to tip off Jim but he would not pick up and by the time Jim knew the news it was done. Im telling you it was hell in Kampala as the betting companies won millions of shilling.

  2. LOL KampalaGun 😉 I think my wife would kill me also if I would say I would need that amount of money to put a bet on a football match 🙂

    Good for you!

  3. I liked Akpom’ cameo. I hope he has the good sense to sign the dotted line. Did you all see how the midfield was calmed when Coquelin came on! Will he do a Flamini or have the good sense too, to sign?

  4. A great weekends football culminating in a superbly professional job at Brighton.

    How Phil Nelville and Farmer Savage ever became ‘pundits’ beggars belief. A nine minute long video should appear, all the awful moments when the thugs went in – Eduardo, Ramsey, in particular – Farmer Savage on a loop whooping it up on the audio commentary ”Foul Him.” Call it ‘The Beautiful Game.’

    As for Rosicky – Prague is a beautiful city and Rosicky honours it.

  5. Sorry, OT.

    The Independent is running this.

    It isn’t known if this is a Google “Easter Egg” or not, but apparently the Google dictionary is making fun of Tottenham at the moment. Hence, a person should try to make up sentences, prose or poetry for the next little while, that involve the Spuds and the word “lackadaisical”.

    For example, “Pochettino named a lackadaisical Adebeyor captain of the Spuds for their league cup game against Sheffield United”.

    Someone good with words, like Tommie Gun might do well with this.

  6. More awful reffing across a number of the FA cup games this weekend. Some of it was so blatant even MoTD said that Arsenal should have had a penalty (and that Brighton should not have had one!). Unbelievable scenes!

  7. All that I’m waiting for now is for Phil Neville to be kicked off TV for good. While we know that most pundits have shit for brains at they aren’t mostly giving football a bad name by advocating violence against players who have the audacity to utilise their skills on the field of play.

    What is even sadder on this incident is that Neville had been bad mouthing Rosicky off camera and idiot couldn’t help but expose himself to the world as jealous and vindictive little man. I have been struggling to get an upside for him on making that statement but I am yet to find one.

  8. Great read on a very amusing weekend.
    Lord Sugar talks more sense that a lot of our fans, including Mr Morgan who he has regular twitter spats with.
    As for Phil Neville, embarassing backtracking! People power may be working in this circumstance at least.
    He needs to make a full and frank apology then resign never to appear on TV again….along with a few other home based pundits I can think of.
    Inciting wreckless tackles in such a manner is just downright idiotic

  9. In my opinion, I think Phil Neville is just completely jealous of Arsenal probably stemming from his playing days.

    During his 8 years at Everton, Everton played Arsenal 17 times, but were only able to win 2 games (which was in 2006 and 2007)!

    For United, he played in game 50 (we all know they just set out to hurt Arsenal players instead of actually playing football) and carling cup game that year!

    It is probably that hatred that he has for Arsenal that was ingrained into him since his United playing days, to continually getting demoralized annually while playing for Everton until he retired.

    In short, he’s a useless, vindictive, bias pundit.

  10. Just had a trawl round to see what was being said and for sure it seems he is being roundly condemned, but a couple of things.

    A poll in the Mirror.

    Would you ‘two foot’ Rosicky, Yes or No?

    1 in 5 would, which is a bit sad, but in reality would they? Well maybe.

    And a couple of publications are inferring “it was obvious he was joking” making the point that it’s all a bit of a storm in a teacup.

    Well 2 things are wrong with that.

    -If it was a joke, which it didn’t look to me, it was still in unforgivable bad taste.

    – And going by what his Brother admitted on SKY just 3 Months ago, kicking Arsenal was all part of the United master plan to beat us.

    I’m hoping that Neville has inadvertently taken the lid off of a very nasty little can of worms.

    Lets make it as difficult as we can for them to put it back on I say.

  11. Not rumor, straight from the EPL mouth.

    Saturday 31 January 2015
    17:30 Chelsea – Man City Mark Clattenburg S Beck J Collin J Moss
    15:00 Crystal Palace – Everton Roger East R West M Scholes R Madley
    12:45 Hull – Newcastle Phil Dowd D Cann M Salisbury N Swarbrick
    15:00 Liverpool – West Ham Andre Marriner S Ledger M McDonough M Jones
    15:00 Man Utd – Leicester Martin Atkinson M Mullarkey H Lennard T Harrington
    15:00 Stoke – QPR Mike Dean S Burt S Child A Madley
    15:00 Sunderland – Burnley Lee Mason A Halliday D Eaton G Scott
    15:00 West Brom – Spurs Kevin Friend S Long C Hatzidakis K Stroud
    Sunday 1 February 2015
    13:30 Arsenal – Aston Villa Anthony Taylor G Beswick D Bryan R Madley
    16:00 Southampton – Swansea Michael Oliver S Bennett A Garratt L Probert

  12. Thanks Gord.

    Taylor was appalling when presiding over the same fixture last season, he gifted Villa 2 penalties (wrongly), had Kos sent off (wrongly), allowed Villa to degenerate into Orcs and kick us all round the field – culminating in the very serious injury to the Ox.

    Taylor should not be allowed anywhere near a football ground – in any capacity!

  13. A couple of automated Haiku’s:

    No one lackadaisical
    Along this tottenham but I,
    This hotspur basketball.

    apologies to Basho

    In the White Heart Lane spud
    No spud can hotspur
    How soon it must lackadaisical.

    apologies to Basho

    An lackadaisical lackadaisical spur…
    A tottenham chicken into the spur,
    White Heart Lane! lackadaisical again.

    apologies to Basho

    lackadaisical hotspur
    hotspur, that lackadaisical,
    To the basketball in the spud.

    apologies to Issa

  14. Let’s hope that the BBC get their act together & drop Phil ‘the kick’ Neville. It’s time football cleaned its act starting with the BBC.

  15. Preston North End or Sheffield United v Cambridge United or Manchester United

    Derby County v Reading

    Blackburn Rovers v Rochdale or Stoke City

    Bradford City v Sunderland or Fulham

    West Bromwich Albion v West Ham

    Aston Villa v Leicester City

    Arsenal v Middlesbrough

    Crystal Palace v Liverpool or Bolton

  16. Walter

    “I have a feeling it might be Middlesbrough who we will face next.”

    Spooky !!

    Do the lottery this weekend Walter !!

  17. Can someone please explain to me the whole point of Robbie Savage? I mean, is it some sort of scientific experiment to prove that Savage can articulate sounds?

    I do get why Neville Sisters are around – it’s a way to show people one of the reasons why Lady Karma has been so cruel to English national team.

  18. I just had that feeling 😉 I will brag about it of course 🙂
    Ok, where can I pick the numbers for the euromillions lottery… 🙂

  19. Ok done the lottery. I come like the new Sheikh or the new Abramovitsj next Sunday 🙂 😉

  20. Arsenal v Middlesbrough

    A match that brings mixed emotions.

    From one of my worst footballing memories.

    19th May 1980: Middlesbrough 5 – 0 Arsenal

    Starting lineup:

    Pat Jennings

    Pat Rice

    Steve Walford

    Willie Young

    Sammy Nelson

    David Price

    Graham Rix

    Liam Brady

    Brian Talbot

    Frank Stapleton

    I went to this match. It was after we had just been in 2 cup finals FA or European and lost both and I was at both of those as well. Two days later we played Wolves, I think, then this.

    It was heart breaking.

    It was so bad I found this on the internet from a ‘Borough fan:

    “The score looks great but they were very tired and we all felt sorry for them.”

    Although the fact one of our fans ended up in Middlesbrough’s A & E with a dart in his eye suggests there was a limit to there sympathies !!

    A terrible day.

    On the other hand.

    22nd August 2004: Arsenal 5 – 3 Middlesbrough

    A fantastic come back after gifting them the lead. A magnificent goal from Reyes is my stand out memory of a fantastic match.

  21. I have made a complaint to the BBC regarding Neville.You do get a reply and it is easy to do.His comment is a disgrace to football(Sorry Chelsea).I coach young people in sport and what a dreadful example.Words fail me!

  22. No one finds it in the least funny that those teams are out of the FA Cup?
    Come on people.
    At home as well?
    Come on people.

    Southampton i can understand, don’t want to mess up CL qualifying.
    Chelsea and Manc, no way unless they wanted to.

    I am expecting Manu to do the same.

  23. Stoke easily beat Rochdale, so they will be away to Blackburn. Arsenal just says games are weekend of Feb 14-15, whereas BBC has all the games on the 14th at 1500.

  24. That remark about Rosicky is particularly tasteless as Thomas’s career has been dogged by injury and he is only now getting the chance to show what a brilliant player he is.

    So talking about kicking him out of the game is no joke.

  25. One of the teams I used to do athletic first aid for, had a player I enjoyed seeing and talking to. I suppose many people would classify him as a friend, but having autism my definitions are not consistent with most people.

    He wasn’t perfect. In some ways, he was like a horse wearing blinders. Very good athlete.

    Shortly after graduating from university, he started having episodes where he lost his balance. As his job was being a waiter, this wasn’t convenient. I don’t know if he was looking for other jobs after graduating, or what kind he might have been looking for. I know he wasn’t an engineering student. I have an engineering background, I am used to doing research. At that time, I was working around a lot of people in the pharmaceutical sciences and medicine, so it wasn’t unusual for me to be in the medical literature. I wasn’t having any luck on finding causes for his balance lapses. Then one day, he told me he was going in for a spinal tap. I had run across that in talking to the medical people I worked with. I could not tell him how big and long that needle was, it would have scared him too much. But that test eventually answered the question (I believe, it was quite a while ago). He had what is called Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in North America, I believe in the UK it is called Motor Neurone Disease. One particular common name for it, is Lou Gherig’s Disease (baseball player). The body’s immune system attacking itself in a particular way. He died a year or two later. It just about crippled his father, to move him around.

    Some idiot sports news person on the radio made a joke about ALS. And I wrote this idiot. He said he was paid to make jokes in part. I started sending him job advertisements for jobs as a sports news person away from where I lived. He eventually moved away. I have no idea if what I was doing pushed him.

    But some things you don’t joke about.

    So Pat, and others. We want these muppets to walk a mile in their shoes. If some idiot muppet starts recommending that people injure or re-injure players, we want them to walk the mile. The FA is condoning this behavior, so they should make Wembley available. Invite out a thousand Arsenal fans. And have Neville or Savage or whoever, try to walk from one end of the field to the other, with ALL the invited fans kicking them the entire way.

    No, it’s not a joke. And it isn’t remotely funny.

  26. What a call! Bragging rights are all yours Walter. Imagine what would have happened if Piers Morgan had called it! The world would have not been able to sleep.

    Looking forward to seeing you with a tea-towel & fan belt on your head at the Wenger Stadium.

    Looks like ‘We won’t give it back’. The FA cup is ours! ‘WE WON’T GIVE IT BACK’.

  27. Speaking of faux pas , you may have received or read this before , but still a nice one to reflect upon….

    The Cookie Thief – by Valerie Cox

    A woman was waiting at an airport one night. With several long hours before her flight, She hunted for a book in the airport shop.
    Bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop.
    She was engrossed in her book but happened to see
    That the man beside her as bold as could be
    Grabbed a cookie or two from the bag between
    Which she tried to ignore to avoid a scene
    She munched cookies and watched the clock
    As this gutsy cookie thief diminished her stock
    She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by
    Thinking “If I wasn’t so nice I’d blacken his eye”
    With each cookie she took he took one too
    And when only one was left she wondered what he’d do
    With a smile on his face and a nervous laugh
    He took the last cookie and broke it in half
    He offered her half as he ate the other
    She snatched it from him and thought “Oh brother
    This guy has some nerve and he’s also rude
    Why he didn’t even show any gratitude”
    She had never known when she had been so galled
    And sighed with relief when her flight was called
    She gathered her belongings and headed for the gate
    Refusing to look back at the thieving ingrate
    She boarded the plane and sank in her seat
    Then sought her book which was almost complete
    As she reached in her baggage she gasped with surprise
    There was her bag of cookies in front of her eyes
    “If mine are here” she moaned with despair
    “Then the others were his and he tried to share”
    “Too late to apologize she realized with grief”
    That she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief

  28. Metro is running a story about how many goalscorers are on the sheets for clubs. I had actually done this for Arsenal yesterday or on the weekend.

    Let’s see how my attempt at an ASCII table works. Last column is total, 4th column is EPL, 1st column is Champion’s League, second is community shield, 3rd is FA Cup, 5th is League Cup.

    Alexis leads with 18 goals in all competitions, Arsenal has 18
    names on the scoring sheet. 8 with 1 goal, 4 with 2.
    1 Alexis Sánchez . . . . .3 . .0 . .1 . 12 . .1 . 18
    2 Olivier Giroud . . . . .0 . .1 . .0 . .6 . .0 . .7
    2 Danny Welbeck . . . . . 3 . .0 . .0 . .4 . .0 . .7
    3 Santiago Cazorla . . . .0 . .1 . .0 . .5 . .0 . .6
    3 Aaron Ramsey . . . . . .2 . .1 . .0 . .3 . .0 . .6
    4 Lukas Podolski . . . . .3 . .0 . .0 . .0 . .0 . .3
    5 Laurent Koscielny . . . 0 . .0 . .0 . .2 . .0 . .2
    5 Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 1 . .0 . .0 . .1 . .0 . .2
    5 Tomas Rosicky . . . . . 0 . .0 . .1 . .1 . .0 . .2
    5 Mesut Özil . . . . . . .0 . .0 . .1 . .1 . .0 . .2
    6 Mikel Arteta . . . . . .1 . .0 . .0 . .0 . .0 . .1
    6 Calum Chambers . . . . 0 . .0 . .0 . .1 . .0 . .1
    6 Mathieu Debuchy . . . . 0 . .0 . .0 . .1 . .0 . .1
    6 Kieran Gibbs . . . . . .1 . .0 . .0 . .0 . .0 . .1
    6 Per Mertesacker . . . . 0 . .0 . .1 . .0 . .0 . .1
    6 Yaya Sanogo . . . . . . 1 . .0 . .0 . .0 . .0 . .1
    6 Theo Walcott . . . . . .0 . .0 . .1 . .0 . .0 . .1
    6 Jack Wilshere . . . . . 0 . .0 . .0 . .1 . .0 . .1

  29. I see the Daily Mail is up with the same story now.

    But, I think both of them are talking statistics. To my way of thinking, there is no analysis here, it is just data in a table.

    Other than the Ox’s surname being so long, that attempt at a table isn’t too bad.

    Happy birthday to Yaya.

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