Minnow versus the giant

By | Sport
The FA cup.Credit@footie.co.za

The FA cup may be a unique tournament where minnows may conquer giants, enthrals fans worldwide. The history of the FA cup may be filled with these adventures.

The FA cup, might be one of the earliest football competitions which has entertained and bewildered fans for nearly 150 years and today still gains worldwide attention. The competition may be unique by virtue in which eligible teams range from professional to non-league teams, this season (2015-2016) 736 teams entered. Non league teams playing in the opening rounds and all 92 teams from the English football league automatically join after round 6. The possibility “minnows” might overcome a top professional team is the basis of why the FA cup may be abiding.

The first FA cup final to be played at Wembley occurred in 1923, a famous final where the attendance was estimated to have reached 300,000 spectators. Spectators flooded the stadium and fans even stood close to the pitch or on it, Bolton won the final 2-0 over West Ham United. The FA cup final has been played at Wembley since, although single finals have been played at other stadiums; the old Wembley stadium was replaced in 2008 by the new Wembley stadium.

Success in the FA cup may bring worldwide recognition. If a minnow is drawn to play at a big stadium this may be worth millions to a financially challenged club, if the game is televised a further standard monetary reward is available with more than 100 countries having television rights.

For a Professional team being conquered by a semi-professional or non-league team might be potentially reprehensible and may result in unwanted media attention, this drama may be what epitomises the FA cup. Even though minnows may be victorious in a single game with a giant in the early rounds, a greater chance of a giant winning the FA cup endures. The chance of conquering a giant is reduced in probability when a bigger gap in leagues exist, greater significance may often be given to a victory by a nonleague team over a league team. However, it may still occur between league teams; in 1992 Wrexham triumphed over champions of the premier league Arsenal, 92 league places below.

Albeit, Arsenal won the last final in 2015 and are the most successful team in FA cup history securing 12 titles, appearing in the final 19 times, closely followed by Manchester United with 11 wins (18 finals). The first team to win the FA cup was the Wanderers in 1872, a club from London originally comprised of pupils from the leading English public schools; unfortunately the team ceased to exist in 1884.

In recent times, results in round 5 over the weekend had one surprise, Reading 16th in the championship (second tier) came from behind to conquer West Brom 14th in the premier league (3-1). Contrary to Readings irregular form and the team invigorated by the FA cup, the result may have given fans something to be jubilant about. Manager Brian McDermott was satisfied with Reading’s performance, the team now the competition’s highest scorers with 14 goals. Other results saw Chelsea outplaying fellow premier league side Manchester City 5-1, City fielding a largely second string team. West Ham surpassed Blackburn by the same score line (1-5) and Crystal Palace progressed at the expense of Tottenham Hotspur (0-1). Arsenal have a replay at Hull city after drawing 0-0, Everton overcame Bournemouth (0-2), Watford advanced conquering Leeds United (1-0) and the Monday night game saw Shrewsbury town bow out to Manchester United (0-3). A goal laden weekend of FA cup football.

Today the structure of the FA cup may draw attention particularly in England and also worldwide, because of its unique tradition. The premier league, Champions League and World Cup may have greater reverence, however the FA cup still has a distinct magic and fans may be enthralled by the inevitable romance sometimes generated from this competition. It is inherently possible for all teams to win in the FA cup.

Why may an underdog conquering a giant in the FA cup generate captivation?


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