I like the cup, even if nobody else does

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Cracking game on Sunday. I was going to say something along the lines of “cracking game on Sunday” this morning, but was scuppered by an insomniac child. Blogging is not high on the agenda when you are trying to peel your eyes open of a morning.

It’s been said several hundred times, but they gave us a real game, and for me it was a proper cup-diddly. Sadly, elsewhere it was a weekend that saw the venerable old competition hammered by low crowds and weak line-ups.

Why is this? Pretty obvious really: owners of Premier League clubs would rather dance merry jigs over hot coals than suffer relegation from the Premier League, so they adjust their season’s goals accordingly. But what a sad state of affairs that is. Going on a cup run can spur a side on whether they are doing well or struggling.

Closer to the bone are the prices. My brother went all sentimental on me this evening by reminding me that, as a Junior Gunner back in the day, he could pay £3 for a standing place in the enclosure, then pop over Highbury’s brilliantly feeble dividing fence onto the North Bank. For £3. The simple fact is, supporters pick and choose the games that are not in their season ticket, and who can blame them with prices as they are? Maybe it’s a cup credit crunch.

Not everyone dislikes the old jug though: my ‘fair play’ of the weekend goes to the supporters of Bristol Rovers, whose 7,000 fans outnumbered the home fans at Craven Cottage. Worth the trip too, by all accounts.

What else? Jens hasn’t gone yet, and the rumour mill doth weave since Diarra was not even included in the squad for the FA Cup 3rd round. There’s something happening there, clearly.

Oh, and it’s red stripes or black and white stripes in the 4th round of the cup. The Blaydon Races or Delilah – take your pick.


Arsenal since about 1979. Thick, thin and all that.