In this new weekly feature, we will delve deep into the recent weekend of English football and have a look at the winners and losers. The recent round of FA Cup fixtures have given us a couple of giant-killings so expect to see one or two of those appear in this list.
Who else could it have been? The League One side, amidst all the confusion surrounding the Local Council and the on-pitch football, accepted the challenge of a Premier League side and turned the difference in league placings on its head. Of course it’s easy to say Bournemouth were nowhere near full strength, Eddie Howe made 11 changes, but The Lions humiliated the Premier League side. Despite what Paul Merson would have you believe, Bournemouth will not win the FA Cup this season; because of Millwall.
2) Plymouth Argyle
I may be wrong in this but I don’t think a goalless draw has ever been cheered so much as it was on Sunday at Anfield. Plymouth, who are currently 2nd in League 2, took on Klopp’s men and matched them for the full 90 minutes. It wasn’t glamorous by any stretch of the imagination, but you could feel the “magic” of the FA Cup returning as Underdogs faced off against Giants, and won (sort of). The replay at Home Park on Wednesday 18th January promises to be an electric atmosphere and a hostile environment for the men from Merseyside to visit.
3) Wycombe Wanderers
This entry may seem surprising considering the results Wolves and Derby had against Premier League opposition on Saturday. However, Wycombe manoeuvred their way past Stourbridge with considerable ease, despite the pressure that their league standing, in comparison, placed on them. This result meant Wycombe entered the fourth-round draw and they were pulled out of the hat away to Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane, leading to scenes of delight from the Wycombe players. I urge you to search for that video, it will reignite your love for the FA Cup and it’s what the FA Cup is all about.
1) Neil Warnock
Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock claimed that he “struggled to get out of bed” for his side’s FA Cup match against Fulham on Sunday. Less than 6,000 turned up to watch a half-changed Cardiff labour to a 1-2 defeat against fellow Championship side Fulham. Warnock also claimed he was surprised so many people turned up and remarked that the crowd was “a thousand more” than he expected. Poor form…
2) Hull City Vs Swansea City
An all Premier League tie with two new managers doing battle against one another in their first games for their respective clubs. A chance for one of these teams to make light of what has been pretty terrible league campaigns for both clubs in, what is undisputed, the best cup competition in the world; the stage was set. Then just 6,608 people including 210 Swansea fans showed up. This is a very sad reflection of what the FA Cup means to some fans nowadays and for a match like this, is a truly terrible turnout. Despite Swansea being losers on the day, I think we can agree all involved in this match were the real losers.
3) Rob Page
The biggest loser of the week, undoubtedly, is Rob Page. Away from the FA Cup, Page’s Northampton travelled to Bristol Rovers, hoping for their first victory since Boxing Day. Zero goals scored and five goals conceded later, they were back home pointless. Then, Rob Page found himself having to publicly apologise for saying the match was like “men against girls”. To compound Page’s woes, he was sacked by Northampton less than 48-hours after their defeat to Bristol Rovers. Let’s say it has been a week to forget for Rob Page as he embarks on his next step in football.