Monday, March 10, 2008

It's Coming Home...

Football... football is coming home.

I'm not talking mere geography here... I am talking "spiritually".

Farewell to the corporate suits, WAGs, big names and usual suspects. The 2008 F.A. Cup is well on it's way to once more set in stone what the beautiful game is all about. It demonstrates the simple but elegant truth that for all the giants out there... sooner or later a David comes along.

Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United (HOORAY) all fell by the wayside, as a path was cleared for the unlikeliest of semi-final fixtures:

Here's how Chelsea fell:

and Man United:

Look at the charmed life that both Barnsley and Porstmouth lived! They certainly rode their luck, but that is what the game is about. Sir Alex Ferguson and his cohorts are naturally grumbling at the referee... but let them! United have certainly benefited from their own unfair share of refereeing decisions *cough* especially when Mike Riley referees (it would seem) *cough*. You have to admit though, it must take nerves of steel to give to decisions as big as the ones given in that game.

The F.A. Cup does not exclusively belong to a predestined clique of big clubs. The F.A. Cup belongs to the game of football itself. The lowliest teams aspire to achieve it... it is the holy grail of English football (and Welsh - not forgetting Cardiff).

Had this just been another case of one of a major Premiership side winning... i somehow think people would be less interested. Now that the competition has opened up in the latter stages, people's imagination has been captured once more... the dream of what might be.

There is only one Premiership side left - Portsmouth. Having seen the draw... and watched how the two sides have played (both in terms of skill and luck), I predict a Barnsley/Portsmouth final.

I really do hope that Barnsley go all the way. It will go down in history as an amazing day in football history if they do.

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