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"A mockery for English football" - University students discuss teams approach to the FA Cup


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Traditional top teams struggled to match lower opposition in the FA Cup Third Round this season.

Arsenal was dumped out of the competition at the third-round stage for the first time under Arsene Wenger’s reign after losing 3-2 away from home against Nottingham Forest.

However, despite Nottingham Forest’s good performance, the Gunners headed into the match with 9 changes, fielding a side that was far from its usual Premier League standard.

However, this was common amongst top sides, with Chelsea, Bournemouth, and Leicester also making mass changes on the way to draws against lower opposition.

We gather the opinions of University students on why teams appear to take the cup less seriously? And what this means for the competition?


Robert Pratley, University of Southampton

“The FA Cup has lost lustre because of endless rotation and degrading in comparison to the Champions League and Premier League.

Move semi-finals away from Wembley, make the winner get a CL spot instead of Europa League and people would take it seriously again.”


Matt Hardy, City, University of London

“The FA Cup is a competition which makes dreams for some clubs, and makes a mockery of English football for others.

“I get it, teams make changes because of squad rotation, league position and an opinion that the competition isn’t important.

“However, when the likes of an upper or mid-table club in the Premier League or Championship filed 9 changes it somewhat disrespects the cup and the opposition.

“For many clubs who aren’t getting relegated or promoted the FA cup is their only chance of silverware and so the use of a second-string team contradicts the ‘magic’ of the cup. It’s that magic that makes the cup.”


Josh Green, Staffordshire University

“Fixture congestion is a big issue, but for top Premier League / Championship sides it allows youth players some exposure and experience.”


Hannah Ferguson, City, University of London

“It’s important because it’s an opportunity for more trophies and fans love a final day out.

“However, it’s important for players to be rotated so they don’t suffer from fatigue for league games.”

Image Credit - Wikipedia Commons

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