I am struggling to understand the indignation from many in the media today particularly those that work for BBC, Skysports and BTsports regarding teams resting players for the FA cup; accusing teams of disrespecting the cup. They sound like they all just woke up from a time capsule when the FA cup was a prestigious cup to win and have found themselves in the middle of an FA cup apocalypse, very pretentious forgetting the roles they the big TV corporations have played in relegating the FA cup  to where it is. It’s no news the FA cup is not what it used to be in an era where money is the order of the day in football, an era where TV scheduling and their ratings takes prominence over fans and their welfare.

To the TV pundits complaining about the lack of respect for the romance and history of the FA cup, I have a question, why did BT choose to air the Arsenal and Southampton game when a non league team like Lincoln City who barely get air time were playing Brighton? If indeed it’s a genuine concern to promote the magic of the FA cup, teams like Lincoln city and their fans should be getting air time regardless of who they are playing. Guess what it’s not a genuine concern from these lot, money and ratings is their concern, they are looking after their bottom line then turn round and have a go at club managers doing the same thing; looking after their players and other set priorities. Lets look at Southampton today it was their 8th or 9th(not sure) game in January and have 9 players out injured, their 36th game of the season and a PL game midweek, what exactly was the manager to do? I mean the FA cup winner gets a miserly £1.800,000 and the prestige isn’t the same. Arsenal won 2 FA cups back to back in recent times and in some sections of the media and fans alike it’s seen as some sort of consolation as it’s not the PL title or the Champions league.

Screen Shot 2017-01-28 at 21.39.50

My best tweet of the day above and I share his sentiments with youth being given a chance to shine

Screen Shot 2017-01-28 at 20.50.52

The most annoying tweet of the day for me, couldn’t be anymore patronising to the FA cup and pretentious. Talk to your TV bosses first who schedule thinking of ££££ then maybe there’s a leg to stand on with such tweets. Arsenal made that many changes too just saying.

I end with this, the FA cup is just the FA cup it’s not what it used to be and let’s stop pretending.

Is John Stones a good defender?

John Stones with Pep Guardiola

I was listening to the “world class” Alan Shearer and Phil Neville discuss this point yesterday and decided to do my own little piece.
On the face of it I can see why Stones get’s so much stick and typing this I can vividly recall careless back passes from Stones that have led to goals or almost led to goals but I will say I still rate him. The potential is there but the problem is with those that are currently being asked to mentor him in the centre of that defence; Otamendi, and Kolarov. I ask myself how Pellegrin ended up with Mangala and Otamendi in the first place and they didn’t come cheap!

Let’s be honest Otamendi will not get game time in the centre of the defence for any of the top 6 teams. His anticipation is pants and he spends so much time diving in tackles and not reading the game, also let’s not forget his penchant to play act instead of getting on with things. City have never looked a solid outfit in the centre of defence without Kompany and it was the same in the Mancini and Pellegrini eras. City have got to make a decision on Kompany’s fitness issues and his replacement, only when that is sorted will Stones begin to find his feet and comfort in the centre of City’s defence. I think it’s asking a lot to expect a young centre back to be the calming influence in that deer in headlights City defence who are very easily spooked at the moment. That back four consisting of Otamendi, Kolarov, Clichy and Sagna is spent and with a keeper that is battling confidence adapting to the PL Stones was always going to have problems playing the way he plays under Pep.

Stones is not your typical English defender known for their no nonsense displays usually summed up as ; kicking the ball to row Z, dangerous tackles interpreted as crunching or full blooded, leaving your foot in to let your opponent know you are there, jumping in front of shots, head bandage wearing with a bit of blood, chest banging aka showing passion, the list goes. He doesn’t come across as one of this type so he isn’t going to be the cup of tea of many English fans and pundits. Giving the right partner in the centre of defence in the mould and calibre of Kompany Stones will come good.