A Look Ahead to the FA Cup

The weekends FA cup games got under way earlier at Pride park with Derby County v Manchester United the live game.

With Louis Van Gaal seemingly on the brink after been ‘sacked’ by the print media on several occasions this season, a win against the fancied Championship team was a must. On the surface there were parallels of an under pressure Alex Ferguson’s job saving cup run of 1990 with Mark Robins saving the Scots job. The reality of the situation is far different though. Forgetting the billions of pounds that is at stake in big business, football is today, United fans in 1990 had gone over two decades since the Matt Busby dynasty and an entitlement of success had dissipated over the years. Van Gaal might have kept his job for now but he certainly has not won over the fans.

The game itself was entertaining by this seasons standards. Anthony Martial is a shining beacon for United and even in a poor team looks every inch a player for the future. Derby will take some solace in the fact that for large portions of the game they matched Man Utd in every department. They are surely a good bet for promotion.

Today has a few treats for neutral fans and general cup romantics. The early game is Colchester United v Tottenham which has all the ingredients for a shock. Spurs enter a delicate stage in the season were cup success could be sacrificed for a better chance of Champions League qualification. At Fratton park we have a south coast derby between Portsmouth and Bournemouth. The contrast in fortunes between these two clubs over the past five years has been nothing short of astonishing however with Portsmouth you have by far one of the most unique and best atmospheres in British football so a Pompey victory is a real possibility.

Articles of the week

Sobering article from @_paulhayward

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/chelsea/12122917/We-must-look-closer-to-home-before-denouncing-Russia-and-Qatars-tightening-grip-on-world-sport.html

Brilliant piece by ex Irish international and Millwall star @richiesadlier

http://m.independent.ie/sport/soccer/premier-league/richie-sadlier-you-would-never-have-seen-roy-keane-in-with-the-manchester-united-fans-34390871.html

Poignant article from Steve Beacom in the Belfast Telegraph

http://m.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sport/football/northern-ireland/hope-for-kids-out-of-tragedy-is-driving-force-for-pat-34389061.html

Worrying turn of events in Scotland regarding free speech in the press

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-35439391

Podcasts of the Week

An Excellent listen from @grahamhunter

https://audioboom.com/channels/3774543.rss

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