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The FA Cup it is Then

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Wednesday afternoon from my bleak Merseyside office and only now have the levels of fume began to drop, and some optimism return for the next game.

Great being a football fan isn’t it?

West Brom

There is a famous saying that I can’t seem to find the origins of that goes something like: “I can deal with disappointment, but it’s the hop that kills me.”  Never has a truer phrase been spoken. We went into the West Brom game on the back of three straight 3-0 wins and with Joel remaining in goal ahead of a fit-again Tim Howard.

In our group we had bets of 2-0, 3-0 and even 6-1 (my 5 year old), an easy win was predicted, even given that we were playing a Tony Pulis side.

What happened was actually a perfect reflection of how much of the season has gone. West Brom got a set piece, the ball was crossed in and Howard, sorry Robles let it drift over his head.

Let’s just be honest for a minute here too, if it was actually Howard who had let that goal in imagine the levels of anger towards Martinez for putting him back in?

Anyway back to the game and we pressed and pressed and pummelled the goal with over 30 attempts and again found a visiting ‘keeper in inspired form.

The substitutions were also a reflection of the season too. On came Kone, Deulofeu and Osman with Mirallas staying on the bench and incredibly Everton man-of-the-match Lennon coming off.

I read a report that said something like “Lukaku was mis-firing but Kone can’t even load the gun”, I would take this a step further and say that he can’t even find the gun or the bullets. He slowed up play, gave the ball away and was terribly ineffective.

The game ended 1-0 to the Baggies, obviously and Pulis clawed more points from a team with his anti-football.


So now that’s out of the way, here’s something to ponder: given that Robles started in the league – which ‘keeper will now play in the cup?

I would suggest that Robles may keep his place for the game at the weekend, only because the reason to play the other ‘keeper in cups is to give him game time. Tim has played plenty this year and to be honest could do with some time away from the spotlight.

Elsewhere in the squad there could be a healthy amount of changes. Players like Deulofeu, Osman, Pienaar, Baines, Stones and Niasse are all pushing for game time and could give a rest to some players who have featured heavily recently like Barry, Mori and Lennon.

All in all whatever team we put out should be good enough to get us through to the Quarter Finals of the FA Cup, but perhaps showing the players a DVD of the last game down there might be an idea (and the fans 😉 ).

So Come on You Blues – let’s take that winning feeling off your your winter training camp in Qatar!