They celebrated like they’d won the FA Cup (quarter final)

27 May

That’s controversial. The Football Association have announced that FA Cup quarter final replays are to be scrapped. Brentford haven’t reached that stage since playing Liverpool in the 1988/89 campaign but this could still have significant impact. And following on from yesterday’s article about the most recent Terrace Talk double bill, we take a quick look at what the next logical step for next season could be.

But first, those changes to the FA Cup. Chief Executive Martin Glenn has been quoted as saying that as part of an ongoing review, this move “adds excitement”.   Whilst the replays will stay in place up to and including round 5, this move is also intended to help ease fixture congestion.

Liverpool v Brentford 2

The Bees haven’t played an FA Cup quarter final since Livepool in 88/89

Of course, we’ve already seen replays in the semis and the final itself disappear in recent years but those are played at a neutral ground. Or Wembley as it has been known since the national stadium was reopened.

And this is what strikes me as odd. You are changing the rules mid-tournament and handing a massive advantage to the home team in this quarter final stage.

The traditionalist in me would love replays to run all the way through to the final but that’s just not going to happen given the already overcrowded calendar.  At least, though, those games take place at a stadium that, travel aside, favours neither team. This is different.

The chance to hold on for the draw and bring them back to your place is gone. And does this mean that in the bid for further fixture review we’ll follow suit in the earlier rounds? Surely it should be all or nothing?

Instead of the ongoing devaluation of our oldest cup competition, if you want to ease fixture congestion then just scrap the Worthless aka League Cup. Most teams use this as an excuse to play the kids anyway – even Brentford who ended up on the wrong end of last season’s 4-0 humbling at home to Oxford United. Three goals down before 8pm (it had been a 7.45 kick off) we got everything we deserved after joining the ranks of those paying lip service to this tournament.

And while we’re at it, semi-finals at Wembley. Just no. No. The final should be a showpiece event. A trip to Wembley should be that rarest of treats and due reward for making the last round. Not a dress rehearsal to maximise revenue for the FA and cause supporters all manner of travel headaches. Villa Park, Hillsborough ,The Emirates and Old Trafford are amongst those which would be more than able to handle an event of this nature and restore some much needed tradition to the tournament.

Ah yes, but apparently Wembley allows the maximum amount of people to see the semis. That’ll be the sound of the woodwork being vacated. And by that logic, play the quarters there too. Hey, what about some plum fourth round ties?

As I say, this will all make little difference to Brentford, anyway. We’ve struggled to get past the 3rd round since that epic, Gary Blissett inspired run took us all the way to Anfield and the 4-0 loss at the hands of all conquering Liverpool (kids, ask your dads). The odd dalliance with the middle stages aside, from which I’d imagine Gary Breen is still having DJ Campbell inspired nightmares, we’re normally done by the end of January. But you can still live in hope.

image(1) copy

Bliss makes it 3-1 v his beloved Manchester City in the FA cup 4th round

Back to Griffin Park and yesterday’s article focussed on the brilliance of Terrace Talk. Which then got the mind wandering over the course of the day (outside of working hours, if you’re reading boss)  – how do we top it next time out?

First thought was a couple of ‘one-off specials’ . We’ve already talked about a kit launch special but how about a day in the life of Griffin Park? Jo and Sean taking us through the match day routine – from the Griffin Park gates being unlocked int he morning to the floodlights being turned off at the end of the day. All, of course, delivered via their own enthusiastic spin.

How about ‘Terrace Talk on the road’ ? Brentford travel well and it would give those who couldn’t make the game a chance to see things they would, ordinarily, get an insight on.

Or rather than Terrace Talk, could Jo or Sean take things to the next level with Dressing Room Talk ?  Cameras in the changing rooms aren’t a new thing but how good would it be to get the player’s take on Jo’s ‘big question’ before the game and, perhaps, their views on performance at full time.

Could it happen? Who knows? Just as long as those Terrace Talks cameras are back in one form or another then I’ll be a happy man.

Jo Tilley Terrace Talk

Will Jo do the ‘walk and talk’ next season?

Nick Bruzon

Plug time (regular readers know the score from here) : As ever, The Last Word ‘season review’ : Ready. Steady. Go Again and the three year anthology : The Bees are going up remain available for download. Should anybody want to go over this nonsense and relive these moments once more then you can do so now.

It has been a stunning few years. Here’s to more of the same. We may have had a few lows (something about a penalty, the football village, the FA Cup, the pitch, the Marinus experiment) but there have been plenty more highs as the Bees made an unexpected challenge for the Premier League.

Thanks for reading.

 

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2 Responses to “They celebrated like they’d won the FA Cup (quarter final)”

  1. RebelBee May 27, 2016 at 7:52 am #

    Agree with you 100% on the cups, everything the administrators touch in the name of “progress” seems to devalue tournaments other than the league competition. Give them time and they’ll wreck that next, with some completely mad idea like 4 leagues of 20 teams, (i’ll get my coat).

    As for fixture congestion and winter breaks, i’d have more time for those pushing this agenda if the clubs (sorry brands) didn’t all embark on summer tours around Asia, the US and alike. We all know it’s not about the good of the game, it’s all about the cash money – so stop mugging us all off. If the FA / PL want to have influence in changing the FL competition i’d suggest they pony up a much larger slice of the new TV money to the FL72 (money that all of us with Sky / BT are paying for).

    We don’t have the best football leagues, we have the most exciting / competitive – the pyramid system gives everyone a crack and is the strength of our game, mess with it and it’ll implode.

  2. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) May 27, 2016 at 3:41 pm #

    In my post Cup Final rant here on Sunday, I said that the people who devalue the cup most are the FA themselves and BBC/ITV. So yesterday’s announcement came as no surprise, particularly because Quarter Final Replays in recent years have been so hard to schedule because of an unnecessarily elongated Champions League schedule (& UEFA are worrying why there product is now showing signs of failure…prob selling TV rights in one of your biggest territories to a minority station has a lot to do with it…but thats for another day) and UEFA’s insistence that their schedule should not be interfered with.

    Im like you, I see no reason not to continue with replays all the way through to the Final, and even back to the days when you were on your 3rd or 4th replay. This practice occurred when English clubs were Kings of Europe, didnt seem to do them any harm!

    But I will go against tradition for the Cup Final kick off time. For me in the 21st Century, the Cup Final should be Prime Time Saturday night TV, up against Ant & Dec, kick off 7.45, with an amazing atmosphere at Wembley with dusk falling on a sunny late May evening. It should be a spectacle. It should be the ‘event’ it used to be. Not 5.30 which is neither here nor there

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