Whether you think the FA Cup has lost its magic or not, the world’s oldest club competition still produces plenty of drama.
This weekend was no exception, with fifth round weekend still keeping the football world hooked.
Here’s five things the latest cup weekend taught us:
Manuel Pellegrini Doesn’t Give A Fuck Anymore
It’s Pep’s problem now.
The standout tie of the round was at Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea entertained Man City. It was the clear choice for TV coverage and should have been an interesting battle, with the rapidly improving Blues taking on Pellegrini’s stuttering City.
But the Chilean manager seems to not give a fuck anymore and sent an almost unrecognisable team to play Chelsea’s first choice eleven.
No less than five City academy players made their debuts and one of them, Cameron Humphreys-Grant, is less than six months older than FC Midtyjlland.
Pellegrini is obviously concentrating on the Capital One Cup Final on Sunday, as well as the Champions League on Wednesday but it was still sad to see the cup binned off this way.
Some West Brom Fans Are Utter Cunts – (as are Chelsea fans)
NB – Coin throwing will never be tolerated.
It doesn’t matter if your team has lost to a side a league below you or been blown away by the Premier League Champions, you don’t throw objects at players.
Chris Brunt was coming over to applaud the travelling Baggies and throw his shirt into the visiting section but was nailed by a coin thrown from the crowd.
It narrowly missed his eye, splitting his cheek open, and prompted a justifiably furious reaction from the Northern Irishman.
Being knocked out by Reading isn’t the best result but still, throwing coins at your own players is disgusting and has no place in football.
Spurs May Be Starting To Feel The Pressure
Just as people start to make Spurs favourites for the title, the cracks begin to show.
Being in three competitions in February is new to Spurs, so Mauricio Pochettino could be forgiven for concentrating on one.
But the Argentine still sent out a strong team for their clash with Crystal Palace, so to lose at home will ask questions of Spurs’ credentials.
By the time they play Swansea on Sunday, Spurs could have the chance to go top of the league and it’ll be then that we start to learn whether they have the bottle to win the title.
Arsenal’s Fixture List Is A Joke
Heading into Arsenal’s clash with Hull City, the worst result for both teams was a draw.
Of course it ended all square and the teams must meet again at some point, which is the problem.
Hull are focusing on returning to the Premier League at the first attempt, while Arsenal are in the midst of the Champions League knockout stages.
UEFA rules say no domestic cup game can take place on the same day as the Champions League and with Hull’s Championship fixture list not playing ball, the next available date may be on the weekend of the sixth round – which again goes against all the tradition that the FA Cup once had.
Michael Hector Could Be Top Class
Other than the coin throwing incident, the most memorable part of the Reading v West Brom game was the performance of Michael Hector.
The 23-year-old surprisingly signed for Chelsea on summer deadline day, before being loaned back to Reading for the season, and on this display, it looks good business for the Blues.
Normally a centre back, Hector played in a holding midfield role for the Royals on Saturday and was arguably the best player on the pitch.
Strong, quick and excellent in the tackle, Hector looked good enough to play for Chelsea in the near future.
Actually, the way Chelsea have been this season he could have been in use earlier.