Friday, January 04, 2008

FA Cup preview

"We are one people, and our time for change has come."

I never previously knew that Barack Obama was a Charlton fan (although I always found it curious that his campaign colours were red and white), but sometimes it takes a famously eloquent orator like the next President to stand up for Charlton fans everywhere, and declare his hopes for Alan Pardew's team selection on Saturday.

Frankie Valley stole my thunder this morning by declaring, "...I can't remember the last time I felt so disinterested in a game of footy." It's not that the FA Cup has entirely lost its romance (although the flowers are certainly wilting), but we are in the midst of a faltering promotion campaign, quite literally pleading for a break from the monotony, and who do the old farts at the FA pitch us up against? West bleedin' Bromwich Albion.

I've been known to a take a day off sick with 'Cup Fever' before Third Round weekend, but I soldiered into the office on this occasion. Indeed, I can easily reel off the winners and runners-up of all the FA Cups from 1977 until the late-1990s, but then I begin to struggle and honestly off the top of my head can't recall who won it in 2007 (Chelsea maybe? Or was it Arsenal? Who cares?).

Although the television companies have been slow to pick up on it, FA Cup ties between teams from the same division are not interesting (at least in the earlier rounds). Infact they're dull beyond belief, not necessarily the game itself which might turn out to be moderately entertaining, but the fact that no possible result tomorrow could conceivably be considered a surprise, even a Charlton win. And that's just not what Cup football is meant to be about, and the disappointing attendance will prove it.

Luckily under the likes of Curbs (and even poor old Les Reed), we certainly had our fair share of surprises, just not very pleasant ones. We would all gamely turn up at The Valley (in whatever the opposite of droves is), expecting to turn over some poor virtually part-time side (before offering them a warm standing ovation).

And then before we knew it one of our defenders had trod on the ball or something similar, and their thousands of unbelieving fans would suddenly become roused, temporarily forgetting the dire state of their home lives, and will their team onto a famous victory. They got their lap of honour alright, unfortunately it was a victory one.

I suppose given the choice, I'd rather us win tomorrow than lose (and I would loathe for us to draw), and in a way it might give us some bragging rights over the Baggies for the remainder of the campaign (although I'd rather have points than rights at this stage of the season).

Pards surely won't dare to not make the changes demanded by Senator Obama; hell, even Chris Iwelumo might get the rest which it seemed only a Holy Grail-esque amputation would ensure him:

Pards: "You are indeed brave Big Chris, but the fight is mine."
Big Chris: "Oh, had enough eh?"
Pards: "Look you stupid b*stard, you've got no arms left."
Big Chris: "Yes I have"
Pards: "Look!"
Big Chris: "Just a flesh wound."
Pards: "Ok, you'll start again on Saturday."

I hope we line up as follows: Randolph, Moutaouakil, Bougherra, McCarthy, Youga, Sam, Zheng, Racon, Thomas, Varney, Dickson. Subs: Weaver, Sankofa, McLeod, Semedo, Ambrose.

NY Addick predicts: Charlton 2 (Dickson, Zheng), WBA 2 (Gera, Philips). Att: 10, 280.


At 6:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would dribbles be the opposite of droves, or drips?

At 10:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chelsea beat Man Utd in the 2007 FA Cup Final.

Just thought you might like to know?

At 2:11 PM, Anonymous Oggy Red said...

Which one was the underdog....?


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