Does the FA Cup still have its magic

FA Cup weekend saw clubs from the Premier League to the National League South compete in the third round of the competition. The tie of the round saw Arsenal and Liverpool go head to head at the Emirates. Jakub Kiwior’s own goal and Luis Diaz’s late strike sent Liverpool into the fourth round. The Reds progression to the next round means they are still fighting on all fonts this season. National League and National league South clubs going far in the competition is remarkable given how much it will benefit them financially. Here at extra time talk we will delve into whether the FA Cup has lost it’s magic.

Only one underdog winner since Wigan in 2013

Since Wigan defeated Man City in the 2013 FA Cup final Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Man United and Man City have all gone on to the win the cup. The only real surprise was when Leicester defeated Chelsea in the 2019 final to win there first ever FA Cup. This highlights that more often then not a more fancied team will go on to win the competition. This is unfortunate as the big six tend to rotate their best players in the early rounds of the FA Cup.

Non League teams go far

The third round of the FA Cup consisted of four Non League clubs Maidstone United (National League South), Aldershot Town (National League), Chesterfield(National League) and Eastleigh(National League). Maidstone United are the biggest Cinderella story out of the aforementioned teams as they are the lowest ranked team in the third round of the competition. The Stones already pulled off a major upset in the competition when they defeated League Two side Barrow in the previous round.

Aldershot reached the third round for the first time in 10 years while Chesterfield and Eastleigh were looking to make history in the competition.

Big six rest star players

The Premier League’s big six don’t tend to start there best team in the FA Cup. Pep Guardiola did not start Kevin De Bruyne , Kyle Walker, Nathan Ake, Rodri or Ederson in the 5-0 win over Huddersfield in the third round. Liverpool didn’t start Diogo Jota and Ryan Gravenberch in the 0-2 win against Arsenal at the Emirates.  Man United, Chelsea and Spurs should go strong in the competition as it there best chance of silverware this season.

Difficult to win the competition

Man City have only won 2 FA Cup’s in the last 10 years which is stunning as they are the dominant force in English football. Arsenal ,who are known as FA Cup specialists, haven’t won the competition since beating Chelsea in the 2020 final. Spurs haven’t even been to a FA Cup final since Wigan last won the trophy in 2013. A massive reason for this is that the FA Cup is a one off cup competition where shocks can happen on any given day. Back in 2010 Leeds United scraped a 0-1 win against Man United at Old Trafford, more recently (2019) Newport County edged a home tie vs Leicester City and last season Aston Villa were stunned by Stevenage at Villa Park.

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