Monday, 27 January 2014

The Magic of the Cup

It has been a while since I've posted anything on here and, if I'm honest, I don't feel as though I miss it. I also don't think that my contribution to the Charlton bloggers is missed too much as there are a number of newer blogs and many of the established ones are still churning out quality material on a regular basis.

However, I thought I'd share my thoughts about the FA Cup run we are having this season. My first blog post a little over six years ago was about the FA Cup. We had just been drawn against Peterborough in the event that we won a replay against WBA, which we didn't. Much has changed since then but there has been a bit of a lack of commitment to the FA Cup from Charlton for much of that time - something that I have been critical of.

Not any more, all be it we made a couple of changes, six months ago no one would have batted an eyelid at the prospect of Jackson coming in for Cousins after a suspension, and Dervite and Sordell can make genuine claims to be first choice.

I had a conversation with my Dad and we decided that after last season (and those the preceded it) we would pass on the Oxford game this season. We have tended to play reserve players and have often lost against lower league opposition. We didn't buy Oxford tickets, and I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the team that failed to beat them at The Valley. The team for the replay was every bit as strong and a convincing win was the reward.

I wasn't tempted to go to Huddersfield - it is a big commitment when one only has three days notice. however Sheffield Wednesday is a different matter.

I went to the League One game in January 2011 which was a great day out. It felt (all be it we have half a season to go) like a Championship decider. I don't mean that the winner becomes champions, but that the winner was there that day and the win was worth six points, in real terms.

We won that game 1-0 and, frankly, never looked back afterwards. Sheffield Wednesday did, indeed, take second place. There is a suggestion that a lot of the reason for that was that Sheffield United imploded when Ched Evans was sent to prison, but had he not been available for the games in which he scored all those goals they wouldn't have been anywhere Wednesday at that point. Besides it's all in the past and has no real impact on the Cup game coming up.

As it happens I had planned to be away that weekend. A friend of mine from my time at Sheffield University is a Leeds fan and I was going to spend the weekend with him at his home near Middlesborough and we were going to go to the game. Thus I have a free weekend (i.e. my wife will have my son all weekend and I have no Leeds game to go to).

At the risk of sounding patronising I feel that as the club are taking the FA Cup seriously I shall do the same. Clearly I would have preferred a home tie against Wednesday, but as the club will benefit from as much money irrespective as to where the game is played I feel as though I am supporting the club by going, not only by being there but by paying for the ticket. Besides, I fully expect the tickets to be cheap and the coach is never that expensive and as I don't use it often I don't find it to be anything other than a nice drive up the motorway and back - assuming that they don't put some crap on the DVD on the way home too loud for me to close my eyes and have a snooze.

Clearly I will probably change my mind should our game be moved to the Friday night or the Sunday, but if it's on the Saturday, as I fully expect it to be, then I shall me making my way up to the city that I lived in during the early 90s.

Up the Addicks!