It felt strange that Birmingham City didn’t have a cup game this weekend. It felt even stranger to be the only one of the local teams in the Fourth Round draw and to get there without kicking a ball in the Third Round. But there we were and we found out that Birmingham City or Bristol Rovers or Crawley Town will play Swansea City.
Paul Lambert was just being honest when he said that most Premier League clubs could do without the FA Cup. For many people football is just about the money now. The big money is in the Premier League so it makes economic sense to concentrate on staying in that league and regard cup games as a distraction. But it doesn’t make football sense.
For me there is still magic in cup games. And that magic comes from the hopes and dreams that cup games inspire. There are always some upsets in the cup so even the fans of the lowliest clubs can dream that this year it might be their turn for a famous victory. When I travelled up to Wembley for the Carling Cup Final in 2011 I knew that Arsenal were almost certainly going to win but that didn’t totally suppress the dream of victory. And, as has been said many times before, what is football without dreams?