Writer: Andy Leggott
Date:Wednesday March 8 2006
Once agin the English FA have shown themselves to be kings of the cock up with the fixture pile up they have lumped on the four teams facing cup replays next week.
I can't speak for the other three teams but City face a cup replay at home to Villa on Tuesday 14th March. On Saturday 18th March they entertain Wigan in the Premiership. If they get past Villa then just TWO days later, Monday 20th March, they face a home tie in the FA cup quarter final.
The reason for this farce? To give Sven more time to prepare for the world cup. Laudable as that may be the resulting fixture pile up could make or break four teams season's.
What is particularly annoying is the fact that the quarter final tie that hinges on the outcome of replays (and hence a midweek game the week before) has been chosen for Monday night coverage to enable all the ties to appear on the tv. Why was our potential cup tie not scheduled for later in the week, given that whichever two teams compete in it they will have both played an extra game the week before.
That would be to simple though, (and probably upset Chelsea and Liverpool) so all four teams face the prospect of four games in a five or six day period. I suppose we're lucky (cost implications not being considered) in that if we get past Villa, all three games are at home. What the other three face I'm not sure, but needless to say it could have been avoided if the FA was prepared to stand up to the great god of football; television.
It is my opinion that City, Villa, Bolton and West Ham have had their chances of success hindered by the FA and its lack of foresight. If City aren't successful during this period our season is over. Fine if its on a level playing field, but in this case that isn't so.
Date:Wednesday March 8 2006
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