Writer: Andy Leggott
Date:Thursday January 10 2008
It`s perhaps indicative of the times that our current poll suggests that 3 in 4 polled on this site would rather see City finish 4th in the league rather than appear in their first cup final for 27 years.
Perhaps it is the necessity for Champions League exposure that produces such a vote; or perhaps it is the declining numbers of supporters who remember City appearing in cup finals, or even semi-finals for that matter, that makes finishing fourth preferable to winning things.
Now I appreciate I`m getting older, and have the memories of 81 to spur me on, but I would take the cup final ten times out of ten.
I believe football is about winning. To reward a side for finishing fourth is nonsense as far as I am concerned. And perhaps there lies the fault as far as English football is concerned.
The price of survival is high enough; a Champions League place ridiculous. The basic point of sporting achievement has been lost on a generation. To win is what we strive for even if it takes an entirety. We cling to the hope that our team will win something and support them through thick and thin in the hope that it will happen.
But when it doesn`t happen? Well maybe fourth gives us that outlet. We become one of Europe`s elite without being a winner. We can shout how good we are simply because we play in a competition that rewards domestic failure.
What about the cup winners? Sorry but they are an irrelevance. They may have won something but there is no invite to compete to be Europe`s best side. Winners aren`t really winners in these days of commercialism and feathering the G14`s nest.
My point? Well I`d rather see City in a cup final than finish 4th every time. That said, and with the continuing decline in some of the Premier League clubs treatment of the FA Cup, isn`t it about time the cup was recognised for producing winners? Surely winning the FA Cup is a greater achievement than finishing fourth in the league?
The FA Cup, in my opinion, should provide the fourth English entrant to the Champions League. It would allow a real winner to compete with the continent`s best and perhaps breath life back into a dying competition.
In the meantime I`ll HOPE City finish as high as possible whilst praying I finally get another chance to see them play in a cup final.
Results in Full
FA Cup Final or 4th in the League?
FA Cup Final - 21%
4th in the League - 79%
Date:Thursday January 10 2008
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