FA CUP OWES SO MUCH TO LEAGUE
SO much for me being a top tipster! I thought we’d be lucky to see a corner kick in last week’s semifinal between Sheffield United and Hull, let alone a goal.
In the end, it was mayhem – eight goals, mistakes and chances galore. After I’d said how defensive they both were, it was the defences who let their sides down.
I’ve never seen United as open at the back under Nigel Clough and likewise I’ve never seen Hull look such a mess as they were in the first half.
It just shows you what Wembley and the FA Cup does to people.The managers must have been cursing but it was brilliant to watch.
In fact both clubs did themselves and the FA Cup the power of good, not just with the spectacle they put on but in the way they conducted themselves.
Before and after the game, both sets of fans intermingled and there wasn’t a hint of trouble or animosity. It reminded me of how football used to be and it was a real credit to Yorkshire.
And let’s not forget Wigan, who put in such a brilliant effort against Arsenal in the other semi. They were spot on for 80 minutes, but as so often happens, all their best-laid plans were undone by a mis-kick that gave Arsenal a late equaliser. After that, well… let’s not mention the penalties.
All in all, I think the Football League has done the FA Cup no end of credit this season. People accuse managers of belittling the Cup, but I don’t think you’ll find many in the Football League who don’t take it seriously.
Just ask Man City, Aston Villa or Cardiff, who all found to their cost how important it was to Wigan and Sheffield United.
WHAT A START: Jose Baxter after scoring for Sheffield United at Wembley
INJURED: Doug Loft