FA Cup: And Then There Were Four! Which Of The Top Six Joined Arsenal As Spectators For The Rest Of The Competition?

Posted: January 29, 2018 in Arsenal, Chelsea, Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, The FA Cup, Tottenham Hotspur, Transfers
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Manchester City beat Cardiff City without their new signings Fred and Aymeric Laporte mainly because they are not yet their new signings.

Laporte is expected to be announced on Tuesday because the weather will be nice in Manchester and there are no direct flights from Bilbao on Monday evening since easyJet cancelled their service. So he will have to fly with TAP which stops off in Lisbon on the way!

Either that or they could splash out on a private jet but, given that Pep Guardiola has been at pains to point out how poor City really are, that is unlikely.

In another demonstration of how the club is struggling to make ends meet, City are rumoured to be interested in bringing Eden Hazard to The Etihad, (according to The Mirror, amongst others), because, “he is better than Alexis Sánchez”, a source was quoted as saying. This deal would cost around £150 million which they will obviously have to save up for, so they’d better get started.

Happy chappie at Old Trafford…..

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José Mourinho – His garden is very rosy at the moment!

José Mourinho is a happy man at the moment. He has a newly signed contract in his desk drawer and a newly signed Alexis Sánchez in his team. How could life be better for the Portuguese? Well, he could catch City and win the title for a start!

That, however, is about as likely as the Winter Olympics being held in Dubai so José will have to make do with beating City in the final of the FA Cup then repeating the result in the final of the Champion’s League. That would be an OK cup double and an upgrade on last year’s OK cup double.

The fans would be quite happy to see the team finish second in the table and win one of the two cups available. Anything else, such as beating Spurs at Wembley with Sánchez scoring the winner on his league debut for United, would be a bonus.

Rest day for non-contestants…..

As for the self-combustion going on below United in the table, Stubborn Old Man ceased to have any interest in the FA Cup having fielded a weakened team against Nottingham Forest which proved, among other things, that Arsenal do not have strength in depth.

He can, however, console himself in the knowledge that he is the manager of a “fantastic” team, if not a “giant” team, as was explained by José Mourinho during one of his more generous moments.

Chelsea stuttering…..

Antonio Conte doesn’t look any happier even though his team have progressed in the FA Cup at the expense of Rafa the Gaffer at Newcastle. Maybe signing Peter Crouch would cheer him up a little! (Maybe signing anyone would cheer him up a little!)

And it happened…..!

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Jürgen Klopp – Not too pleased with his defence!

Liverpool managed to exit the FA Cup at the fourth round stage for the third time in the last three seasons. Common denominator? Jürgen Klopp. Yes, the German has been there three years although to some scousers it must seem like fifty!

Having selected his nominated second choice goalkeeper after assuring Loris Karius that HE was his first choice, Klopp then went on to watch his defence, strengthened by the arrival of £75 million signing Virgil van Dijk, concede three goals, at home, to West Bromwich Albion!

It makes you wonder how many it would have been had van Dijk not been bought!

So, unless by some fluke they can win the Champion’s League, which is entirely unlikely, Liverpool will have to make do with the ‘we beat Manchester City’ trophy.

That’s now around £225 million spent by the German since his arrival in 2015! How much longer can Klopp continue to fool the Liverpool owners into thinking he is going to achieve something with the club?

Oh, and they still need a goalkeeper.

Pochettino didn’t impress Real Madrid but Kane did…..

Tottenham Hotspur managed to come away from Newport with a draw and a replay at Wembley, all of which will have failed to impress any Real Madrid management scouts who were watching Mauricio Pochettino with a view to employing him when they cease to employ Zinedine Zidane.

Spurs can now concentrate on preventing Manchester United beating them at Wembley and Alexis Sánchez scoring the winner on his league debut for them.

So a mixed weekend for five of the big six saw Chelsea, City and United win, Spurs draw, Liverpool lose and Arsenal tune in to the BBC and BT Sport to watch the games.

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