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All Things Footie | Monday, January 7 | Jordan

Upsets and Setups

I think the shocks just about balanced the predictable results over the cup weekend. There were a series of fairly routine and predictable wins for Arsenal, Liverpool, Man Utd (only joking), West Ham, Ipswich and even Leicester. These were countered by a draw for Chelsea at Norwich, very unexpected wins for Bristol Rovers and Cardiff, Sunderland exiting early via West Brom and Blackburn being held to a draw by Barnsley at Oakwell. It's a shame that the most unexpected of results — Leeds' humiliation by Cardiff — was bathed in controversy and unpleasantness. It does seem to follow the Yorkshiremen around.

I was surprised to hear David O'Leary defending Alan Smith after his sending off at Cardiff — it wasn't that long ago he was administering the young striker with a verbal slap on the wrist for a similar offence. Smith seriously needs to sort his attitude out if he intends on spending much more time at a top club.

The game was always going to be a fiery encounter, with Sam Hammam proclaiming Cardiff as ‘potentially much bigger than Leeds’ and thus wanting the Millenium Stadium for the day. The FA of course refused his request but it set the ball rolling nicely and fired up his players and supporters enough to rattle Leeds. Maybe the Premiership side were jinxed from the beginning…

“I do not doubt that if they had a team worthy of the Premiership, they would fill a 40,000 stadium, but at the moment they haven't got that.”

— Nigel Martyn

It is a shame for Cardiff that such a wonderful result will be overshadowed by the pitch invasion and violence at the final whistle, call yourselves supporters?

Derby's humbling at the hands of a troubled Bristol Rovers was another typical cup upset, a poor Premiership side gets beaten by an underperforming lower division side — don't be surprised if this finally gives Bristol Rovers the kick up the proverbial and gets their season going. Three years ago Bristol's hat trick hero Nathan Ellington was playing in the Ryman League (for Walton & Hersham since you ask), magic.

The tie of the next round is easy to pick (if you were wondering what the ‘setup’ from the title was alluding to). It must have been fixed that Sunday the 27th will host a replay of last years final, more accurately a replay of this Sunday's showpiece game, and not dissimilar to the match at Anfield on the 23rd December. In just over one month Arsenal and Liverpool will have clashed on no less than three occasions — can one team win all three? unlikely, there'll be an upset at some point then.

The other intriguing story of the weeked for me is the enigmatic Paulo Di Canio's (allegedly) imminent move to Old Trafford. I'd be careful what you believe on this one though, the confirmed facts run thus;

  1. West Ham refused a bid from Man Utd on Friday.
  2. All recent comments attributed to PDC were taken from interview's months ago.
  3. Paulo is not happy one bit about the Sunday papers blowing the transfer talk out of proportion, he has this to say on the subject;
“I feel sorry for reporters that invent and recreate old comments to sell their newspapers. They have no real value of life and must be very lonely people without any real friends. I think they must have brains the size of a pea. When the truth does come out they will be made to look foolish.”

And that's just the parts I can print, the full article is very interesting indeed and can be found on his personal website, hosted at icons.com; you have to register first (it's free and they don't SPAM you).

There's no team of the week this week, there are too many teams and players I didn't get to watch so instead I'll leave you with Aki Riihilahti's Christmas list…

- red matchbox toy car
- getting the good form back again
- giving us the promotion
- more dishes without cellery
- decent group for next qualifications
- another red toy car
- health
- more girls to south london
- couple of goals
- better stories to www.akiriihilahti.com
- that the jodling old man wasnt every morning in the same tram
- happiness and joy to everyone

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