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All Things Footie | Monday, January 5 | Jordan

Two updates in one day!

Oh yes readers, I’m in the midst of writing fever.

So the FA Cup fourth round draw has been made, and there are some really mouth-watering games in prospect,

The first of these gives us Pleat’s old club vs. Pleats new club (if Leicester can beat Man City), a game I know a certain East Midlander will relish given his (lack of) love for the kerb-crawling know-nothing. United are likely to face local (ish) rivals Rotherham at Millmoor, which could certainly be an interesting game; I heard United fans moaning about never drawing ‘small teams’ in the Cup, so they always had to work for victories. It’ll be nice to see either Northampton or Rotherham show the Premiership Champions that playing lower league sides is no pushover.

Arsenal face the team they knocked out of the FA Cup a couple of seasons ago thanks to an own goal by Branca—plenty Boro’ fans thought they were hard done by there and will want to get their own back on the Gunners, who face yet another Premiership opponent. Coventry may host Accrington (if the Lacastrians make it past Colchester)—giving Stanley a potentially big gate along with a glimmer of hope that they could make the next round.
Liverpool v Newcastle is clearly the glamour tie of the round, and should be a big test for Gerard Houllier and Sir Bobby Robson. Both managers can realistically see this as a chance to turn the season around, though Newcastle may already have found that moment thanks to their excellent 3-0 win at St Marys over the weekend (a result I forgot to mention in my post earlier today). Needless to say, I fancy Newcastle to end Liverpool’s rather short cup run, and Kieran Dyer to be everything that Harry Kewell should be.

Everton v Fulham is the third and final all-premiership pairing, and while I doubt it’ll be overflowing with technical brilliance, I’d expect it to be a match worth watching. It’s a shame that Telford didn’t draw anyone bigger, no offence to Millwall, but at least it’s a home draw for the Bucks. There’s something inexplicably poetic about the prospect of Southend v Chelsea.

It’s a good draw, but we’ll know better once the replays have been decided and the true nature of he matchups are decided. I expect sky to get Arsenal v Middlesbrough and Liverpool v Newcastle, with Everton v Fulham and the Chelsea (assuming they beat Watford) tie being shown on the BBC.

Ahh, the BBC. Neatly on to the second reason for this post. I was reminded today of an article I read in The Daily Telegraph just before Christmas by Sarah Edworthy. The article consisted of an interview with ex-Man City / Brighton / Liverpool / QPR / Osasuna forward Michael Robinson, who is a bit of a pundit on Spanish TV and hosts his own Monday night Baddiel and Skinner style show El Dia Despues (The Day After). The man talks sense, a lot of it, and chips away at one my most consistent gripes with the BBC’s football coverage.

‘Football in England has been kidnapped by its ex-players who don’t love what football really means … The BBC spoilt the World Cup. I respect ex-footballers but I think it extremely important to stick a journalist between Lineker, Hansen and Lawrenson to say: “Why have you just said that? Explain yourself to normal human beings who haven’t been professionals.”

‘None of the panel knew that Ronaldinho had scored free-kicks for Paris St-Germain like that all season. They don’t see any further than Southend, and who gives a monkeys anyway. “We were robbed, we invented football.” And England have gone home thinking we got kicked out of the World Cup because Ronaldinho hit a bad cross … well, b******s. I’ve never listened to so many cliches in my life. Football kidnapped by ex-players with no whys or wherefores or information, just the same putrid status quo. Football doesn’t exist beyond those frontiers? Of course it does.’ — Michael Robinson

Read the whole wonderful interview Here (free registration required, trust me, it’s worth the effort).

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