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dockers_strike

Fuck me, it's the FA Cup Final tomorrow!

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Just shows how much the oldest cup competition has fallen from grace, there's hardly been any fanfare about the final itself. It has devalued so much that the FA now schedule it for a 5:15pm kick off and there's 3 PL games on the same day, 2 kick off before and the last at 8pm in the evening.

 

Those of us of a certain age will remember the final being the last domestic cup game of the season, it being a stand alone event with wall to wall BBC and ITV coverage, with a highlights MOTD later Saturday night and a Big Match on Sunday.

 

 Is it even 2nd tier status now?

 

I wouldnt mind Leicester winning it but I have a feeling they'll freeze on the big day.

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1 minute ago, dockers_strike said:

Just shows how much the oldest cup competition has fallen from grace, there's hardly been any fanfare about the final itself. It has devalued so much that the FA now schedule it for a 5:15pm kick off and there's 3 PL games on the same day, 2 kick off before and the last at 8pm in the evening.

 

Those of us of a certain age will remember the final being the last domestic cup game of the season, it being a stand alone event with wall to wall BBC and ITV coverage, with a highlights MOTD later Saturday night and a Big Match on Sunday.

 

 Is it even 2nd tier status now?

 

I wouldnt mind Leicester winning it but I have a feeling they'll freeze on the big day.

Taking the fans into consideration again.  Who are Leicester playing? (Seriously I have no clue). 

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Just now, dockers_strike said:

Cough, chelsea, mate, cough.

Yeah, just googled it.  Hope Rodgers team bums them senseless then

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Didn’t realise it was on either till I had to check for my missus if Casualty was on...

 

Normally I’d be all over Leicester to win this but during all that null and void shite I remember seeing quite a few Leicester fans on Twitter wanting that option as they thought it would be funny if it happened even though they were at the time in a prime spot for Champions League

Genuinely not arsed who wins it and even though I can’t stand Chelsea I guess that’s how bitter I’ve gotten over football 

 

It is a shame though what’s happened to what was the greatest domestic cup competition in the world and a game when you were of a certain age would watch the whole days build up no matter who was playing .

And that kick off time .....Going against Chelsea in 2012 with that same time and getting home at 2 in the morning was the moment I knew I would never be arsed going to the cup final again 

 

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1 minute ago, Stickman said:

Didn’t realise it was on either till I had to check for my missus if Casualty was on...

 

Normally I’d be all over Leicester to win this but during all that null and void shite I remember seeing quite a few Leicester fans on Twitter wanting that option as they thought it would be funny if it happened even though they were at the time in a prime spot for Champions League

Genuinely not arsed who wins it and even though I can’t stand Chelsea I guess that’s how bitter I’ve gotten over football 

 

It is a shame though what’s happened to what was the greatest domestic cup competition in the world and a game when you were of a certain age would watch the whole days build up no matter who was playing .

 

Yeah, their fans don't deserve out support. Fuck them. Fuck them all.

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Has a team ever rested players in an FA Cup final? I can see a situation where Chelsea prioritise the league game on Tuesday. That would be the final straw in a once great competition. 

 

I just went through the list of finals and I've watched 3 in 16 years, 2 involved us and the other was only because I was in the pub. I've still only ever seen the Pardew dance in gif format. Probably won't watch tomorrow's game either. 

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Normally if a team loses an important game and plays the same a few days to later, they then win that game. Due to that logic, because I would rather Leicester win the league game, so a Chelsea win here. 

Hopefully extra time either way.

 

Once again the F.A., amongst others, showing their number one priority are the fans. Thank God they helped save football from the money grabbers.

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It is a real shame what modern footy has done to the FA cup.

 

Have a read of this - which really sums up the magic it used to hold!

 

It’s the week of the 2021 FA Cup final between Chelsea and Leicester and the excitement is building! The whole country is transfixed! Or maybe not.

 

The final on 15 May will share the weekend with 8 Premier League fixtures and there are 2 more full rounds of Premier League matches still to be played after the final. Remember when the FA Cup final was the final game of the season? Remember when the FA Cup final was the jewel in the English football crown? Remember when the hunt for an FA Cup final ticket consumed your life?

 

That was certainly the case for the 1974 FA Cup final when Liverpool played Newcastle at Wembley on 4 May. Liverpool had only made 1 appearance at Wembley since I started attending games in 1966. I missed out on the 1971 FA Cup final against Arsenal (thank God I didn’t have to witness that Charlie George winning goal and celebration in the flesh) and I was determined to make my Wembley debut. But getting hold of a ticket was very difficult in those days with the two participating teams getting about 20,000 tickets each when Liverpool’s average league attendance was about 43,000 and Newcastle’s about 33,000.

 

This was when Wembley had a capacity of 100,000. Where did all those tickets go?

(Incidentally, in an earlier example of FA cowardice in the face of a rampaging mob, Newcastle’s sixth round home tie against Nottingham Forest was declared void after a riot on the field by Newcastle fans when their team was losing 1–3. The game was delayed until order was restored and Newcastle won it 4–3. Forest made a written protest to the FA and Newcastle were very close to being disqualified from the competition.

 

The FA relented and ordered that the match must be replayed at a neutral venue. Two replays were needed before Newcastle won through.)

 

Most of Liverpool’s ticket allocation went to season ticket holders. The small number of tickets that remained were allocated via a process whereby vouchers were given out at one of the remaining home league games to those who paid at the gate, and a tiny number of those vouchers qualified the holder for a ticket.

 

My older brother was one of the lucky ones with a winning voucher. My younger brother also got lucky when his sports teacher, a Liverpool season ticket holder who couldn’t go to the game, raffled his ticket amongst the Liverpool fans in the school football teams.

 

The luck of the Liverpool Irish did not touch me in the same way. I was on the hunt for a ticket in the 2 weeks or so before the final.

 

One evening, the phone went at the family home. It was Bobby, one of the guys my brothers and I went to the game with. He was upset. He told me that his dad, who had suffered ill health on and off for a while but retained his Liverpool season ticket, had died. I was 17 years old, what could I say? “Sorry mate. Who’s having his cup final ticket?” “Bastard!” he said as he hung up. “Who was that?” asked my older brother. “Bobby. His dad has died.” There was a respectful pause of all of 1 second. “Did you ask who is having his cup final ticket?” asked my brother. Funnily enough, that ticket didn’t come my way. The hunt continued.

 

My mum was a barmaid in the delightfully named Bluebell Pub, Huyton. Sounds idyllic doesn’t it? The reality was that it was a hive of scum and villainy to rival the Mos Eisley Cantina on Tatooine in Star Wars. It was one of those places where you could buy and sell anything, no questions asked. Once, the pub had a “grand reopening” (ie a few complimentary dishes of crisps and peanuts on the bar) after a “major refurbishment” (ie a lick of paint and new carpets).

 

At the end of the night, there was a rectangular hole in the new carpet in the lounge bar, cut to the exact size of the living room in the council flats in the nearby high rise block. Anyway, my mum phoned home from the pub one evening. “There’s a lad here selling cup final tickets in the Liverpool end for £15. Do you want one?” The face value of those tickets was £1 and £15 was more than my week’s wages. I didn’t hesitate. “I’ll have one!” Hunt over.

 

Or …. not. A couple of days later, the front page headline on the Liverpool Echo screamed “POLICE WARN FANS TO BEWARE OF FAKE TICKETS”. The story told how there were thousands of top-quality fake FA Cup Final tickets on sale in Liverpool.

 

The only way to tell if a ticket was genuine was to hold it up to a light to see if it contained a watermark, like a bank note. My hands shook as I followed these instructions …. no watermark, it was a fake. My mum told me that she had bought the ticket off one of the pub’s regular customers and she would get me my money back. Good as her word, and not a woman to be trifled with, my mum returned my £15 to me that night. Hunt back on with only 8 days to the game.

 

The Echo carried an advert for a Liverpool furniture store owned by Alan Whittle, the ex-Everton striker who was with Crystal Palace at the time, offering a free FA Cup final ticket with £100 of furniture bought. My dad was in his favourite armchair watching the wrestling on ITV on the Saturday afternoon before the final. “Hey dad, this 3 piece suite is looking a bit tatty. Any chance of you buying a new one?” I ventured. “Not unless I win the pools son. Ooh, you dirty bastard!” he replied through a fog of Capstan Full Strength cigarette smoke. I think that latter comment was aimed at Mick Manus, “The Dulwich Destroyer”, not me. He didn’t win the pools that day (or ever) so I could not avail myself of Whittle’s generous offer.

 

After exploring all possible avenues without success, by the Friday evening before the game I was reconciled to watching the game on the telly when my older brother got a call from Jim, a workmate. He had just got hold of a ticket, too late to book a coach or train ticket, so he was going to drive down to Wembley. Did my brother want to go with him and share the cost of the petrol? My brother declined as he had already paid for the coach with our younger brother and our mates. He repeated the offer to me and, thinking that I might pick up a ticket from a tout, and I would at least be able to meet up with my brothers to celebrate after our certain victory, I agreed.

 

Jim picked me up on Saturday morning in his bright yellow Ford Escort Mexico. I eyed up the car’s 8 track stereo player (a tape playing system that preceded the cassette player, they were all the rage in the 1970s, even though the pre-recorded cartridges were the size of a large paperback book) and asked Jim what musical treats we had to look forward to.

 

He looked rather glum and explained that his car had been broken into earlier that week and all but one of his music cartridges had been stolen. The deep scratches in the dashboard were evidence that the thieves had tried but failed to remove the player itself. He had not had time to replace his cartridge collection but the good news was that he had found 1 remaining cartridge under the passenger seat, a Beach Boys compilation album with all-time classics like California Girls, Surfin’ USA, Good Vibrations, Help Me Rhonda, Little Deuce Coupe, Barbara Ann, When I Grow Up To Be A Man, etc. It turned out that Jim, who I had never met before, wasn’t a great talker and all my conversational gambits failed to engage him for long.

 

Jim preferred to play that damn cartridge non-stop on high volume throughout our trip. After 4 hours of the “California Sound” I was ready to hit him over the head with a surf board.

 

Arriving in Wembley, we parked up, arranged to meet up after the game and went our separate ways. I knew that both my brothers had tickets for Turnstile Area A so I made my way there, looking out for tickets touts as I went. I had £25 to buy a ticket – 25 times the face value and nearly 2 week’s wages. It soon became apparent that I had been hopelessly optimistic; the touts were asking £50 a ticket – and getting it. I was mooching despondently around Turnstile Area A about half an hour before kick off when a quite unexpected opportunity presented itself.

 

Those familiar with the old Wembley Stadium might recall that there were long, thin openings part way up the stadium wall (rather like arrow slits in a castle wall) from which those inside could shout, or even pass things, to those outside. I looked up and saw that Liverpool fans inside the stadium were passing their used tickets to those outside. I managed to get a bunk-up from another Liverpool supporter and grabbed one of those tickets. I soon learned from another supporter that on its own this ticket was useless.

 

Wembley had a two-entrance system – an outer turnstile where the complete ticket was presented to the operator who detached the smaller portion and retained it; and an inner gate where the larger portion of the ticket was shown to the operator but retained by the supporter. I had a larger ticket portion. Out of nowhere, a young Scouser appeared with a plastic bag stuffed inside his jacket. “Wanna ticket stub lad?” he asked. I guess that he had snatched a bag of the smaller ticket portions for Turnstile Area A unnoticed by the operator because he was passing them out with impunity within feet of the turnstiles. I accepted with alacrity.

 

A quick check revealed that I had the requisite two portions of a ticket but crucially they did not match – they were for the same outer turnstile but for different inner gates. But time was running out and it was now or never. Screwing my courage to a sticking place, I approached the turnstile clutching a ticket portion in each hand. I handed the smaller portion to the operator. “Where’s the other part?” he growled. “Here” I replied, holding up the larger portion, with a strategically placed thumb hiding the inner gate number. “I thought I’d save you the job of separating them.” He didn’t ask to examine it and without another word passing between us there was was click, I pushed forward and I was in the stadium! I could scarcely believe it and, terrified that I would be rumbled, I hustled across the concourse to the appropriate inner gate, showed the operator the larger ticket portion, he opened the gate and …… yeeeeessssssss! I was in, with my £25 still in my pocket.

 

Even better, I quickly spotted “The Mighty Reds” banner which my brothers were holding aloft as my incredible luck continued and I found myself in the same section of terracing as them. I quickly joined them and we enjoyed a remarkably straightforward Liverpool victory. A completely dominant performance saw us run out easy 3-0 winners and Shankly’s rebuilt team had now won the Football League, UEFA Cup and FA Cup in 2 seasons.

 

All that remained was to meet up with garrulous Jim for the drive home. He was actually quite animated as we discussed the game while we extricated ourselves from the heavy traffic around Wembley but as we joined the M1 …

… Well East coast girls are hip, I really dig those styles they wear …

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35 minutes ago, No2 said:

Has a team ever rested players in an FA Cup final? I can see a situation where Chelsea prioritise the league game on Tuesday. That would be the final straw in a once great competition. 

 

I just went through the list of finals and I've watched 3 in 16 years, 2 involved us and the other was only because I was in the pub. I've still only ever seen the Pardew dance in gif format. Probably won't watch tomorrow's game either. 

I can only think of city maybe fielding their FA Cup '1st string' which was really a 2nd string?

 

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Had forgotten all about this until Bet 365 sent me an email offering me £5 free bet .

Went for 3-1 Chavs to return £80 .  Would be a nice bonus. 

 

 

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It also doesn't help that we no longer take the competition seriously. 

 

The kick off time is stupid and having the semi finals at Wembley ruins it too. It was far more exciting to play at a neutral ground. Looking at some of the old finals it had a bit more romance as it wasn't the same teams getting there year after year. Also if an underdog team got there m, there was always a possibility that they could win. Compare that with Watford getting twatted 6 nil by city.

 

The new Wembley may be a better quality stadium but it just looks like a generic modern stadium apart from the arch. They've built tons of apartments and office blocks around it so Wembley way looks shit and the towers were removed when the old stadium was demolished. 

 

 

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16 minutes ago, ZonkoVille77 said:

Can't remember the last one I watched that didn't involve us. 

 

I was just thinking that. I might have caught a few minutes of different games but there was no interest to sit and watch. That goes for the 2000s finals too, plus a couple from the 1990s. Nowadays it's two teams I don't care to watch and that are followed by complete wankers, played on a pitch totally unsuited to passing football with tempo, with a shit camera angle one rung above standing on the touchline with an old camcorder, played out to a soundtrack of knobheads in the commentary booth and in the studio.

 

They should put me in charge of the promos for this thing. I'd troll everyone like Paddy Power trolling the blooshite.

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4 minutes ago, Doctor Troy said:

It also doesn't help that we no longer take the competition seriously. 

 

The kick off time is stupid and having the semi finals at Wembley ruins it too. It was far more exciting to play at a neutral ground. Looking at some of the old finals it had a bit more romance as it wasn't the same teams getting there year after year. Also if an underdog team got there m, there was always a possibility that they could win. Compare that with Watford getting twatted 6 nil by city.

 

The new Wembley may be a better quality stadium but it just looks like a generic modern stadium apart from the arch. They've built tons of apartments and office blocks around it so Wembley way looks shit and the towers were removed when the old stadium was demolished. 

 

 

Twin towers > arch. 

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6 minutes ago, Doctor Troy said:

It also doesn't help that we no longer take the competition seriously. 

 

The kick off time is stupid and having the semi finals at Wembley ruins it too. It was far more exciting to play at a neutral ground. Looking at some of the old finals it had a bit more romance as it wasn't the same teams getting there year after year. Also if an underdog team got there m, there was always a possibility that they could win. Compare that with Watford getting twatted 6 nil by city.

 

The new Wembley may be a better quality stadium but it just looks like a generic modern stadium apart from the arch. They've built tons of apartments and office blocks around it so Wembley way looks shit and the towers were removed when the old stadium was demolished. 

 

 

I used to think the old Wembley was shit myself even if there was excitement of going there. Miles from the fucking pitch on a shallow angle terracing over a dog track. Even that 'Olympic Gallery' was shit for 80 quid in 92. And the fucking thing rocked more than the Annie Upper Tier!

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6 minutes ago, dockers_strike said:

I used to think the old Wembley was shit myself even if there was excitement of going there. Miles from the fucking pitch on a shallow angle terracing over a dog track. Even that 'Olympic Gallery' was shit for 80 quid in 92. And the fucking thing rocked more than the Annie Upper Tier!

It was the history of the place more than anything. I’d never seen a concert at Wembley, just footy matches, so when my mate had a spare ticket for the Oasis gig in 2000, I jumped at the chance, even though I wasn’t into them.

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3 minutes ago, Tony Moanero said:

I’d rather rewatch a 70s or 80s cup final.

 

True. The football might have been more 'agricultural' but it was a genuine occasion with a huge prize at stake.

 

Some people say that the year the Mancs forfeited defending the cup in order to compete in a tournament abroad was the moment the FA Cup started getting devalued. Others think that moving the final to Cardiff was. I don't think either argument is valid. What has devalued the FA Cup is a combination of things.

 

TV moving games around so we have all sorts of kick-off times now. Clubs - usually managed by one of the LMA Massive - prioritising their Premier League status over winning trophies. The main sponsor also happening to sponsor one of the clubs that have conveniently done quite well in the competition. Man City being able to make serene progress year after year thanks to having a second XI that cost more than most other teams' first XIs, going up against the weakest teams in the draw round after round.

 

The point about the managers is valid, as no English manager has won the thing since 2008 ('Arry with Portsmouth), or any of the other major trophies for that matter.

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11 minutes ago, Trumo said:

 

True. The football might have been more 'agricultural' but it was a genuine occasion with a huge prize at stake.

 

Some people say that the year the Mancs forfeited defending the cup in order to compete in a tournament abroad was the moment the FA Cup started getting devalued. Others think that moving the final to Cardiff was. I don't think either argument is valid. What has devalued the FA Cup is a combination of things.

 

TV moving games around so we have all sorts of kick-off times now. Clubs - usually managed by one of the LMA Massive - prioritising their Premier League status over winning trophies. The main sponsor also happening to sponsor one of the clubs that have conveniently done quite well in the competition. Man City being able to make serene progress year after year thanks to having a second XI that cost more than most other teams' first XIs, going up against the weakest teams in the draw round after round.

 

The point about the managers is valid, as no English manager has won the thing since 2008 ('Arry with Portsmouth), or any of the other major trophies for that matter.

Plus, next to no chance of a genuine cup final shock. There was Wigan in 2013, the year they were relegated. Before that? Crystal Palace went close in 1990 but lost the replay. So, 1987 or 1988. Fuck it!

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