What a weekend, it almost felt like we’d wound the clocks back 25 years it had everything, high-quality football, giant killings and violence back on the streets!
Well, I’m not condoning the violence, but all-in-all it was a proper FA Cup break from the Premier League.
Trouble flared at Shrewsbury as they hosted bitter rivals Wolves with running battles around the small town all day, followed by a 2-2 thriller which will see an army of “Shrews’ at Molineux in a week’s time ouch!
Down in south-east London, Everton pitched up to take on the ever-ready Millwall firm, resulting in pre-arranged meets, as the police struggled to keep order.
There’s been an outpouring of sympathy for the Everton fan who took a 15cm slash to his face, (the video of the incident is circulating on social media), the “victim” said he can’t look in the mirror any more and is “devastated”.
But in my view, if you go to Millwall looking for a fight, and he did, he was at the front as fans went toe-to-toe outside a local train station, he doesn’t deserve compassion.
More importantly, Millwall turned up on the pitch and despite going behind following a hard-fought Everton comeback to make it 2-1, they showed what a “never-say-die” attitude can produce.
It was a huge result (3-2) and one that escalates the pressure on coach Marco Silva to a whole new level. How long will he last?
Another huge lower league result was well deserved by Wimbledon.
They raced to a crazy 3-0 lead against West Ham, and although having to soak up a lot of pressure as the Hammers got themselves back in the game, popped in a fourth to seal it.
The Dons aren’t renowned for their support, but what was lovely to see (and I talk about it often) was the absolute joy on every supporter’s face as each goal went in.
They were delirious! And here it is they know, (like any other giant killer) that they won’t be making it anywhere near the closing rounds of the competition like they did in 1988 when they somehow beat Liverpool 1-0 at Wembley.
But that’s not what most people go to football for. There were 6 000 Sheffield Wednesday fans at Stamford Bridge on Sunday night.
Do you think any one of them honestly thought they’d get a result?
Which begs the question, why, with work the next day, would you travel approximately 600km for 90 minutes (and probably a loss), getting home at around 2 am next day?
As they slowly got dismantled by a far superior side, their fans got louder and louder as the game went on.
What a contrast to the modern-day big-six Premier League fan, the moaning wankers all over the internet and the non-football people who buy up season tickets at the big stadiums.
It also begs the question as to why, as a football-mad nation, we don’t travel to support our sides?
OK, there’s a handful of die-hard Cape Town City fans who can be seen on “away days” but is it just not as important as it is to those in other leagues, especially Europe?
OK, the distances are huge here, but the culture doesn’t seem to exist?
Anyway, Chelsea are a step closer to Wembley and the competition seems to be heating up! But it’s back to league action this week.
No real standout fixtures, with the top six all looking like bankers for three points.
Liverpool have a slightly tricky one (at home to Leicester), but I’ll also be focused on Wembley tomorrow night as Spurs host Watford.
My word, it’s all crashing for Mauricio Pochettino. I’ve got great respect for him. He’s an excellent coach, but boy, am I glad to see them suffer.
Couple of key players out and it looks like the hunt for anything this season is done.
I hope he stays in England, but the allure of the Bernabeu, complete with the ability to actually buy a player or two might just be too much to turn down. Catch y’all next week!