Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is right in his assertion that the FA Cup still maintains its magic. The cup competition has had its detractors in recent years. With more and more football being played it has been thought that the English domestic cups may take a backseat as clubs prioritise other competitions.
Even if that ends up being the case the allure and magic of the FA Cup won’t be lost. It stands the test of time as evidenced by yesterday’s results. Non-League side Maidstone United beat League Two outfit Stevenage 1-nil to progress to the fourth round of the FA Cup for the first time in the club’s history. It’s results and stories like this that happen every season that ensure that the FA Cup will never lose its appeal.
Speaking before his side takes on Championship side Huddersfield Town Pep Guardiola spoke of how special the FA Cup is. When asked about how special is the City manager replied: “It’s a competition that started from last season, from the low, low divisions, and everyone in the draw, you can play away in League One or Conference or low divisions. How difficult and tough it is; everyone can beat everyone. So it’s special, we felt it. I think we’ve behaved really well except one year, always we get to the semi-final, most of the time, two times in the final that we won.”
Guardiola will be hoping his side doesn’t become an FA Cup fairytale when they host Darren Moore’s Huddersfield at the Etihad Stadium later today. Today’s third-round tie is yet another example of the type of fixture the competition can throw up.
The treble winners will be seeking to defend the cup they famously won last season when their campaign kicks off this afternoon.