The FA Cup Shows Its Romance and Importance

Craig EmmersonContributor IJanuary 4, 2009

The FA Cup Third Round Weekend is always one of the biggest weekends in the sporting calendar, and this year was no different. 

Nottingham Forest and Hartlepool were the giant killers with wins against Manchester City and Stoke City, respectively. Southend and Peterborough both came from behind to pull off draws and earn themselves lucrative replays against Chelsea and West Brom.

There is always plenty of discussion in the week leading up to the Third Round, regarding whether the top clubs will take the Cup seriously and play their tops players. However, as the team sheets came in from around the country, they proved that all the Premiership clubs still see this as a competition worth winning.

Gerrard, Keane, and Alonso appeared for Liverpool. Nasri, Van Persie, and Gallas played against Plymouth for Arsenal, and Chelsea fielded a team that included Lampard, Drogba, the Coles, and Carvalho. A clear indication that no matter how financially important the Premier League and Champions League have become, a Cup run is important.

With 13 ties still left to be settled, due to replays and the weather causing problems up and down the country, there is still the opportunity for new FA Cup heroes to be made.

Even though it would be a fantastic feat for a club from outside the Premier League to get to the final for a second year running, I cannot see that happening this season. On current form and with that bit of luck you need to win the competition, I think that either Aston Villa or Liverpool will win the Cup.

Do you agree?