League or Cups?

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League or Cups?

Joined: July 4th, 2011, 6:46 am

May 11th, 2013, 7:55 am #1

League or Cups?

Total votes: 5
3(60%)
2(40%)

I understand that in many cases national leagues are a source of huge financial benefit to clubs, but the way that cup competitions get treated as a result of this is disgraceful. Ever since Wigan Athletic qualified for the FA Cup final this weekend, I have heard pundits pretty much suggesting that they should give up on that game so they can 'focus on Premier League survival'  (on a side note, how are they even supposed to 'give up', rest star players, not put in any effort?). Can't speak for any Wigan fans, but if they were given a direct choice of winning the FA Cup or finishing 17th in the Premier League, surely they would go for the one which puts them in the history books, or am I missing something obvious?
I prefer watching cup games because of their knockout nature (plus my first season properly watching football was Liverpool's 2000-01 season, so that might have helped ), but what does everyone else prefer ('cups' can also include continental competitions such as the Champions League), and what is the situation in other countries? It seems as though some places (Italy, Holland, etc.) value their cups even less than in England...
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Joined: November 3rd, 2006, 11:49 am

May 11th, 2013, 9:36 am #2

In Belgium the cup is treated as a minor competitionThe FA let the 1/4 an 1/2 finalss played in winter conditions with home and away taking away a lot of typical cup suspense; so low attendences were the result!Cercle Brugge played the final but it was very clear they preferred to avoid relegation rather then winning the cupFinally they played to win and lost narrowly to the favourites RC Genk 2-0I think the cup must get the importance and attention it deserves and it is completely different to championship
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Joined: December 26th, 2008, 11:44 am

May 11th, 2013, 1:09 pm #3

Both, but Cup competitions have to be played by knock out system.
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Joined: February 9th, 2011, 2:58 pm

May 12th, 2013, 5:05 am #4

The Cup is more "ecumenical", that is to say that it allows the "minnows" to compete with the strongest sides. I can say that in Italy, in the past, it was considered more or less as an umbrella-stand.
Nowadays the situation is changing and its prestige is on the increase, due to some formula's modifications.
However, if you ask presidents, coaches, players and fans: “Which would you prefer winning: the Cup or the League?”, the answer would always be the following: “The League”. And I agree with them.
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Joined: April 7th, 2007, 12:28 pm

May 13th, 2013, 12:43 pm #5

If a team doesn't want to play the cup (in whatever country) then don't enter it.
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Joined: November 2nd, 2006, 4:55 pm

May 13th, 2013, 1:03 pm #6

nfm24 wrote:
If a team doesn't want to play the cup (in whatever country) then don't enter it.
That's is all well and good to say that but my memory goes back to when Manchester United withdrew from the FA Cup to go to Brazil for the 1st World club cup as they valued that compertion more than there own nation cup (The press coverage was big). I will always say Cup over league as having the oldest knockout national cup compertion in the world and the chance to see the upsets as we do (Wigan beating Manchester City in the final, just an example of the romance of the FA Cup).
I will be even more happy when our cup final goes back to being played on the Saturday after all the leagues have finished and at 3pm not a stupid time of 5.15 just to please TV.
I will also be even more happy when the leagues all start & finish together on the same day & time (Not going to happen any time soon though); I also think the UEFA need to look at it's club compertitions again as well (They moan the players are playing to many games yet they do nothing about it)
European Cup (Champions League) = Holders & National Champions ONLYBring Back the Cup-Winners Cup = Holders & National Cup Winners/Runners-up (If a club has won it's league and national cup)UEFA Cup (Europa League) = Holders & Best of the rest
All straight 2 leg knock out will free up dates and allow players to rest as well; there by reducing the number of games that they play.
But UEFA will never go back to this as the clubs only want to play in the Champions League as that is where all the money is.  
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Joined: April 7th, 2007, 12:28 pm

May 13th, 2013, 6:44 pm #7

I don't see why my short comment led to a retro plea. My point was that if a club enters a cup in the first place, it shouldn't complain later when it has to play the games.

Things are the way they are because people (in general) like it and pay money to see it, buy replica shirts, pay for expensive TV packages.

Romance of the cup is great but the fact is that viewing figures go down when 2 "big" teams aren't in the final, and that dictates everything.
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Joined: July 4th, 2011, 6:46 am

December 7th, 2017, 1:19 pm #8

A minor miracle has happened following this week's FA Cup draw - Manchester United's game will not be live on TV for the first time since 2005 (a replay away at Exeter City, which ironically sounds like it should have been a pretty nailed-on choice for broadcasters after the first tie). Since then, they'd played 58 FA Cup games, and none of them, no matter how dross it sounded before or after compared to other fixtures that weekend, had gone unbroadcasted. All it took to finally stop the run was 4-5 'big club visits smaller club' stories, a Merseyside Derby, and 'big rivalry no.2'...

And loosely tied to Exeter City, a story to keep an eye on later in the season (or even now*), as the various past and ongoing cup successes of 8th-tier club Heybridge Swifts have given them a 12-game backlog in the league that could yet grow. At some point between now and April they'll go on a catchup run involving levels of fixture congestion (plus obligatory mention of day jobs and lack of elite sports scientists at hand) that would send top-level coaches into a coma.



*Interests of fairness/hypocrisy, sort of.
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Joined: July 4th, 2011, 6:46 am

December 24th, 2017, 11:23 am #9

That time of year again, when more and more ridiculously OTT analysis is given to working out who has the 'toughest' festive period in English club top division football. Some then take that analysis and mould it into Trumpish-style excuses-in-advance press releases, surely an institutional mentality seeping down from management.

Maybe there's some merit to the number of rest days and/or distance travelled, but much like dubious refereeing decisions (just more tangible), these things even out over the course of a season, the league starts and ends on the same weekend for everyone (barring exceptional circumstances) so a few day's less rest on your rivals at Christmas is a few more days rest elsewhere. And if you're playing more games due to other competitions, consider it a very small price to pay for success.
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Joined: April 7th, 2007, 12:28 pm

December 24th, 2017, 12:40 pm #10

If they have a tough schedule now, then the chances are they have an easier schedule at some other part of the season.
Also, Man Utd are so far behind in the league that they might as well get it out of the way early and play all remaining matches in December to leave the decks clear for a European campaign.
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Joined: July 4th, 2011, 6:46 am

December 30th, 2017, 9:12 am #11

My mind might just be confused from all the Christmas holiday days being one giant mesh, but is the festive schedule even that demanding?

If we look at the days the majority of PL games were/will be played, the dates are as follows: 23/12, 26/12, 30/12, 01/01.

Even allowing for TV movements the shortest gap any club will experience is 2 days. The first 3 dates (Sat-Tues-Sat) line up like what a club in European competition might experience on a regular basis. The only outlier is the New Year's Day games, but even then there's nothing else until the next weekend's FA Cup ties so even that evens out to a fairly normal week (the TV games throughout that week just shift the balance either side).

When you look at the planned ConIFA World Cup schedule you really don't know what all those clubs are moaning about...
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Joined: April 7th, 2007, 12:28 pm

December 31st, 2017, 11:44 am #12

I'm not sure if the actual timetabling is the problem as much as the relentlessness of it, and particularly the comparison to other major leagues with winter breaks.  For top level professionals, 2 day gaps are rare nowadays.  It is true that Sat-Tue-Sat is a standard schedule for a major team involved in Europe, although sometimes the mid-week games are essentially reserve fixtures in the League Cup.

The ConIFA schedule is just like any amateur level tournament, maximum number of games in minimum number of days, and doesn't really compare with the professional game.  Schoolboy tournaments are even more demanding in that sense, quite often having multiple games per day.
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Joined: April 7th, 2007, 12:28 pm

December 31st, 2017, 11:46 am #13

Also I would just reiterate a point I've made before - the ones complaining about the schedule are normally the same tactically inflexible managers who insist on a physically intensive style every week and then complain about the timetable/transfers when the players are all knackered/injured in February.   Managing the fixture list is part of the job of being a manager, so it is simply bad management to be unable to factor this into your style of play and choice of players.
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Joined: July 4th, 2011, 6:46 am

January 1st, 2018, 9:49 am #14

nfm24 wrote: Also I would just reiterate a point I've made before - the ones complaining about the schedule are normally the same tactically inflexible managers who insist on a physically intensive style every week and then complain about the timetable/transfers when the players are all knackered/injured in February.   Managing the fixture list is part of the job of being a manager, so it is simply bad management to be unable to factor this into your style of play and choice of players.
True, and with the squad depth/finances the biggest clubs have they have more resources than anyone to handle a little less-than-ideal fixture congestion.

If we use Liverpool as an example, in early December there was a must-win CL game against Spartak Moscow, Mr Klopp rather sensibly put out his one of his strongest possible sides and got a 7-0 win. The weekend after was a Merseyside Derby in which he rotated a little, still a strong side, Everton got swarmed but an extremely soft penalty meant it finished as a draw, with pundits going on before during and after about how 'you don't rest players during a derby, they should've been rested against Spartak'. Then the next midweek was a league game against West Brom, Klopp put out a 'strongest side' including all of the recently-dubbed 'Fab Four'... drew 0-0.

Goes to show that a) nothing is a guarantee in football, and more importantly b) pundits just follow the narrative of whatever the result was, if the 7-0 win against Spartak was something that looked a bit more hard-fought, there wouldn't be as much retroactive correction of its importance. Of course if the goals of the 7-0 were spread out across the 3 games there would be very little to criticise anyway...
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Joined: April 7th, 2007, 12:28 pm

January 1st, 2018, 9:51 am #15

All punditry is inherently reactionary.   With my comment above on "style" I was thinking more about trying to manage efficiency rather than necessarily rotate players.

For example, when 3-0 up vs Spartak inside 20 mins, they could have seriously just coasted the rest of the game and saved energy.   Although mind you, perhaps they tried to do the same when 3-0 up vs Sevilla... 
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Joined: July 4th, 2011, 6:46 am

January 1st, 2018, 10:03 am #16

nfm24 wrote: For example, when 3-0 up vs Spartak inside 20 mins, they could have seriously just coasted the rest of the game and saved energy.   Although mind you, perhaps they tried to do the same when 3-0 up vs Sevilla...
Yeah... that's the thing with this Liverpool team, I wouldn't trust them with a 5-0 lead just the same as I wouldn't count them out at 5-0 down. My spirit animal is surely a liverbird...
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Joined: July 4th, 2011, 6:46 am

February 27th, 2018, 5:13 pm #17

Moan hard enough and thou shalt recieve.

By most accounts a sensible solution, except for the ditching of FA Cup 5th round replays (and moving of original ties), pandering at its finest there. Two questions emerge from that:
  • What happens to 4th round replays which typically fall within this proposed break?
  • Wasn't there some kind of never-actually-invoked old rule where replays could be avoided anyway if both clubs pre-agreed?
And what odds can I get on most of these clubs spending their newfound breaks off playing friendlies in [valuable market]?
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Joined: April 7th, 2007, 12:28 pm

February 28th, 2018, 3:34 pm #18

mattsanger92 wrote:And what odds can I get on most of these clubs spending their newfound breaks off playing friendlies in [valuable market]?
Step forward the McDubaiweiser Megacup.
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Joined: July 4th, 2011, 6:46 am

March 16th, 2018, 7:50 am #19

Europa League quarter-final draw coming up, and after a lot of worry about whether they could even both participate in continental competitions (even if separate) at the start of the season, the 'Red Bull derby' could end up being a reality.

Not that UEFA will let them call it that but still...
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Joined: April 7th, 2007, 12:28 pm

March 16th, 2018, 9:24 am #20

Can't they do like in F1 and call one of the teams Toro Rosso or something to get round any UEFA nose poking?
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Joined: July 4th, 2011, 6:46 am

May 11th, 2018, 5:41 am #21

I've heard the stories of before my time where "FA Cup Final day" was an all-day TV spectacular featuring wrestling and interviews on coaches, so for anyone who experienced that is the BBC's 2018 final schedule coming anything close? Even if half of that does seem to be dedicated to John Motson.
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Joined: July 4th, 2011, 6:46 am

May 18th, 2018, 5:45 pm #22

mattsanger92 wrote: I've heard the stories of before my time where "FA Cup Final day" was an all-day TV spectacular featuring wrestling and interviews on coaches, so for anyone who experienced that is the BBC's 2018 final schedule coming anything close? Even if half of that does seem to be dedicated to John Motson.
Half-answering my own question, found this and actually remember that attempt from ESPN a few years back. Marks for trying, still surprised no-one else at least tries to capture the all-day buildup nostalgia market though...
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