Cue videos of Ronnie Radford and various other giant killings from over the years – Stevenage a couple of seasons ago will probably be there as well – and lots of talk about the “magic” of the cup. Pah!
The only real magic of the FA Cup I’ve experienced is the two finals at the turn of the millenium. You know, the ones where we got resoundingly turned over and gave not a mere whimper as Arsenal and Manchester United strolled past us. Magic indeed. In fact to experience the real magic of the cup from an NUFC perspective I reckon you need to be over the age of 60, and even then you’ll need to be at least five years over the age of 60 to really remember it. 1955 it was. Not many remember it well…
You see the cup has been filled with heartache all my life and I’m actually at the point of not caring about it. Especially this season when our need for Premier League points means we can’t really afford a cup run when you consider the relative lack of numbers in our squad and lengthly injury list we are having to contend with. So you see, you can poke that “magic” somewhere where the sun doesn’t shine, but we still have to play the game unfortunately.
New signing Mathieu Debuchy will not be considered for this one after his move from Lille yesterday. Yohan Cabaye and Steven Taylor are back in training but, like Debuchy, won’t be considered for this one. The next Premier League match against Norwich is supposedly the target for all three of them.
Hatem Ben Arfa, Ryan Taylor, Dan Gosling, Haris Vuckic, Danny Simpson ad Jonas Gutierrez are all still sidelined for this one, and they will be joined by Gael Bigirimana, who is suffering from a dead leg, Fabricio Coloccini and Papiss Cisse who are both carrying slight knocks and won’t be risked.
Bruno, Inigo Calderon, Vicente and Marcos Painter are all currently in the treatment room while Will Buckley – scorer of the goal via a deflection off Mike Williamson last season – has missed the last two games with a hamstring problem and is unlikely to feature later today.
The most recent meeting between the sides happened just last season when Brighton sent us tumbling out of the FA Cup at the 4th round stage.
The two side have a remarkably similar record having won seven games each from 17 meetings in all competitions between the two sides. Only three of Brighton’s seven wins have come in Sussex compared to four for United.
Stats and facts…
Newcastle have been taken to a replay in a third round tie nine times in the past 20 years.
Brighton will be looking to knock us out of the FA Cup for a fourth time in their history.
The last time United won an away FA Cup tie was back in 2006 when we visited Cheltenham.
As I say I’m not too bothered about this one but I still want us to win it. I want us to win every game to be fair. However when you look at the team we’re going to be naming you have to say we’re there for the taking and I won’t be to bothered so long as it’s not stupidly embarrassing, like Cardiff in pre-season for example.
Sorry, but I just can’t get excited about this one.
Howay the lads!
Date: Saturday, 5th January, 2012
Time: 12:30 – Live on ITV1
Venue: Amex Stadium