Has the FA Cup Lost Its Shine?
When I was younger, the FA Cup was considered an incredibly prestigious competition capable of producing moments of magic. Ryan Gigg's goal against Arsenal in 1999 is one of the most memorable in modern football. FA Cup final day was always a special event, dominating the day's media coverage. Who remembers Roberto Di Matteo's wonder goal in the 1997 FA Cup final? Gerrard forcing extra time in 2006 from 35 yards? The Cardiff versus Portsmouth final in 2008? Now, however, it almost seems like the FA Cup has lost a lot of its value among Premiership teams.
Premiership Round-Up - Saturday, September 15
Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Liverpool Liverpool's impressive start to the season continues with a fine win over Spurs. It's not been a fantastic week for the North London club, with captain Hugo Lloris convicted of drink driving and sentenced to a 20 month drinking ban and a £50,000 fine. Shortly after his conviction, he picked up a thigh injury which ruled him out of this weekend's fixture. In steps Michel Vorm, whose errors contributed to Liverpool's victory. Spurs were sloppy in possession, often giving the ball away. Lucas Moura missed a decent chance to put Spurs ahead before Wijnaldum and Firmino gave Liverpool a two-goal lead. Lamela pulled one back with a fine strike in injury time, but it was Jurgen Klopp's men who returned to Merseyside with all three points. Liverpool were touted pre-season as the most realistic challenger to Manchester City's dominance, and on the basis of this performance, it's not too hard to see why.
On the day of the World Cup final, the England national team returns home following an incredible run which took them to their first World Cup semi final since 1990. This tournament has seen a steady resurgence in popularity for the England team as Gareth Southgate and his young Lions recapture the hearts of a nation who had fallen out of love with their national team following a disastrous group stage exit at the last World Cup in Brazil, and an embarrassing 2-1 defeat to minnows Iceland in Euro 2016. But as the tournament draws to a close, the inevitable post-mortem of England's performance brings up some interesting points.