26 August 2015


Last night's result at Walsall was perfect in the end. Maybe not as perfect as our last visit (above) - and I don't suppose the 400-odd hearty souls who travelled will agree. But, just think of the hours that will be saved in not having to prepare for a defeat in the next round against Chelsea. Let's face it, the only decent thing about the Tottenham League Cup match last season was taking a selfie with Leonardo Ulloa whilst hanging out in the away stand.

Maybe it's because I was born in 1984 - a year after the club's FA Cup final - that I have never cared much for a cup run. Perhaps it is due to the seemingly endless Auto Windscreen Shield matches or the fact Albion tend to back up a giant-killing with a loss to a lower league team in the subsequent round. Maybe it was Canvey Island?

I have always wondered - and one day maybe I'll do the maths - just how many playing hours the club has wasted winning LITERALLY NOTHING in fruitless cup ties down the years. In 1908, Albion played three matches in one FA Cup round against Preston. We lost the second replay, at least six wins away from a final.

How many hours have we wasted playing games? Even if we had played just two cup games a season throughout history, that's almost 20,000 hours of playing time we'll never get back. And when you start to factor in travel time, pre-match training and extra time, the hours to trophy ratio just keeps getting worse.

And how much has it cost the club throughout history to win one Jewish Chronicle Cup and a few Sussex Seniors? How much did it cost to put up our squad in the Walsall Village Hotel & Leisure Club on Monday night? How many coach petrol tanks have we emptied trying to secure a place in the next round of the Micky Mouse Trophy in Gillingham? It all just costs money and time we will never get back. And what for? One cup final, a southern area JPT final and a load of heartbreak.

There was a year when Albion forgot to apply for the FA Cup (I forget when, before my time) and had to go through the qualifying rounds. I suggest that, from next season, we simply withdraw from all cup competitions. They are literally a waste of all of our lives. And we will never win nothing. Sure, the league trophies to playing hours ratio isn't great, but it's better than 0 in 20,000 (well, the Jewish Chronicle was a pre-season cup and the Sussex Senior is for the reserve team).

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