Following the 3rd round victory against Crystal Palace, Ed Marshall looks at why Wolves should go all out to win the FA Cup.
The FA Cup conjures up images of nostalgia, especially as a Wolves fan. Arsenal semi-final, THAT Newcastle game and I have a vague memory of a game on BBC1 against Hoddle’s Chelsea.
Over the last 10-15 years the FA Cup seems to be not even a second thought anymore. Teams don’t care, not even Premier League ‘top six’ either. Struggling Championship teams put out players even Football Manager die-hards haven’t heard of. I feel this is a massive show of disrespect, not just to this historic competition but to fans.
The reason the Newcastle game is so special in many Wolves fans memories is because we went at them. Both teams put out a starting XI and gave the FA Cup a memorable match. It’s not even a distant memory of our recent semi-final against Watford and that felt special. Wolves at Wembley, that has a ring to it.
I get the pressure of league performance on a manager; the cutthroat nature of football breeds this fog of fear.
But, for a team like Wolves. Not the sleeping giant tripe peddled out when I was a kid in the 90’s. I mean a team who should be guaranteed top 10 without much trouble, let’s just go for it. We aren’t an underdog.
If you feel a cup isn’t important, ask an Arsenal fan, ask a Portsmouth fan. They matter.
What footballer doesn’t want an FA Cup on their CV?
Winning stuff breeds a positive mentality. Jose Mourinho made a point of winning the league cup with his teams. First trophy of the year. Creating this culture of winning, of getting players used to difficult games, finals that mean something. Victories in those games may give players the edge in a tricky mid-week game in the league. Granted Jose then started to treat the Charity Shield (if it’s even still called that now) which does lessen this point slightly, but you get my drift.
Currently his Spurs side are now finalists and don’t tell me Tottenham Hotspur fans wouldn’t be happy with the silverware!
When a player retires, no one asks about how many top 6 finishes they got. It is all about medals, goals and caps.
As cliched as this may sound, but why shouldn’t Wolves go for the cup? We’ve proven we can beat any team on our day. We know we can perform on big stages. This club has moved so much in the last four years or so, but this is not a time for our first team against Palace to look like an NFL team, with squad numbers like 62 and 78.
With the season as it stands now, Raul out, the BBC gossip column linking us to any Portuguese speaking player and languishing below where we expect. An FA Cup run is even more exciting to think about.
Let’s be honest, we aren’t troubling the top 6 if things carry on the way they are. Europe places are possible but again, without a recognised first team striker (at time of writing, Uncle George could have hooked us up by now) it could be difficult.
I trust Nuno’s ability to set up teams on a game by game basis. This season is already a bit of a shower, why not upset the apple cart, go for the cup.
I’m aware none of these points are mind-blowing or ‘hot takes’ but I can’t help but feel that a concentrated run on a game by game basis is something Wolves and Nuno are good at. At least is we see the boys in Old Gold going for it, we can have something to sing about…at home…with our support bubble…great.
With Chorley in the 4th round followed by a potential fixture against Southampton or Shrewsbury Town or Arsenal, there is a real possibility of getting tot he quarter finals. And that point, surely we can dare to dream?