Pan the Pundits

With the Premier League on the back burner for the weekend, it was time to roll out the special graphics package for the FA Cup. We even got a rare appearance from Manish Bhasin, resurrecting memories of the Football League Show for the six nerds that watched it. He was joined by the punditry dream team of John Hartson and Trevor Sinclair. Wait, did I accidentally watch a repeat of the Football League Show?

It was to Turf Moor first where Burnley were lead out by the only people in the town who remember when Burnley got somewhere near a Cup Final. They were facing Lincoln who had a diabetic up front, a waterfall at the back and Hey, Arnold! on the wing. Non-league levels at 60%.

Of course, Jonathon Pearce enjoyed his “old-fashioned” cup tie. And by “old-fashioned” he meant as legal a fight as possible. He was particularly infatuated with Matt Rhead – the Lincoln striker more notable for being a big b*****d than anything else. Non-league levels at the dangerously high 75%.

As we all probably know, Lincoln pulled off the upset of all upsets with a late goal from a corner that involved some a goal line scramble to clear it and both centre halves heading it. We even got the obligatory pointless technology despite the ball being obviously over the line. Pearce went into meltdown at full-time, clearly trying to say as much inane rubbish so that maybe something in isolation could be included in a montage.

Wait, is this the Football League Show?! The Lincoln management team appeared from nowhere, clearly more excited about the chance to get on the TV rather than celebrating beating Burnley away from home.

As for talk of the magic returning to the cup? Rubbish. I expected more from you Manish. And Joey Barton? Who cares?

Moving on and it was a trip to the recently saved Den next where FC Friendly hosted the team that restored to default so hard they might actually get relegated. I’ve not covered Millwall on PTP yet and that’s probably a good thing. I mean, if you’re the bad guys in a film about hooliganism then that’s not a good sign.

And Millwall managed to get the most Millwall red card possible thanks to Jake Cooper. To call his challenge on Musa agricultural would probably be insulting to anyone working in agriculture. In truth, it made little difference in the end as Leicester managed to create three or four good opportunities for Shinji Okazaki to squander before Millwall’s late winner. More Millwall in the cup? I feel like there’s a movie plot here somewhere…

The excitement factor was then raised with a trip to Middlesbrough where The World’s Most Exciting Team ® hosted League One Oxford. You could tell Aitor Karanka wasn’t taking this competition seriously since he gave Rudy Gestede and Grant Leadbetter starts. Still, Oxford were riding positive momentum so hopes for a montage worthy giant killing were high.

What did Aitor put in their tea? Leadbetter attempted a chip and smashed home a penalty while Big Rudy did his best Andy Carroll impression. “He won’t have scored many better than that.” Correction, he won’t have scored many at all. Oxford were game though and very nearly pulled it off having come from two down but in the end, the world’s most average footballer Cristhian Stuani made the difference from the bench. It was all a bit exciting at the Riverside, it felt weird.

Wolverhampton was the next destination of choice, with Antonio Conte’s Terminators the visitors. Chelsea were able to even give John Terry and Kurt Zouma games, the last time that happened, the United States was only in mild disarray. Wolves, meanwhile, beat Liverpool meaning that I do not like them.

Well, that was infuriating if you’re not a Chelsea fan. Wolves were brilliant for a half but Chelsea won. You ever see that old wrestling meme where the punchline is “LOL. Cena wins.”? That’s Chelsea right now. Rattle the post, create plenty of chances, defend brilliantly. LOL, Chelsea win.

We finish off in Huddersfield where Jürgen Klopp’s pal faced off against Pep “I’m not that good. Honest. Please believe me” Guardiola. The big news is that City have lost their new star Jesus who looks set to make his triumphant return at Easter. No, really. You couldn’t make this stuff up. At least his back-up, Sergio Aguero, got a chance. I hear he’s decent. Huddersfield are flying high in the Championship and most recently started a fight with Leeds.

And it’s a replay folks! Nothing happened in that game. City gave Fabian Delph a game and Huddersfield proved Dean Whitehead still plays football. As Pep put it, “congratulations to The Huddersfield”.

So, what did we learn this week on PTP? Well Middlesbrough were exciting, The Huddersfield are decent, Lincoln went supernova on their non-leagueness and John Hartson and Trevor Sinclair are the worst, dullest, most pointless pundits employed on TV today. Watch this episode and find me something interesting they said. I’ll give you my Liverpool pyjamas if you can.

But, what we really learned this week – THIS WAS A REPEAT OF THE FOOTBALL LEAGUE SHOW!