If the BBC broadcasts another goalless FA Cup game, I’m demanding the license fee back. I mean let’s be honest, the whole point of broadcasting Fleetwood vs Leicester was to watch the heroic return of Jamie Vardy – Fleetwood legend, unlikely Premier League winner and, for some unknown reason, consistent scorer of goals against Liverpool. How fitting, then, that he should find himself rested from the match day squad as a result of a niggle. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of the niggle – how else would football managers alike justify the spontaneous dropping of a club favourite, typically amidst transfer speculation, without actually specifying the exact type of ‘niggle’ – but it didn’t half entirely ruin a game of football.
Tuning into a Fleetwood vs Leicester 3rd round cup match – devoid of all things Jamie Vardy – expecting to see free-flowing football is like tuning into The Jeremy Kyle Show expecting to be moved to tears by an emotional embrace between two misunderstood lovers. I can’t help thinking a few half-time DNA tests might have livened up the whole affair, maybe even a couple of lie-detector tests:
“Riyad, we asked you whether you would still be at the club come February.
You said yes.
I can confirm… that this was a lie”
The away support cries out “I KNEW IT!” as Jurgen Klopp, disguised underneath a Fleetwood Town scarf slowly edges towards the exit.
Jeremy Kyle aside, I do sympathise with the BBC – Fleetwood/Leicester was one of the ties of the round as a result of the famous Vardy story we have all heard so much about – but after Shrewsbury drew 0-0 with West Ham the following afternoon, there must have been a few frantic calls from inside Broadcasting House made to Mr. Wenger.
“Look Arsene, I know it’s a lot to ask but do you fancy starting Mertesacker and Holding at centre back this evening?”
Imagine the joy in the building when everyone saw Debuchy’s name on the team sheet. I know you may have lost the game, Arsene, but you saved the FA Cup.
As is the case every year, I’ve seen many hungover, empty new years promises of ‘never drinking again’ on social media, only for these promises to be broken within the week. Until Forest’s 4-2 triumph I was starting to think that the BBC, unlike the hungover population that makes up my social media feed, should make a promise and stick to it: ‘never broadcasting the FA Cup again’ would have done the trick.