The myth that is the ‘magic of the cup’

Lincoln City may well have already booked their train tickets to London, but the destination could quite possibly be south London, rather than north, with Gander Green Lane (perhaps) the venue to host an FA Cup quarter-final.

Of course, logic and common sense points towards Danny Cowley’s side enjoying themselves at the Emirates Stadium, and ending in a result that “didn’t see the Imps disgrace themselves” and “a day that will live long in the memories of Lincoln’s 1,204 travelling army that sang for the whole 90 minutes”.

That being said, Burnley certainly expected to be in the quarter-finals of England’s oldest cup competition, so rhyme and reason doesn’t always apply to such predictions.

The FA Cup clichés that have been so willingly peddled out during the respective cup runs of the two non-league sides, all end up with the ‘magic of the cup’ tagline. But the cliché is no longer one that is appropriate; the magic of the cup no longer exists.

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And this isn’t due to the fact Manchester United’s FA Cup clashes have been televised since the resurrection of Jesus or because teams like Bournemouth are making wholesale changes to their starting XIs. No, in a stroke of twisted irony, the ‘magic of the cup’ has been killed by the very clubs it represents.

Sutton’s hosting of Arsenal has seen newfound fame for their second choice ‘keeper, Wayne Shaw, with the obvious brilliance of that whole story plain to see.

But when these ‘fairy tales’ occur, people come out of the woodwork – similarly to when you win the lottery, no doubt – to crowbar themselves into some form of relevance, within the story.

“Sutton? Bloody hell, I remember when the sat nav took me the wrong way home, and drove past the ground. Oh the memories! I’m sure the club remembers me; I’ll give the BBC a call.”

Every single cliched English football fan

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Perhaps Chris’ motives were pure and meant with genuine sincerity; a proud local milkman enjoying his local club’s biggest game in their history.

Or perhaps Chris is hoping for the BBC to try and track him down, for their post-match wrap on whatever is going to occur in south London, tonight.

DISCLAIMER: Don’t worry, I already know I’m a miserable sod.

Now, we already know your response to our next point, however, this is genuinely not being made out of bitterness.

We contacted one of the history makers from the two non-league outfits for an interview, and despite the player’s eagerness to speak to us, he let us know that the club have stopped him doing anymore interviews. – yeah, yeah “who the hell are CLICKON Soccer anyway?” blah blah we’ve heard it all before.

How’s that for the magic of the cup? Players of the ‘real’ footballing world, players who are closer to being fans than they’re Premier League footballers, prevented from speaking to, not just us, but any media outlets, to bask in the glow that will be for many – if not most – their proudest and most exciting day of their careers.

The magic of the cup would’ve been hearing about how Lincoln and Sutton United players enjoy these once in a lifetime moments. Rather than getting someone like Wayne Rooney, a media-trained walking cliché book, uttering recycled soundbites, whilst eyeing up the exit door.

Handcuffed from grass roots level up, rather than the Premier League down. And all this is before you look at the fact that Millwall’s pitch invasion was placed under the ‘magic of the cup’ category.

Arsenal are lucky to play at Sutton United’s ground, Gander Green Lane trumps all these…