As the FA Cup final draws near, Arsenal look to defend their title against an Aston Villa side who are much improved under Tim Sherwood. For all that has been said about the FA Cup losing its magic and interest, when your side is in the final it’s still considered a big occasion. Regardless of top quality Champions League nights, a FA Cup final at Wembley is still a reason to get excited. Wenger and his Arsenal side are the overwhelming favourites for the second year running, but the statistics below may not paint quite the same picture.
Arsenal’s appearance in this year’s final will break the record for the most number of appearances, 19, surpassing Man Utd. If Arsenal manage to make it consecutive FA Cup wins they will hold the record for the most wins, a total of 12
Updated 27th May 2015 at 08:08 AM by Statisticallyarsenal
Aston Villa wrestled our hypothetical FA Cup baton from West Bromwich Albion at the Quarter-final stage of this year’s competition, as Tim Sherwood’s men marched into Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final showdown with Liverpool.
Tim Sherwood has galvanised the Birmingham club, as the recent Premier League win at Tottenham Hotspur clearly demonstrated. He now has the chance to take that form to Wembley with his star striker Christian Benteke full of praise for Sherwood’s impact at Villa Park:
“The first day he came he said we have to play without fear. You can see when he speaks he has a lot of charisma and confidence.”
As a player, Sherwood reached the 6th round stage with Glen Hoddle’s Spurs side in 2002 only to be beaten 4-0 at home to Chelsea,
After the recent sixth round FA Cup clash, which saw Aston Villa knocking out West Bromwich Albion, many journalists were keen to write about something other than the Villans’ victory.
By Ryan James
In one of the most open FA Cups ever, Aston Villa displayed fantastic talent on the pitch, with particular kudos to youngster Jack Grealish, who scored the 90th minute winner. However, such was the excitement caused by the 19-year-old’s goal that fans gathered in their droves in a classic ‘pitch invasion’ before the final whistle was even blown.
Thousands of celebrating fans were the source of public condemnation by managers, journalists and the Football Association itself, which is allegedly investigating
Updated 27th March 2015 at 12:09 PM by Veritas
Aston Villa have wrestled my imaginary FA Cup baton from West Bromwich Albion at the Quarter-final stage of this year’s competition. Tim Sherwood’s men marched into the an FA Cup semi-final to face either Liverpool or Blackburn Rovers, who replay on Wednesday 8 April live on BT Sport, after their recent 0-0 draw at Anfield.
Sherwood seems to have galvanised the Birmingham club as they snatched two important victories over near neighbours West Brom within the space of a week, followed by a comprehensive rout of Sunderland at the Stadium of Light last Saturday. The results in the Premier League being potentially the more important.
However, the chance of FA Cup glory is not something to be taken lightly. The last time Villa got through to this stage of the FA
Updated 15th March 2015 at 07:56 PM by Veritas
Please note that I have made my judgements before the midweek fixtures, so it will be important to check out the results to see if there are any pointers to a team’s change in form, key injuries, suspensions and so on.
But, as it stands, this is how I see the weekend's FA Cup ties panning out....
Bradford City v Reading, Saturday 7 March (Kick-off 12:45pm)
Having beaten Chelsea and Sunderland already this season in the competition, I can’t back against Bradford City.
Perversely, Reading are likely to give the Bantams a much tougher game and could easily take the game or earn a replay.
However, Reading have lost nine on the road this season in the Championship, leaking 33 goals in the process.
But, and it’s a big but,
Updated 5th March 2015 at 09:01 AM by Veritas
My team to follow in the last round of the FA Cup was West Bromwich Albion and, after they saw off West Ham United in a convincing 4-0 victory in the 5th round, the honour remains with the Baggies as we enter the quarter-final stage of the competition.
It doesn’t seem long since I was previewing the titanic West Midlands FA Cup clash between West Brom and Birmingham City and now we have another Midlands derby in store as the Albion travel to Aston Villa who are now under the stewardship of new boss Tim Sherwood.
Both clubs have had success in the FA Cup but in the case of the Baggies you have to go back to 1968 for their last triumph. Albion had previously lifted the trophy on four occasions.
Villa meanwhile have lifted the iconic trophy seven
With many of the favored teams already knocked out of the world's greatest cup competition, half of the weekend's FA Cup 5th round ties being spread across Saturday afternoon presents an intriguing prospect for a rewarding fourfold.
West Bromwich Albion v West Ham United
Despite being a cup game, it's likely each team's differing league ambitions will have a major influence on this tie. While the visitors sit comfortably in the higher reaches of the top division, Baggies minds are firmly fixed on the essential Premier League survival.
Albion will be encouraged by a New Year's Day draw in East London when manager-in-waiting Tony Pulis looked on from the Upton Park stands.
However, as the Hammers can boast a 2-1 league win at The Hawthorns as recently as two months ago
Updated 13th February 2015 at 08:53 AM by Veritas
By Steve Sands (AFS contributor)
My hypothetical blogger’s FA Cup baton didn’t stay long in the hands of Birmingham City as they immediately handed it over to local rivals West Bromwich Albion in the last round of the competition.
The draw, made by Gary Lineker live on the BBC’s One Show, set up a meeting of the West Midlands club and their East London Premier League rivals West Ham United.
Both clubs have had success in the FA Cup, in the case of the Baggies you have to go back to 1968 for their last triumph, when a Jeff Astle goal three minutes into extra time saw off Everton.
Albion had previously lifted the trophy in 1888, 1892, 1931 and 1954. Their most recent
Updated 12th February 2015 at 08:47 AM by Veritas
I originally handed my special FA Cup bloggers baton to Tooting and Mitcham United. My unscientific choice was simply because the name struck a chord with me from the 1970s sitcom Citizen Smith starring Robert Lindsay.
Tooting’s FA Cup journey had begun back in August last year with a 0-0 draw at home to Three Bridges FC, followed by a 4-1 win in the replay.
Tooting stormed through the next round against Bishop's Stortford at the second attempt, before losing out to East Thurrock United in the competitions Third Qualifying round.
East Thurrock had grabbed my hypothetical baton and proceeded to sprint past Bath City, giving them a 7-1 thrashing in the process.
Hartlepool United then briefly took over ownership by knocking out the
Updated 18th January 2015 at 04:19 PM by Veritas
By Steve Sands (AFS Contributor)
It must have been a half time team talk of Churchill like proportions delivered by Birmingham City boss Gary Rowett to his troops at Blyth Spartans on Saturday.
With his side trailing 2-0 to FA Cup giant killers Blyth at the break, Rowett sent the Blues out inspired for the second period. Birmingham stormed back to progress through to the Fourth Round of the competition with a 3-2 victory over the plucky Spartans.
In many ways, the turnaround mirrored Birmingham’s season. Back in October when the former Burton Albion boss was appointed at St Andrews, the West Midlands side were next to bottom of the table with just 11 points from their first 14 games.
Rowett was given the opportunity at the Championship
Updated 4th January 2015 at 02:44 PM by Veritas