In last night’s FA Cup third round draw, the Villans were drawn at home against Blackpool. The Seasiders are currently occupying bottom spot in the Championship. On paper, it should be a home win but, as we have seen in the past, it may not be just as easy as that…
In recent seasons with Paul Lambert, cup competitions have been the club’s Achilles’ heel. Villa fans will not need reminding of the two-legged semi-final tie against Bradford City, which left a gloomy mist over B6 for a number of months. When the draw was initially made, Villa fans were more than optimistic, which was understandable due to the positioning of the two clubs. However, we were soon reminded that football is indeed a funny old game and that every dog has its day, so to speak.
Being defeated by the Bantams, unfortunately, wasn’t a one off, and losing to lower league sides became a regular occurrence for Lambert and the supporters. The Millwall defeat came shortly after the disappointment of the Bradford game, which was still raw to a number of fans.
As the Villans were drawn against Sheffield United in the third round of the FA cup last season, many were hoping for a change of fortune. We faced different opposition but the same disappointment followed, with the club knocked out by another lower league team.
This season, the Villans were knocked out of the League Cup early by Leyton Orient so Villa supporters’ pride has taken a hit when it comes to cup competitions in recent seasons.
Is it the players’ mentality?
Paul Lambert was asked if Premier League managers would prefer to avoid cup competitions such as the FA Cup, and the Scot replied, “If they were being honest, they probably would do. Not just because of the money but survival in the league is vital.”
If this is the mentality of the manager when it comes to cup games, how does he motivate the players?
Aston Villa Football Club has enjoyed considerable success in the FA Cup, lifting the prestigious trophy on seven occasions. However, the last time the club won it was in 1957, when Peter McParland scored a brace against Manchester United in a 2-1 victory.
Can the Villans start a successful cup run against Blackpool and give the supporters something to smile about? Here’s hoping the Villa boys can start 2015 with a bang!