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Opinion

FA Cup plea to Rafa Benitez

2 years ago
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With the arrival of another new year, the 3rd round of the FA  Cup once again beckons.

Perhaps fifteen years ago that news might still have caused some excitement…but it seems that almost all clubs in the top division now greet it with a disdainful shrug.

It is now two whole decades since Newcastle last played on Wembley’s turf for the cup final.

Even so, an impressive crowd of 47,000 Geordies watched the Mags beat Luton at this stage of the FA Cup last season. Such a high attendance proves that this city has not given up on cup glory, even if the club’s hierarchy is indifferent to it.

Cheaper tickets help put bums on seats and I would bet that a greater proportion of the crowd at the Luton game were not adults. Nevertheless, this newest generation of NUFC fans probably can’t remember the last time the team made it past the fourth round (2006).

The draw has been relatively kind to us. And, as such, this fickle moment of luck must be seized on mercilessly.

The whole issue of whether the match in any way affects our form in the Premier League is irrelevant. Blackburn will be just as nervous about their position in the Championship as our own situation.

Ultimately, this article is a plea to Rafa Benitez and the players. In such a drab season, a nice run in the FA Cup could give us all a bit of much-needed excitement.

Nobody can control the draw for each round, apart from the hand of whichever unemployed manager or beige ex-player is asked to pull out the balls.

Indeed, any NUFC fan is realistic enough to know that being given Liverpool away would be the kiss of death. But even surviving as long as the fifth round means a whole month of distraction from the misery of our league season.

So please, Rafa, put out a strong XI and give those lads from Blackburn a torrid afternoon.
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