Greetings! The FA Cup took centre stage this weekend but with only five top-flight teams in action, the hunt for the best and worst was more difficult than normal. Chelsea and Manchester United will complete the round tonight ahead of the Quarter Final draw. With a very limited pool to choose from, who made the cut? We’ve had to roll out a 4-5-1, like a team with an injury crisis or one short of inspiration.
Heurelho Gomes – I couldn’t decide if I was surprised or not that Gomes turned 38 on Friday. He has been around a while but honestly, I had never thought about it. He celebrated with a clean sheet at Loftus Road. He makes the team as he celebrated Watford’s winner with so much gusto, I worry for his health if the Hornets go on to win the cup.
Miguel Britos – He was excellent for Watford on Friday night. He put up with the madness of Christian Kabasele who seemed generally unsure what colour his side were playing in for spells of Friday night’s game.
Aymeric Laporte – Widely regarded as one of the best centre-halves in the league this season, it turns out Newport are the only team to ruffle him. One long ball, a terrible header, ball in the net. The finish was outstanding but of all the great strikers Laporte has kept in his pocket this season, Padraig Amond is not one of them.
Matt Doherty – The all-action wing-back has been Wolves’ man of the tournament so far. His contributions across the two games against Shrewsbury were pivotal and he followed that up with an assist against Bristol City. He did limp off which will be a concern to fans and his manager alike but Wolves have got to be eyeing up a trip to Wembley.
Tomas Kalas – I know, Premier League players only, right? Kalas is on loan from Chelsea, like most of the Bristol City squad. His inclusion is for a few reasons. Firstly, he played very well in a losing effort. Secondly, he made his debut for Chelsea in 2014. FIVE YEARS AGO. Why are you still there mate? Find a new permanent home as soon as you can.
Etienne Capoue – Doucoure has grabbed a lot of the headlines for Watford but I think Capoue is every bit as important in the engine room. He took his goal well on Friday night as he bagged what turned out to be the winner. Capoue of course once played for Spurs, not that anybody recalls that spell with any great fondness.
Yves Bissouma – BISSOUMA! The Brighton fan who realised his name fit into Tequila is a genius in my eyes. Bissouma rewarded the imagination with two assists as Brighton just about saw off Derby. He’s had a season of bedding in and presuming they stay up and he’s still there next season, I think he’ll be very good indeed.
Phil Foden – The Stockport Iniesta. Foden stepped up and grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck with two goals to end Newport’s resistance. He’s going to be in the middle of the park for Man City for another 10 years at least and he’s only going to get better. That will be good news for England as this boy has got all the potential in the world.
Ivan Cavaleiro – He grabbed the winner for Wolves against Bristol City. The fact he scored is enough to earn him a spot in this, the poorest of weeks.
Jeff Schlupp – Good goal! A rare show of pace from a man who is a Premier League winner. There’s a chance he’ll add the FA Cup to his cabinet of medals come the end of the season. Would you really have a cabinet for one medal? Nevermind. Good goal, good times for Palace.
Jurgen Locadia – Easiest goal of the weekend? The ultimate “right place, right time” goal as Bissouma’s shot cannoned back off the post. He left the pitch to a painful-looking ankle injury though, a bittersweet weekend for the Dutch forward.
Roy Hodgson – Roy gets my vote this week. He’s given the FA Cup a lot of respect throughout and now sits one game away from Wembley. Reaching an FA Cup final would be nice from a sentimental point of view. Roy’s had a long career and I think the rough way it ended with England overshadows just how good a manager he has been. He’ll be wanting Millwall or Swansea at home, as I’m sure plenty of teams will.
That’s it for a fairly drab week. Hopefully, I’ll have more to talk about next week after the Premier League returns next weekend. Have a good week!