Cup football can be a distraction when you are a team struggling at the bottom of the table. Still, it can also be a relief from the pressure of the relegation battle, and if you can win, it can boost the confidence of the team as they then get back to the pressure cooker of the league.
In 1989 we had a poor league campaign, we faced Arsenal in the cup, who was top of the table, and we earned a draw at Home before Super Leroy Rosenoir popped up at Highbury to head home the winner.
We went as far as the Quater finals that year as well as the semi-final of the League cup, and as the season finished, we took the cup football form and managed to get to the last game of the season with a chance of staying up.
Even in the Grant season, we had a good cup run that also came with an upturn in form in the PL.
Today’s 3rd round of the FA cup against Brentford, our new PL bogey team, was the chance to win, which was more important than the fact that we progressed in the competition. The win would give the players confidence in the upcoming Wolves and Everton games and push them on to the victories that not only relieve the position at the foot of the table but relieve the pressure on the manager from a large section of the support base.
The first half was largely uneventful. We had enough of the ball but created no clear-cut chances. Paqueta looks better each game, and today he was the bright spark in our midfield in that half. Antonio seems to lack that yard of pace he used to have when free scoring and makes the wrong decisions when he has the ball running forward, not passing at the optimum moment to play in a fellow attacker.
Against Leeds Wednesday night, Moyes was accused of throwing the win with his changes, this game, it seems his changes won the game.
Benrahma can be a frustrating player, a lot of the time, he wastes good positions, and his shooting or crossing can be wayward. Today he showed why he is the most creative player we have and should be a guaranteed starter. He is direct and, as shown more than once this season, can pop up with a goal; today, he did just that.
I don’t get the Moyes criticism of him at times, and considering he needs the players to pull with him in the same direction, his tendency to only pick Bennys name out when criticising a player is not a good look. It is possible others players will see that and side with their teammate. That can cause a discourse between players and management.
Anyway, today we can celebrate our first win since 3rd November against FCSB; we need to enjoy it and look forward to the draw for the 4th round as in the cup runs this season, We have not lost any game in regulation time, and only the Blackburn penalty defeat did we lose the tie. If we continue that form, this season may be the one we end 42 years of hurt.