Speaking after his Crystal Palace side beat Southampton at their own ground on the weekend 1-2 in the FA Cup third round, Alan Pardew said that the cup could become ‘devalued’ if they do not come up with a new way of scheduling the tournament, according to Sky Sports.
Several Premier League sides opted to use weakened line-ups for their FA Cup games this weekend, to prevent more important first-team players from picking up injuries. This led to claims that the FA Cup is becoming less and less relevant, and clubs see it as more ‘in the way’ rather than a tournament that they want to be in.
Had his side been struggling for form at the other end of the Premier League table, former Newcastle United boss Pardew admitted that he would have been more likely to rest several more key players.
We’re all a bit conscious that for the teams down the bottom it’s tough to have a cup game like this off the back of the Christmas programme. I keep saying, and I’ve said it before, that the third round needs to be moved. I don’t think it’s fair for the competition. Obviously our selection was strong because of our league position, but if I was down at the bottom I would be really thinking about Tuesday (a league fixture at Aston Villa) more than I did. It devalues the competition. They should really look at the scheduling, maybe put it back a bit or put it before the Christmas programme. Or do something that gives the FA Cup a little bit more respect.
Alan Pardew was part of the Eagles set-up that lost to Manchester United in the 1990 FA Cup final replay and is targeting a trophy this season because of their fantastic domestic form.
This team has the qualities to go to the final, there’s no doubt about that.
I’ve seen teams get there who haven’t got the technical quality or the tenacity or the spirit of this group.