FA Cup shocks and what they mean for the men in charge

Simon Lillicrap by Simon Lillicrap / 30 January 2017, 12:46

This weekend was a vintage one in the most famous cup competition of them all as Liverpool, Leeds and Brighton, to mention a few, crashed out to lower-league opposition. We look at what impact will these shock results have on the managers in charge.

Jurgen Klopp - Liverpool 1-2 Wolves

Klopp took full responsibility for his sides shock loss to Championship outfit Wolves as he made nine changes. With his side now out of two cup competitions in a week, with three defeats in a row at Anfield and Chelsea coming to town on Tuesday, Klopp fins himself under increasing pressure. He is now 25/1 to be the next PL manager to go, the lowest price since his arrival on Merseyside.

His changes to his side seemed bizarre at the time and are even more bizarre given the result. His side, if they lose on Tuesday, are realistically out of the title race. That means a trophyless season for the Reds in a season that showed so much promise.

The FA Cup was a real chance for some major silverware and with a favourable home draw against lower-league opposition Klopp should have taken this tie seriously. They now have just 16 games to play in four months yet Klopp seemed to rest players due to tiredness, an issue we will discuss later in the article.

Although it is extremely unlikely that Klopp will get sacked, he needs to prioritise winning trophies and trust his players to play more than one game in a week.

Garry Monk - Sutton 1-0 Leeds

Now unlike Jurgen Klopp, Garry Monk will not be too disappointed in being out of the FA Cup. His Leeds side have a real chance at promotion this year and this loss, however embarrassing, could prove to be a blessing in disguise as Leeds look set for a testing run in including the possibility off the play-offs.

Unfortunately for cup romantics, high-flying Championship clubs must prioritise the Championship as the financial incentive to be involved in the Premier League is now so great.

Chris Hughton - Lincoln 3-1 Brighton

Hughton’s side find themselves top of the Championship and tantalisingly close to the honey-pot of money that is the Premier League. Brighton were unlucky at Sincil Bank but Hughton will not be overly bothered by his sides exit, given their position in the league.

Rafa Benitez - Oxford 3-0 Newcastle

Now Newcastle have disregarded the cup competitions for many years now, the last time they won an FA Cup tie away from home was in 2006. This has been a source of anger for the Geordie faithful for many years, when they were a solid Premier League team the club were still not taking these competitions seriously. This year however, the fans may be more understanding of their sides lacklustre performance in the FA Cup given their positon in the league.

Walter Mazzarri - Millwall 1-0 Watford

This FA Cup defeat could be the final nail in the coffin for the Italian, he is now 3/1 to be the next manager to be dismissed. Watford made seven changes to their starting 11 which is madness considering they lie 14th in the Premier League, a comfortable eight points off the drop.

The reason given for these changes was that they face Arsenal at the Emirates on Tuesday night. However, that game is a game they are likely to lose whatever team they put out, and that result will not affect their season. This game was a real chance to reach the later stages of a prestigious competition yet they seemed to give it up with a whimper.

Marco Silva - Fulham 4-1 Hull

Marco Silva finds himself at 25/1 to be the next manager be dismissed just three weeks after taking the job. This defeat will have done nothing to help his sides confidence as they face an uphill battle to stay in the Premier League. His side were not just beaten but outplayed by a vibrant Fulham side. They are now out of both Cup competitions leaving just the Premier League to play for. A cup run could have provided a welcome distraction for the Portuguese manager, however top-flight survival is key.

Summary

Tiredness seems to be the main issue surrounding the weakened teams in the FA Cup. Managers seem obsessed with resting players and it is incomprehensible that a player can play more than one match in seven days. Alan Shearer and Gary Linekar have both come out and said that they didn’t get ‘tired’ when having to play multiple games so why is it now a modern phenomenon?

The Premier League may be the be-all and end-all of football these days but in cases such as Watford, fans would rather have a cup run that gives them a possible trip to Wembley rather than finishing 12th instead of 14th. Having said that, there is NO evidence that resting players in cup competitions leads to an improvement in league form from playing less games.

In fact, a good cup run can generate momentum and improve the league form as players enjoy playing without the pressures of the Premier League. This means managers may be resting players and missing out on the chance for some silverware for no reason and it may be detrimental to their league form rather than favourable.

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