FA Cup 3rd Round Preview (07/08), with Gerry McDonnell – Let’s all do the Bart Man
Ignorance is not necessarily bliss. I’ve recently discovered that binge drinking can lead to long-term health problems, such as crabs and Chlamydia.
The arrival of a new year offers me the opportunity to reflect upon my previous excess and resolve to make a significant change. I have made a solemn pledge to drink no more than the next man; as long as the man next to me is Joey Barton.
I hope that Joey has used his time in custody productively, and has questioned the wisdom of some of his earlier decisions. He should never have taken tips on dining etiquette from Lee Bowyer.
A source close to Sam Allardyce has told me that Nicky Butt is extremely disappointed in his teammate’s behaviour, and will be having a quiet little word in his ear to remind him of his responsibilities. Just when Joey thought things couldn’t get any worse, he now has a sore Butt to contend with. I’ll happily pounce on the 11/8 for a Newcastle win over Stoke.
Lee Hughes can empathise with the Barton situation, as he has also returned to football after completing a stretch. “I was touching my toes every night,” bragged the ginger fitness fanatic.
Many people were disappointed with Oldham’s decision to employ Hughes on his release, but Andy Johnson remains fully supportive; he’s even promised to make an ‘A’ sign if he scores a goal. Everton will run over an outclassed Oldham at 1/4.
Manchester United supporters always enjoy their trip to the midlands for their traditional FA Cup 3rd round meeting with Aston Villa. Not only have they saw their team emerge victorious on each of their last eight visits, it’s also a shorter journey than they’re accustomed to. I’m absolutely overjoyed with the prospect of 10/11 for another Manchester United win.
Steve Bruce compared purchasing players in January to buying puppies at Christmas, “You have to make sure it’s long term and for the right reasons,” lectured the pugnacious manager. I’ll definitely be getting my hands on a couple of puppies if Sunderland end Wigan’s campaign at 5/4.
An apoplectic Juande Ramos threatened to completely dismantle the Spurs team after they lost to Aston Villa in midweek. I fully expect to see a superhuman effort from the Tottenham players after the manager’s tirade. They can be heroes, just for Juande. Tottenham will repeat last week’s victory over Reading at 8/15.
Freddie Ljungberg is still suffering from migraines. My wife can totally sympathise with the Swede, she’s had a recurring headache for five years. I will be getting my hands on the 6/4 for a West Ham win over Manchester City.
Mark Hughes appears to be willing to release Robbie Savage. The Blackburn manager stated that Robbie ‘doesn’t take not playing very well’ and added that Savage was ‘frustrated’. That’s just a fancy way of confirming what we already suspected. I’ll be furiously pounding the 2/5 for a Blackburn win over Coventry.
Coventry could do with a decent cup run, as they still face the threat of liquidation. That must be one big blender. Burnley face an absolute shoeing at the hands of Arsenal, I’m taking an involvement at 2/5.
QPR have some serious financial clout in the boardroom. Lakshmi Mittal could buy and sell Roman Abramovich like a cheap blonde, although Mark Hughes is now attempting to flood the market. Backing Chelsea to beat QPR at 1/6 will lead to small economic growth.
The ‘romance of the cup’ may be a cliché, but I genuinely fancy Sheffield Wednesday to pull off an upset against Derby at 7/2. In fact, it will be more of a shock if they don’t.
Incredibly, I was once accused of being unromantic. This allegation is a complete fabrication. Even when drinking heavily, I’ll always pay for a lady’s kebab before introducing her to the little G. If Tottenham, West Ham, Arsenal and Newcastle land a 10/1 weekend accer, I’ll even consider throwing in a small chips.
Full list of FA Cup 3rd Round Fixtures:
Preston v Scunthorpe
Chasetown v Cardiff
Colchester v Peterborough
Bolton v Sheffield United
Blackburn v Coventry
Brighton v Mansfield
Walsall v Millwall
Charlton v West Brom
Watford v Crystal Palace
Luton v Liverpool
Plymouth v Hull
Aston Villa v Manchester United
Tranmere v Hereford
Tottenham v Reading
Burnley v Arsenal
Bristol City v Middlesbrough
Fulham v Bristol Rovers
Huddersfield v Birmingham
Swansea v Havant & Waterlooville
Sunderland v Wigan
Southend v Dagenham & Redbridge
Everton v Oldham
Derby v Sheffield Wednesday
Southampton v Leicester
West Ham v Manchester City
Ipswich v Portsmouth
Wolves v Cambridge
Barnsley v Blackpool
Chelsea v QPR
Stoke v Newcastle
Swindon v Barnet
Norwich v Bury