World of Sport: No-one wants to watch Bradford on TV

Friday (30 January) is the 50th anniversary of Posh beating a full-strength Arsenal team - when Derek Dougan (left) scored a vital goal
Friday (30 January) is the 50th anniversary of Posh beating a full-strength Arsenal team - when Derek Dougan (left) scored a vital goal
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I couldn’t take my eyes off the BBC vidiprinter between 4.30 and 5pm last Saturday, which was a a bit naughty as I was supposed to be watching the final knockings of a rare Posh victory.

But then Chelsea 2, Bradford City 4 will have that effect on anyone interested in football, especially after discovering a Chelsea Twitter timeline claiming it was ‘game over’ when their side went 2-0 up.

But the fun lasted about an hour until the radio airwaves and social media started proclaiming it ‘the greatest FA Cup shock of all time’, which it wasn’t, not by a long way.

Chelsea’s ‘shame’ as Jose Mourinho called it, probably lasted less than 24 hours.

The FA Cup was so low on Chelsea’s priorities, their manager made nine changes to the side that played at Liverpool five days earlier. Chelsea made a Wembley cup final three days later anyway.

One of the two who survived the Chelsea chop was Gary Cahill who proved what an ordinary centre-back he is when he doesn’t have John Terry by his side. Chelsea reached a Wembley Final three days later anyway.

Bradford’s achievement was stunning, but as usual perspective and knowledge were lacking in those who are paid far too much money if they are just going to talk without thinking.

On the dreadful Match of the Day chat show Robbie Fowler declared it the greatest shock of all time thus confirming he has no clue of his own favourite club’s history. Liverpool lost 2-0 at non-league side Worcester in 1959.

Believe it or not, back in the day, the biggest teams used to take the FA Cup seriously.

Friday (Jan 30) is the 50th anniversary of Posh beating a full-strength Arsenal team - when Derek Dougan (right) scored a vital goal - and Fourth Division Colchester beat a Leeds United team that was the best in the country in 1971.

Both of those matches were far bigger shocks than that pulled off by Bradford on Saturday (admirable as it was to come back from 2-0 down) as was the greatest shock of them all when non-league Hereford knocked First Division Newcastle out in 1972.

Big teams are vulnerable in the FA Cup now. The gulf in sheer quality and class between the biggest and the rest is probably greate r than at any time in football history, but there is also a huge difference in attitude towards domestic cup competitions among the top clubs compared to previous decades.

Manchester City were so concerned about winning the FA Cup this season, they flew out to play a friendly in Dubai just to keep their owners happy and didn’t return until the night before a home tie against a strong Middlesbrough side.

Swansea, who are already playing for nothing but Premier League prize money, rested five players and lost at Blackburn.

It was a pretty amazing FA Cup Saturday, but you can bet your life the TV companies are miffed. Everyone loves a cup shock, but no-one wants to watch Bradford, Reading or Aston Villa live on the box.

Hero of the week: Lee Tomlin

I know he behaved like a spoilt child in his last few months at London Road, but Posh fans should still be proud that their club helped develop such an outrageous talent.

Tomlin’s cameo for Middlesbrough as they dumped Manchester City out of the FA Cup last week was breath-taking. He has Premier League ability.

Ditch the banal commentaries

There are sports that don’t need commentators, never mind co-commentators. Snooker is one and tennis is another.

Snooker commentary consists of former players predicting the next shot. They are usually wrong.

And some of the padding tennis commentators use borders on the banal.

Tennis is self-explanatory. We can spot the great shots and we can tell who is playing well.

We don’t need some bore to delve into the psychology, unless of course Sigmund Freud (above) is on duty.

Add the repetitive shots of the gurners and nutters in the players’ boxes after every rally and the inane immediate interview with an exhausted winner and see how TV companies are doing their best to ruin a great sport.

Loans just paper over the cracks

Nothing infuriates me more than football clubs using the loan system to cover up their inadequacies.

Every other goal in the Football League seems to be scored by a player who has been borrowed from another club.

Posh are guilty of this and it irritates me whenever they dip into the loan market.

Posh spent £500k on Luke James (above) earlier this season so why not try and coach him and improve him rather than replace him with guest players?

Even if those guest players are two club legends from the past.

Posh are probably going nowhere this season so why not give those players who have committed themselves to the club a fair crack of the whip? If they flop then change them in the summer.

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