This afternoon (or morning, as it was for me here in Wisconsin), my Canaries went down to a historic defeat in front of their home crowd at Carrow Road. it was a giant killing of historic proportions. Not since 1989 has a Premier League squad been defeated by a Non-League squad in the FA Cup. Not in 24 years. Not until today.
N0rwich City should have roasted Luton Town and served them up with some of Delia Smith’s mince pies. They have a better squad top to bottom, and obviously they play 4 levels up the football pyramid. But somehow, today, they looked worse than pedestrian.
Yes, Chris Hughton started Henry Kane up front, instead of Grant Holt. Yes, Hoolihan was on the bench and Snodgrass and Bassong are out nursing injuries. But it shouldn’t have made a difference. The lineup Chris Hughton named today, should have cleaned Luton’s clock (( *or insert your own similar tired cliche here* )).
The football Norwich played today was certainly not liquid football. It was not the sort of football Norwich City usually plays. Hell…they looked a sharper and far superior side in their recent 5-0 defeat to Liverpool than they did today. I watched every minute of this giant killing farce of a game.
I’m not laying this defeat, and Norwich’s current bad run of form on Chris Hughton. No. I’m putting it on the players not staying on the ball….they’ve been showing the same alarming tendency that Chelsea has been showing of late of farting around and slowing the game down, when they should be staying on the ball and moving forward.
These guys know better and should have performed better. Chris Hughton is going to crack the whip on then this week ahead of their upcoming Premier League tilts with Tottenham and Queens Park Rangers (speaking of which….but no, I’ll be getting to that).
So fair play to Luton Town.
Luton Town’s coach Paul Buckle was just as shocked by their win as Norwich coach Chris Hughton was by their defeat. The enormity of the occasion probably has not sunk in yet as I write this this evening (5:20AM in Luton UK), and most likely it won’t sink in until they take the pitch against what will very well be another Premier League squad in the 4th Round.
Buckle had a game plan for his underdog squad and his lads played it to perfection. Unlike my Canaries, the Hatters gave their all and played their best. They caught Norwich City on the counter, and at the 80th minute, Scott Rendell smacked a cross from Jonathan O’Donnell past the helpless Declan Rudd. As the minutes ticked off to the death, Luton Town held on. And when Andrew Marriner blew the whistle for time, the giant killing was complete.
Queens Park Rangers 2 Milton Keynes Dons 4
While not quite on the same level of giant killing as the Norwich/Luton tilt, Milton Keynes 2-4 demolition of QPR certainly was almost as shocking. The Dons are currently 8th place in League 1, two steps down the pyramid from QPR. So by all rights, QPR should have won this.
But QPR have their own set of problems. They’re currently last place in the Premier League and if they don’t shape up, they’re relegation bound. Their owner Tony Fernandez, and their previous two gaffers have spent a tonne on players ((not as much as the big boys like Chelsea and City, but still a nice pile of coin)). But those players are not the caliber they think they are, and they don’t play together very well as a team. Individually, QPR has some good talent, but on the pitch, they suck. It’s almost that simple.
Me? I’m happy as hell with this result from Loftus Road. This is the sort of giant killing I like to see. It’s a pity it wasn’t little Anton Ferdinand who got the scoring account opened with an own goal for the Dons. Instead it was his teammate Armand Traoré who spotted the Dons their first point. The Dons then went on a 56 minute rampage and scored 3 more on goals from
(the law firm of) Lowe, Harley and Potter. QPR finally opened their account on a Jay Bothroyd strike on 83 minutes, and Fabió, the twin brother of ManU(re)’s Raphael. clobbered one home in garbage time. And thus, another FA Cup giant killing was in the books.
I’m hoping that that when I get up in a few short hours to watch Chelsea take on Brentford, that I wont have to witness another one.