Wednesday, 2 March 2011
Where does the FA draw the line?
The FA cup has produced many magical moments over the years but Aston Villa's tonight was not one of them.
Beaten 3-0 by a rampant Manchester City does not sound terrible but when you look at the team selection you can do nothing but scratch your head.
Making eight changes to your side when going to face a clubin the FA cup who are sitting comfortably in top four is a crazy idea. Gerard Houllier has shown that next weeks game against Bolton and survival in the Premiership is more important than winning a trophy this season.
A disappointing Villa season could have ended with some success if they had wnet for the Cup and won it but changes were made. Will the FA fine Houllier and Villa for his team selection? I very much doubt it.
The FA don't see dropping players for cup games as a problem however somehow changing your team around in the league is supposedly different. Just ask Wolves and Blackpool.
Wolves were fined last season over team selection and this season Blackpool were fined for making ten changes to their team for a league match against Villa they narrowly lost.
Ian Holloway and Blackpool were furious that they had been fined and you can see why. Why do the FA make you pick a 23 man squad if you are not allowed to use the players you have picked without scrutiny?
The FA will not charge Aston Villa as changing your team in the cup seems to be ok as teams like Arsenal and Manchester United do it every year against lower teams. The problem will lie with Houllier who is receiving severe criticism from his teams fans whoare angry that mid table is the aim instead of winning a cup as well as.
Houllier might not last much longer than the end of this season if the fans get their way.