Plymouth 0 Liverpool 1

In 1965 Liverpool, the Champions of England had been drawn at home against the bottom side of the Fourth Division, Stockport County in the FA Cup fourth round. Liverpool was on a long unbeaten run, Stockport weren’t, in fact just the opposite. Maybe, for the only time in his life Bill Shankly felt over confident – so he gave the game a miss and went to watch Liverpool’s European quarter final opponents Cologne instead. There was no such thing as rotation and no one in their right mind would have fielded a weakened side in an FA Cup game, it would have amounted to sacrilege. Had Liverpool lost it would have surely gone down as one of the biggest shocks in the history of the FA Cup and been viewed as even worse than the loss against non-league Worcester City a few years previous. It came close to being just that. Liverpool came from a goal down to scramble a one-all draw but had to thank a last minute goal line clearance by Gerry Byrne for keeping them in the Cup and getting a replay that would be played the following Wednesday. Liverpool won and went on to win the FA Cup for the first time in their history. So our side having to go to a team of Plymouth’s status in the FA Cup is nothing new. We got through and like the performance of Stockport all those years ago, Plymouth’s brave showing will soon be forgotten by all bar their own because that’s way it is. I don’t feel the need to rotate in the way Jürgen does and did. Every team from The Premier Division have had a fixture glut and, in fact, Plymouth’s probably played as many games this season as we have. Next week we have to find a way past Southampton in the League Cup but maybe we should remember Southampton’s played more games this season than we have. There’s no doubt English football is overloaded with fixtures and Cup competitions the majority no longer care about. You have to get on with it. More worrying for me is no matter what our line up of recent weeks we’ve stopped scoring, we’ve stopped having shots on target in the numbers we were having. Five goals in the last six games and the number of shots on goal have probably just crept past a dozen. That’s what we have to put right and I’m sure The Kaiser will do just that. In the meantime, we won last night and more game time for the kids, as things are just now, I can handle that.

Leave a Reply