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Beat around the Bush

PUBLISHED: 16:58 02 December 2009 | UPDATED: 14:47 24 August 2010

By Chris Crees WHAT do these names mean to you? Phil Brazier, David Harle, Andy Preece and Chris Kiwomya? Struggling? Okay, let me tell you. Phil Brazier scored Vauxhall Motors equaliser at Loftus Road, and we all know what happened next; David Harle sco

By Chris Crees

WHAT do these names mean to you? Phil Brazier, David Harle, Andy Preece and Chris Kiwomya?

Struggling? Okay, let me tell you. Phil Brazier scored Vauxhall Motors' equaliser at Loftus Road, and we all know what happened next; David Harle scored Division Three Doncaster's goal in our 1-0 defeat while we were riding high in the top flight and Andy Preece scored Stockport's winner when they were also in the old Division Three and we were in the Premier League.

Oh yes, I left one out - Kiwomya. Can you believe he was the last QPR player to score a WINNING goal for us in the FA Cup back in 2001!

There's no question that QPR's FA Cup record over the last decade is pretty abysmal and after Sunday's somewhat disappointing draw, you wonder if our winless streak in the FA Cup is likely to continue.

I doubt there's a QPR fan out there that's not disappointed we're away to Sheffield United, if only because it might have been nice if we'd played a club outside the Championship.

However, does anybody actually care about the FA Cup any more? Is it important? Has it lost its appeal?

My answer and it breaks my heart to say so, is a firm yes. It really isn't the same any more and I believe the ONLY reason behind its decline is simply that there's far too much football on TV and the competition has become just another game.

Look at the coverage we have on TV now: Live Premier League, Championship, League One, League Two, Blue Square Premier, Italian, Spanish, German, Champions League, Europa League and even Northern Ireland league games have been shown recently.

Nothing wrong with that, mind you, but add to that FA Cup and Carling Cup games starting from the first round and all the internationals from schoolboy level upwards and frankly, I think it's too much.

Of course, you do have an on-off switch, but I firmly believe that this glut of live TV and highlights shows has dampened the interest in this wonderful old competition.

If you get a top draw in the third round, you might disagree, but you rarely see the top-flight clubs play their first team, which kind of devalues the competition. In the early days, this never happened, so the likes of Northampton Town were able to watch Best, Law and Charlton, even if the result was a heavy defeat!

The solution for me is quite simple. If QPR go on a cup run this season, then this article can be scrapped!


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