Anyone who chose to build a football accumulator from the weekend's favourites was sorely mistaken in assuming that it would be an easy ride, as there were more than a few shocks in the Fourth Round of the FA Cup. It all started on Saturday where, despite Derby County defeating Accrington Stanley in the early kick-off as expected, results later on in the day presented some unpredictability, Middlesbrough held to a draw at home to Newport County, Queens Park Rangers held to a draw with Portsmouth, Wolverhampton Wanderers held to a draw with Shrewsbury Town, and an even more damning selection of defeats. Devastating defeats included Everton losing away to Millwall, West Ham United losing away to AFC Wimbledon, and another upset on Sunday, as Tottenham Hotspur lost 2-0 away to Crystal Palace.
Not only do these outcomes prove a case for the foretold 'Magic of the FA Cup' but they also question whether higher tier teams are still showing it the respect it deserves. Older football fans will recognise the FA Cup as being the biggest and one of the oldest football trophies to remain in circulation, but whether managers from abroad are seeing it on a similar pedestal is looking unlikely, with Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp and Tottenham Hotspur's Mauricio Pochettino appearing to dismiss it over past months.
There are clearly a lot of managers who still regard the FA Cup as being among the sport's biggest competitions, but with more showing themselves to be uninterested in competing for other, arguably more important tournaments, it's a concern as to whether it will be given quite as much exposure in future years. The Magic Of The FA Cup has become a cliché for English football fans, with it being based around the concept of anything being possible during FA Cup fixtures, allowing the country's smallest team to defeat the country's largest, but even that might not be enough to convince some of the Premier League's most respected managers.