5 things we learned from the FA Cup fifth round
With the Premier League taking a well-earned break over the weekend, all eyes were on the FA Cup to see which teams would reach the sixth round of English football’s most prestigious cup competition.
Many people’s favourite to win the cup was Manchester City, but they were reduced to 10 men in Monday’s tie with League One side Wigan and were knocked out in dramatic fashion after a second-half goal from Will Grigg.
Swansea and Tottenham also came unstuck against lower-league opposition, drawing with Sheffield Wednesday and Rochdale respectively, and they will need to win replays later in February if they’re to make the last eight.
Chelsea, Leicester and Brighton all avoided upsets earlier in the weekend, while Manchester United swept aside Huddersfield and Southampton were victorious at West Brom.
In this article, we take a look at five things we learned from the fifth-round FA Cup action.
#5 Alan Pardew is under more pressure than ever
On the pitch, West Brom have won just one of their last 23 Premier League games and they’re seven points adrift at the bottom of the table with just 11 matches of the season to go.
Off the pitch, the club sacked their chairman and chief executive last week, while four senior players – Gareth Barry, Jonny Evans, Jake Livermore and Boaz Myhill – were forced to apologise after allegedly stealing a taxi during a trip to Barcelona.
In a nutshell, the Baggies are an absolute mess and, to make matters worse, two of the ‘cab four’ involved in the late-night incident, Barry and Evans, were handed starts by beleaguered boss Alan Pardew for Saturday’s 2-1 FA Cup defeat at home to Southampton.
Pardew took the captaincy away from Evans for the match and said he was “furious” with all four players, but it still showed a serious lack of authority from Pardew to start both Barry and Evans when he had Claudio Yacob and Chris Brunt as alternatives on the bench.
No wonder reports suggest he only has two games left to save his job.