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Schmeichel: FA Cup Degraded By United’s Absence

Peter Schmeichel has reflected on the decision to allow Manchester United to pull out of the FA Cup following our historic Treble winning season to play in the World Club Cup in Brazil. Whilst United have always been the ones criticised for this decision, the truth is the government and FA were the ones at fault.

“The FA made a massive mistake not letting United sit out the third round when they went to Brazil,” said Schmeichel. “That would have made everything easy. But by leaving the European champions and defending FA Cup winners out of the competition the FA degraded the FA Cup. Clubs started to think about the FA Cup in a different way and play their reserves and younger players.”

Schmeichel believes that people view the Cup differently because of that and that the competition doesn’t hold the same magic it did when he was a child.

“One of my greatest lifetime ambitions, from being a small kid, was to play in an FA Cup final for Manchester United, at Wembley, and win it,” he added. “I didn’t think about winning the English championship. It was the FA Cup final. I don’t think many players are dreaming that dream any more. The FA Cup went through a very tough period, but now it is back and Manchester United have an important game in it against Fulham on Saturday.”

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. santafereno says:

    Times do change. It would be nice to again win a FA Cup but, with crowded schedules and games becoming more and more frequent, teams will eventually have to chose their priorities. Let’s still hope for a triple this year!

  2. montanared says:

    Wow, all those mentions the great dane got on the previous thread must have brought him to life. Good point though I never realized the third round bye would have easily allowed United to play in both the FA and club world cups. Seems like making things difficult for United is an FA past time. You would think they would want United, treble winners, to go and be ambassadors for English football in Brazil and grace the FA cup with their presence. Maybe it’s time to three times in a row to get people interested again.

  3. zibbie says:

    Zaha the most sought after English player now for 3 years running a Man Uts player.
    Now ZAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Little Red Ant says:

    I love the FA Cup Final, remember being there behind the goal when Norman curled in the winner against the odds vs Everton. Both Brighton games especially the replay and giving Steve Foster a hard time to which he stuck two fingers up !!
    Most rounds can be memorable, away against the Dippers at Goodison then fucking them over at Maine Road; beating Arse at Villa Park – oh happy memories :o )

  5. WeAreUnited says:

    off topic

    Newcastle have raided the Ligue 1 of France

    The Magpies have agreed a fee for the France international Moussa Sissoko, who will join Mathieu Debuchy, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Massadio Haidara and Yoan Gouffran in moving to St. James’ Park

    They missed on Loic Remy :D

    I think what pardew the wee clubs manager is doing is building a squad like Arsene Wenger. not a bad idea, it will keep them up.

    It’s amazing how some teams use different strategies on building a team. I know this is nothign related to United.

    PS. Macheda joins Stuttgard on loan. What do you think. I hope the lad gives hs best and becomes the player we always wanted :)

  6. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Well said by Schmeichel. The FA were shocking to force United out of the FACup. Think alot of ABU sentiment from that as well. Completely unnecessary.

    But what is up with Schmeichel. He is on every seat in every venue, and talking well about the club as well. I’ll have whatever their putting in his tea.

  7. zibbie says:

    Hello Fletch, our man got healthy enough for surgery. Be well live long D Fletch.
    RVP how about him!!!??

  8. zibbie says:

    Hello WAU I am Zibbie from Dubuque Iowa, I have read many of your posts over the 3 months I have only had a phone to read posts. Health problems in the US can make you go broke! I have become a Man Utd fan for 8+ years now. I love all Man Utd players, even the ones I do not like. Go Kiko.

  9. zibbie says:

    WAU FYI they call me Pippo Inzibbie, for I was born off topic!

  10. zibbie says:

    GO ROONEY!!!!!!!!

  11. Gaffer says:

    Schmeichel is living in the past. Premiership and Champions league has become much more important regardless Uniteds participation in 2000, and has overtaken dreams of talented youngsters no matter what the FA cup has been.

    Nice to win but as SAF says: West Ham or Real – a simple choice.

  12. Pratyush says:

    haha Zibbie back to talking to himself =P. Welcome back mate.

  13. GC says:

    Just read Zaha is having a medical at United, which is great, but he is surely a signing for the future. Is anyone else getting a bit sick of building “for the future”, though? Sure we did it with the class of 92, but we had a pretty solid team in the first place, with Robbo, Bruce, et al. Right now we’re overworking our central midfield due to Carrick being the only regular, Fletch and his unfortunate health issues, and Ando going through his usual cycle of injured-back in the squad-fitness back-first teamer-injured, our wingers being, for the most part, poor, and yet we keep investing on “future talent”. We did that with Ando and Nani back in 07, and they haven’t really been up to snuff, due to injuries or what have you, but the fact remains they have not reached the level they should have. Bebe, Obertan, and all the other ones who had “potential” have been passed on or loaned out, and yet we still have glaring defficiencies in the squad that are not addressed. Would love more proven signings like RvP; not talent wise, obviously, because that bastard is insultingly talented, but players who are proven at the top level. Again, not saying Zaha, Angelo, or Powell are shite, but they are prospects for the future. We need players for the now! For fuck’s sake, we’ve only got Real Madrid in a couple of weeks’ time!

  14. WeAreUnited says:

    since we are in the Schmeichel thread

    now the legend himself is breaking this stupid myth

    we have our own eyes, but when it comes to a guy who was a beast in what he did, we should listen to him. and by that try to think our opinions again.

    I hope GNeville is reading that article. and the ABU’s

  15. WeAreUnited says:


    This is what I also said to those blaming DDG and that pundits should look at.

    “My point is that if you are not that deep, we are not conceding those chances. That is the thing I would work on. In general, the way to win championships is not by defending as deeply as we did for the final hour on Sunday.”

    the interview for those who are lazy to click the link

    In fact, the former Old Trafford favorite believes Tottenham would have won the game convincingly were it not for De Gea’s contribution.

    “It is very easy to claim De Gea is to blame,” he told Sky Sports.

    “I disagree. I think if De Gea had not played the way he did we would have lost 4-1.

    “We played in a way that required the goalkeeper to make saves. He did that. He did his job. Nobody is highlighting that.

    “My point is that if you are not that deep, we are not conceding those chances. That is the thing I would work on. In general, the way to win championships is not by defending as deeply as we did for the final hour on Sunday.”

    Schmeichel not only highlighed the Spaniard’s contributions throughout the game, but also insisted that he was not to blame on Dempsey’s late equalizer.

    “For the goal, David does all the right things. He got a fist to it under pressure but, unfortunately, the ball ends up with a Spurs player.

    “We should be further up the pitch. If that starts with the goalkeeper, he needs to work on that, but we need them to be brave enough to take them out.”

  16. United_Forever says:

    I seem to remember in that year that the Spanish FA gave Real Madrid a bye in the spanish cup, when they also took part in the tournament, whereas our own FA did nothing to help United & so were ultimately responsible for devaluing their own competition.

    Then the abus at the time & for years afterwards were spreading the lie that it was United’s fault & we were devaluing the FA cup by not competing when the reality is we had no choice.

  17. Costas says:

    What a clusterfuck that was.

  18. Robin van Gora says:

    Damn, i am close to hating gary neville. How many mistakes did he make, let alone whem he was 22. He is losing my respect slowly but ver surely

  19. FletchTHEMAN says:

    While it is great that we are still in the FA Cup, Real Madrid will not be as thrilled about their success
    in the Copa del Rey. As many have suggested, Real really would have a nightmare schedule if they and Barca got into the next round. This has happened. As a result

    We will play 7 games (8 if there is a replay with Fulham) in the next 4weeks.
    In contrast, Real will play 9 games, incl Barca (3times) and ManUtd (2 times)

    With Iker injured. Real are in for a hard 4 weeks. Hope we can take advantage!

  20. Mozza79 says:

    This is horse shit. The FA Cup is viewed as less important because of the money involved in the PL from top to bottom and in the CL. The top clubs have important league games that impact on possible CL qualification as well as actual CL games to navigate in the Spring making it tougher to play your first eleven in the FA Cup, while the teams towards the middle and bottom of the league have PL survival rightly as their priority and so use the FA Cup early rounds as an opportunity to rest some of their big players and give their lesser used players a run out. Sometimes this leads to elimination. Obviously as the FA Cup progresses to the latter stages the PL teams that have survived start to see Wembley and so you start to see stronger teams being played again.

  21. Brisbanefan says:

    The full story of this FA Cup fiasco will come to light once Fergie retires and writes his biography since 1999, and the FA will come out of this smelling like dogsh!t.

    The whole controversy started well before the draw for the 3rd was made, but when UTD knew they’d be in S.America at that time. The FA wouldn’t let UTD delay playing the tie until they got back home – in fact it was the FA which suggested that UTD should field the reserve team so the tie could go ahead on the scheduled weekend.

    This was the start of the bigger clubs fielding weaker teams against lower division opponents and this is why over the years the FA has never made any comment about this.

    The FA Cup has been devalued over the years because of the attitude of the big clubs to play weakened teams – a situation that was promoted by the FA in asking UTD to play the reserve team in January 2000.

  22. Ash says:

    Is the Zaha deal done or not done. I won’t believe until the official site of united says. I know all news agency including the SKY have said Zaha is coming to United. I will be happy if he does join Manchester United. Its great to see we are building a young squad. I hope Zaha becomes like Bale minus the dives of course. We atlast could have a winger who could consistently score more than 10 goals consistently every season.

    With young reportedly out for 1 month , its time for Kagawa and Nani to establish themselves as a regular starter.

  23. Red Robin says:

    Finally, I watched the clip of Hazard kicking the ballboy of Swansea. Then I said, thank you lord for not allowing Hazard to wear United jersey. SAF proved everyone is wrong once again. There was really no value in the market with player like Hazard. FACT!

    Fuckin disgraceful!

  24. Louis says:

    what rubbish. the fa cup is smaller bc of the money

  25. markynorbs says:

    Love the FA cup!
    Every kid had dreams of scoring the winner for there team back in the day.
    My goal was a cross from Robbo which I met with a diving header on to settee.
    1 nil United!

  26. Nesh says:

    Scott something about ZAHA…us guys far out barely know anything about the kid. Is he worthy the hype?

  27. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Club officially confirm signing Wilfred Zaha. Will be loaned back to Crystal Palace until June 2013.

    Welcome home son!. ZahaZaha! ;)

  28. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Zaha: “I am delighted to be joining Manchester United, however my focus for the next five months will be solely at Crystal Palace.”

    Nesh Cheers mate.
    Winger 1.8meters (agent is Lionel Morgan)
    Fast, good on the ball, but young and no EPL experience.
    That said, he ripped United and Arsenal Defenses a new one in cup runs last year.
    Seems a very well spoken lad and committed christian.

    He is critical to Palaces promotion hopes from the Championship and plays almost every game. CP insisted on the loan from the off.

    10m might be a record for a Championship signing, at least at United. Rumor has it that the fee is 10m raising to 15m with performance guarantees.

    Part of the cost his he has committed to England and been capped once at Senior level. We may not have been as interested if he had committed to Ivory Coast.

  29. dazbomber says:

    Nesh-He is quality he rang rings around us last year.

  30. FletchTHEMAN says:

    SAF at his Friday Presser:

    Zaha: “We like to sign players with potential. We develop players & that’s been proven many times. Hopefully the boy enjoys it here”

  31. NBI Red Onion says:

    Please let us not have to replay the match tomorrow. HAMMER THEM and put your football boots on their necks and drive it all the way to the finish line. NO DRAW.

  32. NBI Red Onion says:

    He is a very good player and has more experience than his age would indicate. Being a Championship player he will be tough and able to handle the physical side of the game, he is on par with Raheem Sterling , a very good young player. It is a good buy and he know the English game,


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