Grumpy Old Fan

Grumpy Old Fan

  • Grumpy Old Fan - General Football Blog


    I am Stuart Howard-Cofield (aka “twig” – boring story), a late-30s grumpy ex-season ticket holder at Manchester United and founder member of FC United of Manchester. I scribble a lot, mostly about football. The results make it on to these pages and sometimes elsewhere.

    The blog has moved on from grumpiness and the name probably doesn‘t fit too well any more, as writing Grumpy Old Fan has been an enjoyable little outlet for my musings.


    Date Added: 21/01/14

    Last Checked: 31/10/15

    Date Updated At Last Check: 02/10/15

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  • Who Are The Favourites To Win The 2015/2016 FA CUP?

    Posted on September 21, 2015
    The FA Cup is deep-rooted within the history of football in England, with teams from every scale of the pyramid competing on an annual basis for the opportunity to make a name for themselves and go all the way to Wembley. It has remained one of the most famous domestic competitions in the sport thanks to the scale of excitement, drama and shock scorelines that it continues to throw up. David versus Goliath clashes epitomise the true beauty of the FA Cup.

    Watching a lower league or non-league team go toe-to-toe with the best Premier League side is what the competition is all about. Many times before, the underdogs have had their day as the giants of English football have fallen by the wayside in their quest for silverware.

    Bradford and Reading are just two recent examples who have proved that there is plenty of quality outside of the Premier League by reaching the Quarter Finals and Semi-Finals respectively. However, in a summer where clubs across England broke the record for the amount of transfer money spent during the transfer window, it is no surprise that Betway value the top Premier League team as the FA Cup favourites.

    There are no guarantees that these teams will have things their own way, but the quality they possess gives them as good a chance as any other to experience glory at Wembley next year on May 21st.


    Both Manchester clubs are currently rated as joint-favourites in the latest odds on Betway, but City’s fantastic start to the 2015/2016 season would mean there is more reason to back Manuel Pellegrini’s men. Four straight victories, including an emphatic 3-0 victory at the Etihad against defending Premier League champions Chelsea, is a sign that Manchester City really do mean business this season as they try to right the wrongs of the last campaign in which they performed well below their own, and everyone else’s, expectations.

    Their first five games resulted in ten goals and none conceded as Manchester City have swept teams aside with ominous ease, with the 2011 FA Cup winners looking in the mood to be the team to beat in this year’s competition.

    ARSENAL (6/1)

    The defending champions and most successful team in FA Cup history sit on the cusp of more glory. Arsene Wenger’s side are looking to equal the long-standing record held by Blackburn Rovers and become only the second team to lift the famous trophy three years in a row.

    As is always the case with Arsenal, it entirely depends on what team turns up on the day. The Gunners are undoubtedly one of the most attractive and eye-catching teams to watch when on song, but they often come unstuck when plan A is not working and run out of ideas. All hopes will be pinned on Alexis Sanchez once again, with the Chilean setting the FA Cup alight with an array of dazzling performances and wonderful goals – if he is on top form once again, then Arsenal could well enjoy making more FA Cup history.

    CHELSEA (5/1)

    It is fair to say that Chelsea have made a surprisingly slow start to the season, with defensive frailties and lack of cohesion key elements that would not usually be associated with any Jose Mourinho team. However, there is always the saying that the cream eventually rises to the top. With the quality Chelsea possess throughout their squad, it could be just a matter of time before they hit top gear and answer all of the questions that have been thrown in their direction.

    The Blues have not made it Wembley since lifting the prestigious trophy in 2012 against Liverpool, and they suffered the ignominy of being dumped out in the Third Round against Bradford City at Stamford Bridge in a result that sent shockwaves across England. Despite looking far than assured in defence and lacking the spark that made them almost unstoppable last season, Chelsea have match winners in the form of Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa would could come to the fore when it really matters in the FA Cup.

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