FA CUP

Bradford Disability Football Club Info Finals Of FA Cup!

BDFC players pose for team photo

BDFC players pose for team photo

Bradford in Finals of FA Cup!

Bradford Disability Football Club (BDFC) have been confirmed as finalists in the People’s Disability FA Cup! The West Yorkshire side confirmed their place in the final by wining the West Riding FA Disability Festival in April – but also received a supporting nomination from the County FA. Bradford will now battle it out for the prestigious award in Manchester on Monday 25th May.

The People’s FA Cup is a five a side format where around 20 disability festivals have been held throughout England. The target for this year has been the lower ability levels which is aimed at inspiring participation on a regular basis. BBC Get Inspired will be filming at the finals day and sharing the stories of not just the disability teams but all the teams entered into competition. The winning teams will be invited to the FA Cup Final at Wembley to enjoy the match and receive a pitch side presentation of their trophy on 30th May.

BDFC was founded in 2002 with an initial grant of £1,000 and 8 players. The BDFC now has over 135 members aged from six to 60 – and is growing in its profile and it’s membership every year. The club has 11 pan disability teams, 9 adult teams: junior teams both under 16’s and 13’s. All of the adult teams participate in the ability counts leagues in the West Riding County FA and the league three team, who are the lower ability team have already been crowned ability counts league winners for 2014/15 season and were presented this by Phil Parkinson at their presentation night on 1st May.

Paul Jubb who is both Head Coach at BDF C and the Disability Officer for Bradford City’s Community Foundation said “This is an amazing achievement for the players, it gives them that sense of pride and team spirit as well as a great day out! I think getting through this year means more to them given all the excitement the players enjoyed watching their home team Bradford City make it to the quarter finals of the FA Cup this year. ”

James Doyle, Disability Development Officer at the West Riding County FA said, “It is great achievement for Bradford DFC to be representing the West Riding County Football Association at the People Cup national finals. Bradford DFC are always really supportive of their players and regularly have representation in the GB Mencap team who play in the European Championships each year. In addition to this BDFC are core to the disability football development programme in the county supporting events throughout the season, so it is great for them to get some recognition through the Peoples Cup. The clubs achievements to date are testament to the hard work of the players, coaches and those behind the scenes. The West Riding /County FA wish them all the best at the upcoming finals”

Determined Blackburn Earn FA Cup Replay Against Liverpool

Liverpool v Blackburn Rovers - FA Cup Quarter Final

Championship side Blackburn produced a dogged display to hold Premiership side Liverpool to a goalless draw in the quarter finals of the FA Cup. Blackburn came into this one in confident mood after dumping out Premier League side Stoke 4-1 in the last round.

The visitors Blackburn who are 11th in the Championship again had Jordan Rhodes on the bench, which has lead to speculation that the Scottish International could be loaned out to promotion chasing Derby County.

Blackburn captain Matt Kilgallon who was full of praise for stand in Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson before the game also starts.

As for the home side Liverpool who have been in brilliant form of late, they didn’t have club captain Steven Gerrard in their match day squad as the 34 year old recovers fully from a hamstring injury.

Other than that bit of news the Reds had very much the same team that has been instrumental in their impressive revival after a very poor start to the season. Liverpool are now fifth in the Premier League respectively – and are now with in touching distance of fourth place Manchester United.

Despite there being some 25 league places separating the two sides, it was Blackburn who started brightly. Craig Conway fired over for the visitors early on as the visitors didn’t appear to be intimidated by their premeir League opponnents. Kolo Toure who replaced fellow central defender Martin Skrtel who had to go off with a serious looking head injury, had a goal ruled out for offside.

The Reds who haven’t won English footballs top cup competition since 2006,had goal keeper Simon Mignolet to thank for keeping them in the game. The Belgian who received a lot of criticism for his performances earlier in the season, dived superbly to his left and clawed a way a powerful Alex Baptiste drive which was destined for the top corner.

With hosts struggling to take a strangle hold of thr game, Liverpool decided to bring on Mario Balotelli who looks like he is now starting to settle in to life at Anfield, the Italian came on to offer some support to Daniel Sturridge as the Premier League side were looking to avoid the replay.

However just like in the last round, Liverpool couldn’t break down their Championship hosts as this game finished 0-0. Blackburn would be the happier of the two sides you would think, especially with the knowledge that they have defeated Premier League opposition in Swansea and Stoke at Ewood Park.

With Liverpool though Rovers know they have a much more difficult game, the Reds did beat Blackburn’s Lancashire rivals Bolton, so this will be far from easy. It’s hard to say who will win this match – but what is certain is that this cup tie is finely balanced.

Bradford 0-0 Reading

Bradford City v Reading - FA Cup Quarter Final

Bradford 0-0 Reading

Bradford failed to take advantage of being at home in this FA Cup quarter final tie as Reading left Valley Parade still with in a shout of an FA Cup semi final as this one ended all square at 0-0, which means this match will have to be replayed on Monday 16th March.

The hosts just like in the other FA Cup ties, had to call on former Manchester United goalkeeper Ben Williams as Sunderland loanee Jordan Pickford hasn’t been given the approval to play by parent club Sunderland. Gary Liddle also returns for the home side after serving a ban.

As for the visitors Reading, they were pretty much as full strength as strikers Hal Robson Kanu and Pavel Probgrebnyak both started for the Royals.

With the incentive of a Wembley day out at stake, both sides were rather tentative as both sides resorted to long balls on a very difficult pitch, the playing surface was something which Sunderland manager Gus Poyet also publicly pointed in the build to their match against Bradford .

Although they are a side who are strong and physical, Bradford aren’t afraid to ‘put the ball down and play’. This game however the Bantams faced a different challenge, as the pitch was difficult to play and also home side were seen by some as the favourites for the tie despite being a league below Reading.

Wins against Chelsea and then Sunderland was only going to increase expectation on Bradford and they nearly fell behind in the first half. Russian striker Probgrebnyak latched on to a Jamie Mackie cross – but could only hit the post with a right footed shot.

Rattled by that, Bradford looked to take advantage of their reprieve and hit the woodwork themselves. The returning Gary Liddle who has had to sit out the last few games due to suspension, saw his speculative cross creep past Royal’s keeper Adam Federici – but thankfully for the away side Liddle’s effort hit the post.

Buoyed by hitting the post, Bradford came out the stronger in what turned out to be an overall tight affair. The home side will be slightly disappointed of not taking advantage of some good situations.

Andrew Davies saw his headed effort go over the bar and Scott Hanson’s side footed effort flashed agonisingly wide. Those missed chances nearly proved costly as an Oliver Norwood free kick was floated into the box – but a combination of the woodwork and some last ditch defending kept Bradford’s clean sheet intact.

This one finished all square. Reading will be the happier of the two sides as they have the advantage of playing at home next – but Bradford you feel won’t be phased by that. The West Yorkshire side have played with out fear and this what makes this cup tie so finally balanced.

The Black Cats Lose All Their Lives At Bradford As The Bantams Progress In The FA Cup

Bradford striker Jonathan Stead scored the second goal in an impressive 2-0 FA   Cup win over Sunderland

Bradford striker Jonathan Stead scored the second goal in an impressive 2-0 FA Cup win over Sunderland

League One giant killers Bradford took another premier league scalp in Sunderland which helped the Bantams book a place in the quarter finals of the FA cup.

Bradford who famously beat Chelsea in the previous round would have been confident going into this one. The fact that there are two leagues separating the two sides wouldn’t have bothered Bradford.

The home side came into this cup tie knowing that they were able to call Billy Clarke from the start for the second successive game. On loan Sunderland keeper Jordan Pickford misses out against his parent club.

As for the visitors they had to without former England striker Jermaine Defoe, Danny Graham who hasn’t scored for two tears came in for the 32 year old. Sunderland also changed their goalkeeper as Costel Pantillimon made way for Vito Mannone.

With the pitch being in a poor state, which was well documented – it was the hosts Bradford who took the lead after three minutes. The now fit again Billy Clarke’s effort deflected off Sunderland skipper John O’Shea and into the Black Cats net. The worst possible start for the visitors who were very publicly told about the pitch by manager Gus Poyet.

Bradford went on to dominate the half – but Sunderland did have their moments, Rory McArdle and Andrew Davies were forced to make last ditch tackles when Sunderland thought they were clear through on goal. The visitors had a huge penalty appeal turned down when Steven Fletcher tumbled in the box – but replays appeared to show the Scotland striker being offside when the offence happened, so a penalty award there, would have been harsh.

The homeside’s direct approach which was more physical to what is played in the premier league, was causing mayhem amongst the Sunderland ranks, it was actually a surprise the score was only 1-0 at half time as the hosts did have chances to increase their lead.

Bradford who were excellently managed by Phil Parkinson, were brave and resilient – something which has been a highlight of their cup run and their season. Danny Graham who replaced Jermaine Defoe for this game, didn’t look like he was going to end his two year goal scoring drought here. Sadly for the former Boro striker, Graham couldn’t continue after half time due to a serious head injury he sustained in the first half.

Danny Graham’s replacement was Connor Wickham, as Sunderland looked to get back into this game and avoid being another victim to a cup upset at the hands of Bradford City. To be fair the Bantams always seemed to be in control of this one – and double their advantage through Jon Stead in the 61st minute which killed the game off as a contest.

Gus Poyet will no doubt be quick to point out the state of the Valley Parade pitch – but how disappointing Sunderland were, I extremely doubt it would have made any difference.The Black Cats will have to focus on premier league survival now after missing out on another long cup run.

Bradford march on to the quarter finals and who ever they face will no doubt be in for a good game. The Bantams have showed here that spirit and hard work get you along way.

Bradford Vs Sunderland FA Cup Team News

Bradford can call on their talisman Billy Clarke for this one. Clarke and Filipe Morais will have to be at their best to help Bradford beat premier League Sunderland.

Bradford can call on their talisman Billy Clarke for this one. Clarke and Filipe Morais will have to be at their best to help Bradford beat premier League Sunderland.

FA Cup Fifth Round
Venue: Coral Windows Stadium
Kick Off: 14:30 GMT
Date : Sunday 15th February

In an FA Cup so far full of shocks, both teams will be fancying their chances in this years FA Cup. Bradford who enjoyed a famous FA Cup win over Chelsea, will be no doubt be not fearing any team – after beating the best team in England at the moment.

Sunderland who beat Fulham in the last round through a replay, like Bradford have been to a cup final in recent years and will not fear anyone – but this challenge for the Black Cats is different as this is a game the Premiership will be expected to win.

Bradford Team News

Bradford who last time out defeated League One high flyers will be looking for the same kind of battling spirit here. The Bantams who started the influential Billy Clarke in the win over Mk Dons could have the 27 year old in the starting line up for this match as well.On loan Sunderland goal keeper Jordan Pickford is unavailable because of the loan agreement with parent club Sunderland.

Bantams boss Phil Parkinson has no fresh injury worries for this one. Mark Yates who also scored in that famous FA Cup win over the Blues is available .

Sunderland Team News

The Black Cats who suffered the embarrassment of being the first home side to lose to QPR in the Premier League have a few injuries to worry about. Former skipper Lee Catermole (Knee) and Emanuelle Giacherrini (Ankle) both miss out – but former Everton and Manchester City midfielder Jack Rodwell is available again after serving a suspension and having a groin injury.

Apart from that the Premier League side are at all full strength and will be looking to likes Jermaine Defoe and Adam Johnson to inspire them to an FA Cup win here.

Our Verdict

In a competition filled with shocks – calling this game would be very difficult. I very confidently predicted a 2-0 win for Chelsea in the previous round – but I was proven wrong. This match although there is a case of Bradford being two divisions lower, I don’t think that would make a difference.

Bradford throughout this tournament and in League One this year have played with a lot of spirit. The win against Chelsea and Mk Dons a promotion rival, shows this team know how to raise their game for the big occasion.

That fact has also concerned Sunderland boss Gus Poyet who ‘offered’ to have this FA Cup tie moved to Sunderland’s Stadium Of Light, which maybe suggest Poyet is worried about his team getting knocked out by a lower league opposition. The outspoken Black Cats manager also suggested that his players should ‘pass the ball forwards’ otherwise they ‘won’t be picked’ .

Mind games you might think – but Gus if it is an attempt of mind games, leave it to the experts (Jose Mouriniho). The Black Cats who enjoyed a good cup run in last years League Cup will not be under as much pressure here – but a ‘favourable draw’ so far might add a bit more pressure now considering some of the big teams who have already exited the competition.

Players like Jermaine Defoe and Adam Johnson will be key for Sunderland – but I don’t see the toughness around the rest of the squad that’s needed for a game like this. The black Cats have been embarrassed 8-0 this year by Southampton – and the defensive fragility was the main reason for that.

It could be argued that the Premier League side have got better defensively since that defeat – but with the intense atmosphere of Valley Parade and the fact that Bradford beat the best team in the land this year (Chelsea) , the Black Cats will have far from an easy ride at Valley Parade.

The match it self I think will be full of goals – but Bradford will come out on top here.

Bradford 3-2 Sunderland

Chelsea Vs Bradford City Fourth Round FA Cup Match Report

Bradford boss Phil Parkinson masterminded yet another Premier League scalp, this time it was Premier League leaders Chelsea in one of the greatest shocks of FA Cup history.

Bradford boss Phil Parkinson masterminded yet another Premier League scalp, this time it was Premier League leaders Chelsea who lost 4-2 to at Stamford Bridge in one of the greatest shocks of FA Cup history.

Bradford City produced one of the all time shocks of the FA Cup as they dumped out Premier League leaders Chelsea at Stamford Bridge after being 2-0 down.

Chelsea who were looking for glory domestically and in Europe, rested several of their normal first team squad- but on paper you still would have backed the Blues to win this one.

The West Londoners had Petr Cech in goal and also gave only a second start Andreas Christensson who was playing at right back, Diego Costa who I talked up before the game, was left out all together. Chelsea did though however have Cesc Fabregas and Eden Hazard on the bench, maybe the Blues had one eye on this weeks second leg semi final against Liverpool.

As for the visitors Bradford they were at full strength, well they fielded the best team they had available. Billy Clarke who has been a key player for The Bantams this year, returned to the squad after a six game lay off- but the 27 year old started on the bench for this one.

At the start of this game there was 49 places separating the two sides – but it was Bradford who arguably had the better of the opening exchanges against their Premier League counterparts. Bradford centre back Andrew Davies forced Chelsea keeper Petr Cech into a fine save.

Bradford who many were expecting to offer their main threat from set pieces, conceded from a set piece themselves. Chelsea midfielder Oscar delivered the corner which centre back Gary Cahill converted to give the Premier League side the lead.

The League One side at this point might have been fearing the worst against their Premier League hosts. It deed indeed get worse for Bradford, Mohammed Salah, a player who benefited from Jose Mouriniho’s decision to rotate his squad. The former Basel player who is expected to leave Chelsea, provided the ball for Ramires to convert to make the score 2-0 and put the game out of Bradford’s reach – or so we thought.

Bantams striker John Stead scored a couple minutes after Chelsea’s second goal with a powerful strike from the edge of the box which left Chelsea keeper Petr Cech with no chance. A great time for Bradford to score, the League One visitors were only one goal behind at the break.

Buoyed by grabbing a late first half goal, it was Bradford who started the second half the better. The visitors despite being two leagues lower than their hosts, were not overawed – and were asking questions of the league leaders.

Sensing that the League One side were getting more confident, Blues boss Mourinho looked to some of his big guns in an attempt to regain control of the match. Mohammed Salah was replaced by Brazilian Willian as Jose Mourinho was looking to kill this game off as a contest.

An injury to Jon Obi Mikel forced the Chelsea boss to bring on Cesc Fabregas as well. With the introduction of the former Barcelona midfielder, many would have seen such a substitution as a plus, due to Fabregas’ brilliant passing ability and calming influence – which was definitely needed.

Ironically Bradford grabbed an equaliser, and were daring to dream of an FA Cup replay. Former Chelsea player Filipe Morais who left Chelsea as a teenager, grabbed the equaliser with a right footed shot in to to the bottom right hand corner.

The former Porto manager Mourinho probably couldn’t believe what was unfolding out on the pitch in front of him. Bradford were starting to defend deeper were ushered forward by their manager Phil Parkinson. Eden Hazard came on for The Blues as they tried to avoid an FA Cup replay, which is the last thing you want to see as Bradford player. With pace to burn and with plenty of ‘trickery’ Chelsea were hoping Hazard could be the man to save them from FA Cup embarrassment.

Bradford who hadn’t made any substitutions, at this point would have been understandably tired. The West Yorkshire side battled hard and were well worthy of the replay for their sheer endeavour alone. The Bantams made their first substitution 10 minutes from the end, the change inadvertently paid dividends as Bradford went in front!

Jon Stead who scored the first goal, this time turned provider for Andy Halliday who smashed an unstoppable effort into to the top right corner to send the 6,000 Bradford fans behind Petr Cech’s goal into raptures!

The League One side, who would have been content with an FA Cup replay before the start of the game, were on the brink of a famous FA Cup – and another ‘giant killing’ . Chelsea from not wanting a replay, were now desperately searching for the equaliser which would have saw this game go to a replay at Valley Parade.

As Chelsea were pushing forward, they left themselves open to the counter attack – and that’s what duly happened. Mark Yeates who came on as a sub, placed his effort into the bottom right corner to kill of this FA Cup tie once and for all with a fourth.

This defeat was only the second at home for Jose Mourinho, an impressive feat for Bradford City. It’s onwards and upwards from here on in for the mighty Bantams! Who will no doubt fear no one in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

Chelsea Vs Bradford Match Preview

Bradford manager Phil Parkinson takes his Bradford side to Premeir League Leaders Chelsea, in what should be a finically rewarding game for the Bantams.

Bradford manager Phil Parkinson takes his Bradford side to Premier League Leaders Chelsea, in what should be a financially rewarding game for the Bantams.

Bradford resume their quest for another cup final day – but this time the challenge can’t be much tougher for the Bantams. The League One side who will be in FA Cup fourth round action this Saturday, will take on Premier League leaders Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues do post a good record in this tournament of late. The West London side will be hoping to add to their four FA Cup trophies in the last eight seasons – but the visit of Bradford will provide a tougher test than people may think.

The West Yorkshire side have been in good form of late in League One as they went 10 games unbeaten in League One. Bradford’s results in their last few games however have been disappointing – and they have lost two of their last three games. Despite those two defeats Bradford are in a respectable fifth position – but are sweating over their play off place with those defeats, which has allowed rival teams to close the gap.

The game against Chelsea could prove a welcome distraction however. The Bantams who enjoyed a memorable League Cup campaign in 2013 where they reached the final, will most definitely have their work cut out in this game.

The Blues who will be at home for this fourth round tie, will be expected to win – which sometimes can be an added pressure with in itself. Chelsea who have arguably the best side in the Premier League, are five points clear of their nearest rivals Manchester City. The West London club did lose some points over the Christmas period – but have bounced back superbly as the Blues look for glory on all fronts at home and in Europe.

If you were to analyse this game on the outside, one would most definitely say that this game will end in a Chelsea win -but strange things happen in the FA Cup, that’s what makes the cup so great! Watford although 3-0 losers, did compete bravely with Chelsea in round three.

Manchester United have been held at then Conference side Exeter at Old Trafford in the past so the outcome of this fourth round tie between Chelsea and Bradford isn’t a forgone conclusion. Let’s not forget Bradford do have previous in beating Premier League sides as Aston Villa and more notably Arsenal have succumbed to Bradford City in the League Cup. So you can’t really say anytime is safe from a ‘giant killing’ isn’t that right Manchester United fans?

This match is different though right? I mean Jose ‘the special one’ Mourinho is the manager of Chelsea let’s not forget – but that in itself doesn’t guarantee success surely. It’s 11 men Vs 10 and Eden Hazard (just joking Chelsea fans) so surely it’s an equal playing field, both teams chase a round ball and aim to put that ball in the goal more than the other.

If it only it was that simple. Chelsea many feel (yours truly included), have an abundance of talent at their disposal. The Blues boast of attacking talent such as Willian, Oscar, Fabregas and some bloke called Costa isn’t that bad either – and I am not talking about the fella who run owns coffee chain here.

The 26 year old Diego Costa who was signed from Ateltico Madrid this summer has been nothing short of sensational. The former Ateltico striker has scored 17 goals this year, that was more than Samuel Etoo, Fernando Torres and Demba Ba scored in the entire season- enough said.

Bradford on the other hand might not have the super stars, like their premier league counterparts – but they don’t lack in team spirit. The Bantams showed already in this years FA Cup that they can compete against higher competition after impressively sweeping Millwall aside 4-0 in the last round.

The Bantams as we know can boast that they have beaten premier league opposition in the past, Arsenal and Aston Villa fans won’t need reminding of that . As for Chelsea however, I think that they will not be the next premier league scalp for Bradford I am afraid.

This is Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea we’re talking about. The Portuguese manager always knows how to tactically out think an opponent it seems. This Chelsea side as much as they have been praised for their brilliant football, can play with ‘their sleeves rolled up’ and get ‘stuck in’ I feel they will have to on Saturday.

If I was a betting man I would go for a 2-0 Chelsea win with Oscar scoring in the 25th minute and Costa doubling the lead in the 83rd minute. That’s not an invitation to go to William Hill by the way. If Bradford do lose like many expect them to, it would be far from a tragedy. FA Cup produces good ‘pay days’ for the so called smaller clubs – and Bradford will benefit from that no doubt.

More money would hopefully mean more playing talent, which would help Bradford to get to the next level, no Bradford fan wouldn’t want that.

Bradford Vs Millwall Third Round Replay Match Report

Bradford manager was sent to the stands against Millwall - but that made little difference as Bradford won comfortablt 4-0.

Bradford manager Phil Parkinson was sent to the stands against Millwall – but that made little difference as Bradford won comfortably 4-0.

Bradford bounced back from the disappointing defeat by Rochdale on the weekend, with an emphatic win FA Cup win over Championship side Millwall, who were reduced to 10 men.

With a chance to meet Chelsea in the next round in what will surely be a money spinning tie, little motivation was needed you would have thought to win this one.

The home side Bradford who lost their 10 match unbeaten run over the weekend against play off rivals Rochdale, came into this match with Ben Williams in goal after Jordan Pickford’s red card at the weekend. Billy Knott who has been in good form for the Bantams of late also starts.

As for the visitors Millwall who lost to fellow strugglers Blackpool over the weekend, They would have been looking of the FA Cup as a way of escaping their disappointing league form. The South Londoners had Scott McDonald who set up two of the three goals in the first tie, on the bench – but his strike partner of the first tie, Ricardo Fuller starts.

With a glamour tie against Chelsea at stake it was the home side Bradford who came out of the blocks quicker. Millwall’s Mark Beevers received an early red card for preventing a clear goal scoring opportunity as the last man. If The Lions’ task wasn’t already difficult, playing against a noisy home crowd, the red card made it even more difficult.

After the dismissal of Beevers, Bradford took to the lead through a corner almost immediately. James Hanson was the man to open the scoring in the seventh minute, in what would turn out to be a goal fest for the home side . Millwall who were a goal down and a man down were poor throughout the contest, and it was of little surprise that John Stead grabbed Bradford’s second.

Two goals down and the game seeming out of Millwall’s reach lead to emotions boiling over, Millwall skipper Andy Dunne’s foul lead to a melee which lead Bradford manager Phil Parkinson being sent to the stands.

The dismissal of their manager made little difference to Bradford as the Championship side again struggled to deal with a set piece, and Stead was on hand to tuck the ball home to put Bradford firmly in control after 17 minutes.

Millwall never looked likely to get back into this one and it was of little surprise when the third goal came for the home side after 38 minutes. Andy Halliday was the man this time to benefit from yet more woeful Millwall defending.

The visitors 3-0 down and a man down would have been desperate for half time, when halftime did eventually come – to Millwall’s relief their was no further damage done to the scoreline. Millwall were still just as poor after the break and Billy Knott capped the win by adding a fourth for the Bantams. The only surprise in this game that there wasn’t more goals to the home side. The poor performance by Millwall, lead their chairmen after the game to say that all tickets will be refunded.

A very impressive victory for Bradford who now face Premier League giants Chelsea in the fourth round. The Bantams were brilliant as much as Millwall were poor – but Bradford have nothing to lose and a lot to gain as surely a good pay day awaits.

Liverpool Captain Steven Gerrard To Leave At The End Of The Season To Move To LA Galaxy

Liverpool captain will leave the Anfield side at the end of the season, ending a 25 year association with The Reds

Liverpool captain will leave the Anfield side at the end of the season, ending a 25 year association with The Reds

For many football fans, the words Liverpool and Steven Gerrard would tend to go hand and hand – but not not for much longer. The 34 year old Liverpool captain announced this week that he is to end his 25 year association with the Reds and move to American club LA Galaxy.

Steven George Gerrard who has been at Anfield since the age of nine, will no doubt leave a big ‘hole’ in the Liverpool squad after ‘carrying’ the Liverpool team on it’s own it could be argued. What can be argued is Stevie G’s desire to succeed. The soon to be former Liverpool captain does boast of an impressive medal collection, Uefa Champions League, UEFA Cup (as is was known back then), FA Cup and League Cup medals.

It’s quite an impressive medal collection – but the lack of premier league medal will always be a ‘black mark’ if there was one on an impressive Liverpool career which spans 16 years. I am sure there wouldn’t have been many people in the football world, who would have thought at the time that a young 18 year old midfielder player from Whiston would turn out to be such a Liverpool icon.

The Whiston born midfielder made his debut in 1998 – but would have to wait until 2000 to become a permanent fixture in the Liverpool side. Three years later in 2003, Gerrard was made club captain replacing club legend Sami Hypia.

Steven Gerrard’s undoubted ability was always going to attract admiring glances from rival clubs and through out Gerrard’s career that was always the case with speculation always linking the Liverpool captain to clubs such as Chelsea, Manchester United and Real Madrid – but Gerrard remained very loyal.

The lack of premier league title on his impressive list of honours did tempt Gerrard to leave Liverpool for Chelsea – but the Reds’ captain ended up staying at Anfield. What made the Liverpool captain decide that his future lies elsewhere was the more frequent appearances on the subs bench this season – and how he was getting managed. What might make the Liverpool’s captain more painful was that he 34 year old has come out and said he might have stayed at Anfield if a deal was offered sooner. The Anfield clubs board only offered Gerrard a new deal in November.

The FA Cup tie against AFC Wimbledon, was an example that the 34 year old still has the ability to contribute in the key games, which has been something that he has done time and time again over the years. It could be argued ‘ it’s only Wimbledon ‘ but if Gerrard hadn’t made his contribution in the third round game against Liverpool, then I am not 100% sure we would be talking about Liverpool being in the fourth round draw of the FA cup.

It’s a real shame that a player of Gerrard’s calibre is leaving these shores – but what Liverpool’s loss is most definitely LA Galaxy’s gain because at 34 Steven Gerrard still has the ability to perform at the highest level.

FA Cup Fourth Round Review

The draw for the fourth tie has thrown up some potential 'glamour ties' such as Chelsea Vs Bradford. The Bantams will have to overcome Millwall in a third round replay  after drawing against the South London side at the New Den.

The draw for the fourth tie has thrown up some potential ‘glamour ties’ such as Chelsea Vs Bradford. The Bantams will have to overcome Millwall in a third round replay first after drawing against the South London side at the New Den.

The draw for the FA cup fourth round was announced on Monday 5th January – and there are some real exciting ties for the lower leagues clubs such as our very own Bradford City and Cambridge United. The Bantams who were involved in an epic 3-3 draw against Millwall on Saturday 3rd January will have to replay their third tie at Valley Parade – but if they win their replay, premier league giants and current league leaders Chelsea await in a potential money spinning tie at Stamford Bridge. The Blues overcame a stubborn Watford side in round three but it was only until a brilliant strike from Willian which allowed the early shackles to be broken in what turned out to be a comfortable win the end.

League Two outfit Cambridge who are the lowest ranked team in the tournament have been rewarded for beating League Two rivals Luton and will face 11 times winners Manchester United at home, in what will be the biggest game in the East Anglian sides history . As for United, they left it late to defeat League One outfit Yeovil in round three to book their place in round four.

Holders Arsenal who easily swept aside last years finalists Hull in round three in what was a repeat of last years final, will face Brighton in round four . Championship side Brighton who are now managed by former Tottenham assistant Chris Hughton defeated Championship high flyers Brentford 2-0 to set up one of the biggest home games in the Seagulls’ recent history.

Eighteen time English champions Liverpool overcame a ‘banana skin’ tie against AFC Wimbledon to progress to round four, which was largely down to ‘captain marvel’ Steven Gerrard who grabbed a brace as Liverpool edged this one 2-1. It’s such a shame that the Liverpool skipper will be leaving for LA Galaxy come the end of the season, the Reds have a home time against Championship side Bolton who have seen a resurgence under new boss Neil Lennon. The Reds will be hoping for an easier tie in round four – but Neil Lennon’s Trotters will be no pushovers.

Manchester City who were winners of the FA cup in 2011 face another Championship side in Aitor Karanka’s high flying Middlesborough in round four. The Blues just about overcame a plucky Sheffield Wednesday in injury time in round three to set up this tie with the North East club in round four. As for Middlesborough they safely booked their place in round four with a comfortable 2-0 away against Barnsley.

Fellow Championship high flyers Bournemouth take on premier league strugglers Aston Villa, a potential giant killing is definitely on the cards here. The South coast side who currently top the championship and who also have the best attack in all four English divisions, impressively dispatched of Championship rivals Rotherham in what was a brilliant away performance in round three with a 5-1 mauling . Villa in contrast narrowly edged out Championship strugglers Blackpool 1-0 in round three. The fourth round ties will be played on the 24th and 25th January.

The full draw for the FA cup Fourth Round:

Cambridge United Vs Manchester United
Chelsea Vs Millwall or Bradford City
Preston NE VS Sheffield United
Aston Villa VS AFC Bournemouth
Liverpool VS Bolton
Brighton & HA VS Arsenal
Sunderland VS Fulham or Wolves
Manchester City VS Middlesborough
Rochdale VS Stoke City
Derby County VS Scunthorpe or Chesterfield
Cardiff City Vs Reading
Birmingham City VS West Brom
Blackburn Rovers VS Swansea City
Burnley or Tottenham VS Leicester City
Doncaster Rovers or Bristol City VS Everton or West Ham