In a press conference before his side’s tie with Sheffield United, Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert took a battering for daring to suggest that most managers don’t prioritise the FA Cup anymore and whilst that may sadden the traditionalists, that’s just the reality of football these days.
Only clubs with the most resources can compete properly in all competitions. Look at Wigan and Birmingham’s cup-winning seasons, for example; both ended in relegation. Whilst fans of those cup-winning sides can look fondly back on those memories, the Premier League is where everyone wants to play and in financial terms, where everyone needs to play to guarantee survival.
Modern football is dictated by money and the Premier League is a cash cow of gigantic proportions. As sad and unfortunate as it is, the FA Cup will continue to diminish in relevance and manager’s mandates will continue to be dictated to by financial fortunes.