FA Cup replays are an unnecessary burden in the tight modern-day schedule of English football. Both Jose Mourinho and Ralph Hasenhuttl agreed that the replay of Tottenham and Southampton in the FA Cup is a game they could go without.
After the sides drew 1-1 at St. Mary’s, their winter breaks will now be shortened, with the fourth round replay most probably taking place on February 5.
“It is a result that keeps us alive, that keeps us in the draw,” Mourinho said.
“It is a result we don’t need, we don’t need to play one more match, but it is better to play than not to play. We were very close to winning. We are in the competition. It will affect (the winter break) a little bit. There is one more match we have to play.”
“It is not a personal situation, Ralph was telling me the same, we don’t need one more match. But I think both me and him prefer to play again than to be out.”
Should FA Cup replays be removed?
Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl believes that a cup game should be decided by overtime, instead of having to replay it.
“Flights are getting canceled,” he said.
“In the end, I think we should have overtime, it is a cup game and we should have a winner or loser. Now we have a replay in our winter break and that doesn’t make sense for me. This game deserved to have a winner or a loser. It was so intense, it was exciting for the fans and that is what a cup game should be about.”
“We have enough games, so if you have a draw after 90 minutes go in overtime and a penalty shootout. That is what cup games are about. Now we have to go there.”
Oxford boss Karl Robinson was also keen on the idea of scrapping FA Cup replays. The League One team managed to secure a 0-0 draw at Newcastle and the Magpies will now have to travel to Kassam Stadium to decide the winner. Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola suggested FA Cup replays to be entirely scrapped, and the Oxford manager agrees.
“I don’t think that would be a bad thing. We’re now going to play nine games in the month of February with a squad of 20 players. That’s what we have. We don’t have the funds or the resources to do that, so I think it would be better for everybody if it was finished today,” Robinson said.
“It gives us an outcome immediately, it doesn’t allow a backlog of games in February and then possibly even going into March, which will have a big influence on all of our players.”
“At our level, we play a stupid amount of games – we’re going to hit over 60 games this year, which is ludicrous. My players’ bodies are at breaking point and I don’t think it’s fair.”