As the Premier League gets richer and richer and becomes more of a worldwide league, the FA Cup still has an innocence to it. The tournament which includes anyone from amateur pub teams to the Premier League best, gives us a chance to go back to a time of horrible playing conditions, stadiums with basic amenities and a lack of corporate sponsorship plastered everywhere.
Another throwback is how cavalier some lower league players and managers are. Some of these teams play in front of a small number of fans and have never been on English TV, much less worldwide TV. Let’s just say some of the managers may not be as “polished” as the likes of Arsene Wenger. That’s the case of fifth division, essentially semi-pro team, Sutton United and manager Paul Doswell as he was shown vaping away without a care in the world.
Don’t get me wrong, this is a filthy habit that shouldn’t be done, but it is a glimpse of another era where managers didn’t deal with image or TV cameras being all around them. If the manager wanted to have a cig during a game, it was done without question. Sutton wound up drawing 0-0 to League 1’s AFC Wimbledon and will play another game at Wimbledon to break the deadlock.
Thankfully, that isn’t as prevalent anymore but it’s simply another contrast of the Premier League that makes the FA Cup so special. Just, we’ll take less smoking and vaping and more broadcasts from lower league stadiums and upsets please.