Belfast Telegraph

Coventry have suffered enough, Arsene!

Telegraph Sport: where the debate starts

With Steven Beacom

Good news for Manchester United fans. You definitely won't lose this weekend.

That's because you aren't playing! Remember, like just about every other competition, you are out of the FA Cup.

Brendan Rodgers, Arsene Wenger, Jose Mourinho and David Moyes are standing chatting at the bar. Three of them have paid for drinks, now it's Mourinho's turn.

The barman sets down a glass of wine each for Brendan, Arsene and Jose...but not David. "Where's mine?" he asks. Mourinho's reply: "You aren't in the fourth round!" Okay, enough jokes at United's expense.

So, what about the FA Cup fourth round... which, bizarrely, due to the power of television, starts tonight with Arsenal hosting a cash- strapped Coventry side, who, in case you hadn't noticed, are now playing in League One, are without a stadium, play their home games 70 miles away in Northampton and were docked 10 points at the start of the season after going into administration.

It's all a far cry from 1987 when they won a classic final, beating Spurs 3-2.

The Friday night TV money is welcome for the club, but the kick-off date is a joke for their fans. They'll have to take time off work and endure the frustrations of London rush hour to make the 7.45pm start before the return leg of the journey by rail or road gets them home in the middle of the night.

For the sake of their supporters, I just hope Coventry don't get hammered.

Go easy on them, Arsene. Surely the Sky Blue fans have suffered enough.

Belfast Telegraph

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