Marine’s FA Cup run lets us all dream – let’s hope Mourinho shows it respect

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The pandemic has stripped most of life's simple pleasures from people during the past ten miserable months.

But one thing even Covid-19 hasn't been able to take from us is the ability to dream.

This is what entire communities at various locations around the country have been doing ever since the draw for the third round of the FA Cup was made at the end of November.

For the good people of Crosby, Shrewsbury, Crawley, Stockport, Chorley and Morecambe there has been some much needed light amid all the darkness, something to look forward to when otherwise there seemed nothing.

The true essence of club football's oldest competition has never felt as strong as it has done this weekend.

  • Inside Chorley's dressing room bellowing out Adele after Derby FA Cup upset

And right at the heart of all the romance is the coastal town of Crosby, seven miles north of Liverpool and home to Jamie Carragher, Carlo Ancelotti and, much more importantly, Marine FC.

As darkness descends on the place tonight, it will light up again from the glow of television sets as the population tunes in to watch the biggest mismatch in FA Cup history.

Jose Mourinho, one of the greatest managers of all time, hoping to get the better of opposite number Neil Young, whose main job is a facilities manager with Merseyrail.

A part-time team including teachers, NHS workers and even a dustbin man earning a combined £1,700-a-week, going up against a side of superstars who pocket an average of £80,000 each in the same space of time.

Spurs are used to the Champions League, while Marine operate in the Northern Premier League Division One (North West), 164 places lower down the ladder than today's esteemed visitors.

The Rossett Park ground can hold 3,185, but the average league attendance last season was just 446.

Marine chairman Paul Leary has paid for professional cleaners to come in and spruce up the carpet in the boardroom, while Mourinho's World Cup stars and Champions League finalists will get changed in a function room with a bar that is hired out for weddings and birthday parties (£220 for the day, Jose, if you're interested?)

Back in the boardroom, the usual buffet has been cancelled, so Spurs chairman Daniel Levy and his fellow millionaire directors will have to stomach ''five star'' lunch boxes specially prepared by Marine staff.

"To be able to say to Tottenham 'welcome to Marine' will be very special," said Leary, "not only for myself, but for our committee and many volunteers who work tremendously hard. There will never be another moment like it."

Let's hope Mourinho shows the same amount of respect in return and names a strong side, because only the FA Cup can throw up such a mind-boggling scenario, one where two very different worlds collide like this.

And just imagine if Marine were to win? Just imagine?

We're back to dreaming again, which is the whole point, because it's one of the few privileges we still have left.

We need to do something about the millionaire morons

Sean Dyche is right when he says Premier League players should be vaccinated for the good of the country.

But not just because it would help top flight football continue despite the rising Covid-19 crisis – as well as generate much needed finances for the NHS through tax.

But because it would also help protect the public from those millionaire morons who continue to flout the rules.

What is it with these Covidiots? We've all been asked to make huge sacrifices for more than 10 months now to help stop the spread of the virus, but this lot don't have the brains to fathom out what is required of them.

It's not difficult, but those in question appear not to care and continue to believe they are above the laws of the land.

And what is the point in club's fining them? Seriously, what does that achieve?

A footballer earning upwards of £100,000-a-week isn't going to miss a few days pay.

What he will miss is being able to go out and play football, so we are approaching the time when the FA needs to step in and take the bull by the horns and ban those who continue to flout the rules.


John Stones – He became an outcast at Manchester City but is now back to his best and can look forward to an England recall in March.

Mauricio Pochettino – Secured a 'dream' return to management with PSG. All he has to do now is win the Champions League.

Steve Smith – The Aussie run machine ended his 16-month wait for a Test hundred with a stunning 131 from 226 against India in Sydney.


Stevie Ward – The Leeds Rhinos star has called time on his Super League career due to the persistent effects of concussion. Worrying.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – The Manchester United boss has now lost as many semi finals in 12 months (four) as Sir Alex Ferguson did in 26 years at Old Trafford.

Tyson Fury – The loudmouth boxer continues to mock rival Anthony Joshua on social media. Have a day off mate and just do your talking in the ring.

  • Jose Mourinho
  • FA Cup
  • Tottenham Hotspur FC

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