Ah the FA Cup. Once the most romantic competition in football, it has certainly lost its sheen over the past couple of decades. The days of romantic cup runs are all but dead, while none of the top teams take it all that seriously.
The wins for Wigan and Portsmouth aside, every FA Cup this century has been won by one of Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Manchester City, or Chelsea. If you extend that record back by another ten years, only Spurs and Everton are added to the list.
When you couple this with weakened teams being played up until the quarter finals or so, it's not difficult to see why many fans are starting to lose interest. Of course, the games still get huge viewership figures due to their presence on free-to-air TV and the BBC will be looking to fill those slots in the coming weeks with this season's competition looking uncertain.
They have come up with a brilliant solution.
This Saturday, instead of broadcasting live quarter finals from the 2019/20 FA Cup as had been scheduled, they will be showing classic FA Cup encounters from previous years. They are also sticking with the current round, meaning this weekend will be classic quarter final clashes from years gone by.
First up is Watford vs Arsenal from 1987, followed by the meeting of West Brom and Nottingham Forest from 1978.
Right then, some football for you. BBC1, Saturday 4pm - then another on Sunday 4.40pm. Replacing the live quarter-finals with some crackers from the past pic.twitter.com/rFvsi4ytYo
— Guy Mowbray (@Guymowbray) March 19, 2020
While both of these matches are admittedly before our time, this does make us excited about the possibilities in the week ahead.
For the semi-final, we would love see the meeting of Manchester United and Arsenal from 1999 or Crystal Palace's 4-3 win over Liverpool in 1990.
For the final, you would do well to beat the classic between Liverpool and West Ham from 2006, or Wigan's huge win over Manchester City in 2013.
There's no shortage of other options. We look forward to seeing these in the weeks ahead.