Tony Cottee Column: West Ham legend,“FA Cup needs overhaul”

Great cup competition needs to make changes

I’M a traditionalist and I love the FA Cup, but in my mind the competition needs a complete overhaul.

From the third round onwards I would get rid of replays and let matches go 120 minutes then penalties.

It will increase the amount of upsets and keep the competition more competitive.

Another way to do this would be to say whoever wins the competition gets to play in the Champions League the season after or face a play-off against the side who finished fourth. However I doubt the FA or UEFA would be interested.

West Ham’s journey to Wembley starts against Barnsley this Saturday and Avram Grant will likely rest players with important games coming up and I can’t blame him for that.

Premier League survival and a Carling Cup semi-final should be the priority at the moment.

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It’s a shame but I don’t blame him and squad players should perform at their best in a bid to catch his eye, so I would expect us to be too strong for the Tykes.

Like most teams in the Championship Barnsley are a funny old side, winning one week then losing the other.

I know their manager Mark Robins from our time at Leicester together and I know he will have them fully prepared and another FA Cup giant-killing against West Ham could well be on the cards. But then again so could a big win for the Hammers.