Few days in the footballing calendar can provide as much entertainment, shock and fantasy as the third round of the FA Cup.
Football’s oldest cup competition remains one of the pillars of English football, and the third round slate of fixtures, where Premier League and Championship sides enter the fold against clubs ranging from League One to the National League North, still remains a mammoth weekend of sport in the UK.
Yet despite the magic of Cup that saw some very interesting ties drawn out of the pot as reported by BBC Sport, such as a Merseyside Derby, AFC Fylde hosting Sheffield United and Port Vale travelling up to Manchester City, West Brom have been handed a somewhat unglamorous and rather unspectacular game, with the Baggies taking on Charlton in east London in the FA Cup.
Should West Brom make the FA Cup a priority?
Yes, a Cup run is always good
No, we have to focus on promotion
Indeed, an away trip to a fellow Championship side could be seen as a good draw for some supporters. Afterall, Slaven Bilic’s side this season have proven to be quite a force against teams in the division, yet Charlton have managed to be one of the teams this year to get something from the Albion, claiming a 2-2 draw in October.
With West Brom winning on Monday night at the death to snatch three points from Preston North End to take them back to the top of the Championship table, Bilic and the players could have the mindset that the FA Cup might serve as an inconvenience for them in their goal to claim an automatic promotion spot in the league.
Cup runs can be magical for supporters and teams, but in West Brom’s case, their sole goal this season should be focussing on claiming a top-two spot in the Championship and make a return to the Premier League, and an early enough exit from the FA Cup could help massively in the long-run for the Baggies.