By Mark Duckworth of The National Game
This Saturday will see the traditional end to the English League football season, when Chelsea take on Portsmouth in the FA Cup final. It will be the 129th final of the oldest domestic football cup which held its first final back in 1872 at the Kennington oval.
A lot has changed since 1872, but the excitement and tradition still haven’t gone away, and when Portsmouth and Chelsea walk out under the Wembley arch, the football world will be waiting with expectation.
Unfortunately for the FA Cup, it’s the unmet expectation that has damaged the famous competition over the years, especially with the last few finals, which have been of a poorer standard than some of its earlier rounds, and the increasingly popular Champions’ League.