Transfer Deadline Day. Three words that have come to epitomise modern football. A symbol of football's growing disparity away from game we lapped up as kids. The game that had that imaginary endpoint, that hopeful pinnacle on the horizon of appearing at Wembley, watching as your bruising centre-back holds aloft the trophy. Roy of the Rovers stuff? Maybe. Sentimental rubbish? Probably.
For it to regain it's prominence in the football calendar, the FA Cup has to make dreams come true again. It still provides us with giant slayers and gives lower league clubs the chance to play against Premier League opposition, but maybe now it needs to offer lower end Premier League teams something more than FA Cup glory.
Football is a team game won by moments of individual genius - where players can turn from hero to villain in one moment of madness, change the future of a club with one kick of a ball and drift into the injured footballers void that surrounds the game. So why, when without the enforcer of these rules who make all competitiveness authentic, does the man in black become a figure of hate?
Outgoing interim manager Rafael Benitez may have led Chelsea to Europa League glory and a top-three finish in the Premier League this season - but suggestions the Spaniard has had a successful reign at Stamford Bridge are wide of the mark.
Roberto Mancini's sacking, is one of the most absurd I've seen in a long time. Ok, so he had money, but that doesn't airbrush over the enormity of his achievements. Before Mancini, City had not won a major trophy in 35 years. By the end of his third season, they had won three.
Ninety-six fans, sons and daughters never made it home, and it was all the fault of their fellow Liverpool supporters. This was the narrative that Margaret Thatcher played a crucial role in perpetuating. There will have been few tears shed on Merseyside on Monday evening at her demise.
It's not a matter of the players being too young, it's their sudden integration into the first team that has reaped the damage. It's simply a matter of trying to usher in a new era prematurely, long before the players could build their confidence. Lambert has tried to run before he could walk.
It would be difficult to imagine that any other club should have such a long, unbroken run of live TV coverage in their FA Cup ties. On Saturday, they will figure in their 38th consecutive such event. This will be a home tie against Fulham - hardly a game bursting with giant-killing potential.
The FA's decline and fall is what has characterised at least the last twenty years of its existence, the game compared to 1963, its centenary year, is almost unrecognisable. Not entirely for the worse of course, but not as much for the better as the FA would like to claim either.
The next time you decide to pop along to a top game and hand over the best part of £100, you would be well advised to stop for a moment to consider going local and trying out non league football.
Although today is undoubtedly a step forward in what, for more than 23 years, has been a largely fruitless pursuit of justice, it does not - and should not - mark the end of the process... I know of relatives of the Hillsborough victims whose lives have also ended without gaining resolution and justice. One man - from a family well-known to my own -committed suicide because of a sense of guilt that he had survived the crush while his brother had not. For him, his brother and many in similar circumstances, may today be a step towards their finally being able to rest in peace.
As Martin Atkinson inexplicably gifted Chelsea a second goal in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley, the ensuing thrashing was as inevitable as the galvanized clamour for goal-line technology that would follow.
Football has been making the headlines lately. Chelsea thrashed Tottenham 5-1 last Sunday, not sure how the blues will get on playing my team, Liverpool, in the FA Cup final, but I'm definitely rooting for the reds.
Britain might be in recession, or on the brink of it, or just recovering from it, depending on which economist/s you're inclined to believe, but that didn't stop the nation reaching into its collective pocket on Saturday to have a flutter on the Grand National and FA Cup Semi-Final. According to the bookies, nearly half the British adult population will have had a flutter of some kind this weekend, with nearly £300 million placed on bets. The £1 I threw into the office sweepstake suddenly seems rather miserly, although as someone who grew up obsessed by ponies and practically weaned on National Velvet, the thought of a woman winning this year's race meant there was even more reason to tune in. If we are a nation of gamblers, we are also a nation that loves to moan. Let us count the things that have collectively upset us this week.
When Liverpool face off against Everton in this weekend's FA Cup Semi-Final, it will be the reds' second trip to the national stadium this year, February's Carling Cup success being their first time at the 'New Wembley', which is now over half a decade old.
The growth in live broadcasting of British football has brought increased financial rewards for the elite clubs, but has also resulted in a host of ridiculous kick-off times that have left match-going fans in the lurch.