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FA Cup: Firtsly Aston Villa's Paul Lambert and now West Ham's Sam Allardyce take shine of famous trophy

How quickly the spotlight moves on in football. Up until 1.30 pm on Sunday the full glare was on Aston Villa's Paul Lambert who said he could do without the FA Cup – and now has to after Villa were dumped out by Sheffield United on Saturday.

Step forward Sam Allardyce and West Ham. With injuries and suspensions to contend with ahead of Tuesday's Capital One Cup semi-final game against Manchester City 'Big Sam' fielded a crop of youngsters in Sunday's FA Cup tie at the City Ground. Whether he felt the side made up mostly of Academy talent could realistically win the tie who knows, but for sure he wasn't expecting a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Nottingham Forest.

Twenty four hours earlier Aston Villa’s manager walked off last night with boos ringing in his ears as his Premier League stars were knocked out by League One Sheffield United .

Lambert may have thought he was giving an honest assessment of the financial pressures of Premier League survival with his pre-match comments.

Instead he started a nationwide debate on the value of the game’s oldest and grandest competition and saw his team suffer in the firestorm that followed .

Lambert tried to do a U-turn from his midweek words. He even picked his strongest available side for the game.

If only Sam Allardyce had been able to. Jamie Paterson scored a hat-trick as Forest added to West Ham's woes by knocking the struggling Premier League side out of the FA Cup.

Whether Forest's win counts as an upset is debatable considering the team selected by Allardyce, but the comprehensive manner of the defeat will only add to the pressure on the West Ham boss.

Allardyce said before the game that the FA Cup fell behind top-flight survival and the Capital One Cup semi-final against Manchester City in his priorities, and also bemoaned the injury problems he is having to contend with.

He fielded three debutants at Championship promotion chasers Forest in Danny Whitehead, Callum Driver and Sebastian Lletget, as well as handing George Moncur his first start.

And Allardyce's decision to put the emphasis on youth soon backfired and added fuel to the flames raging over the Premier League versus Cup debate. At least Allardyce can point to the fact that his side have made the semi-finals and are one tie from a Wembley trip.


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