Sutton United captain, Jamie Collins, has given an interview to Ed Aarons from Observer Sport, in which he describes Leeds’ team selection in the previous round as disrespectful.
The U’s managed to beat Championship side Leeds in the fourth round of the FA Cup. A 53rd-minute penalty from captain Collins himself, which Leeds couldn’t come back from, signalled one of the first upsets of the tournament this season.
However, perhaps it should have been expected, considering Leeds’ boss, Garry Monk, made 10 changes to the team that had just beaten Nottingham Forest 2-0 in the Championship.
As a result, Leeds really struggled to create any chances against National League side and were deserved losers.
“It was a very frustrating performance, but it’s my responsibility and I take it on the chin,” Monk said post-match.
“I’m the one who picks the team. I made a lot of changes and it didn’t work. It backfired. We’re doing very well in the league. We have to get the balance right.
“Maybe it was one step too far. One change too many, but credit to Sutton, it’s a fantastic result for them. We wish them good luck in the next round.”
32-year-old Collins believes that fielding such a weakened team was ultimately disrespectful to Sutton, since most of their players still have to work normal jobs while competing in all competitions.
“Clubs from the Premier League and Championship have disrespected the competition by putting their kids out for matches but, if you go down the pyramid, there is still the magic of the Cup,” the defender insisted. “I understand that everyone wants to play in the Premier League with the money that is there nowadays. I still don’t understand how players who are that fit can’t play on a Saturday and then again on a Tuesday night.
“When we saw the team that Leeds put out against us, we took it as being disrespectful. We play 46 league games and a lot of the lads have normal jobs. Sometimes when they are moaning about the number of fixtures I can’t help but think to myself: ‘If you were in the real world, you’d realise that you have the best job in the world’.”
Hopefully Arsene Wenger won’t let Sutton down with his team selection on Monday night then…