This edition of the AFC Asian Cup was a bit of a wake up call for the big boys. No longer can they stroll along with their eyes closed and expect to win easily, even with the expanded format giving more unfancied sides a chance to run around a bit. The gaps between the Pot 3 sides and those at the top have decreased significantly, and a lot of credit must go to the joint World Cup/Asian Cup qualifiers, as well as the club licensing system. Reading some of the comments by fans of the traditionally bigger sides, I can sense an unwillingness to accept this fact. It's much easier to concoct conspiracy theories rather than accept the failures of your team, but I believe that a strong pot 3 and the emerging pot 4 teams will definitely help to improve the competitiveness of Asian football, which will in turn push the bigger sides to raise their games on the long run.