Arsenal have won 3 of the last 4 FA Cups, and is that because we are obviously the best cup side in the country (of course!) or do we just always get the luck in the draws? According to the West Ham boss David Sullivan, we are always lucky. He said about the chances of West Ham winning a trophy: “Leicester was something we all thought could not happen, but they showed it can happen,” Sullivan said. “I’d settle to win a cup…and I’d love to go to Wembley and win a cup.
“Last year [in the EFL Cup] we beat Chelsea at home then got Man United away in the next round, I mean you are not going to win anything with draws like that.
“Then we get Man City in the third round of the FA Cup, Arsenal get non-league teams!
“We have been very unlucky with the draws – we get away draws – Arsenal get more home draws than any other team I’ve seen. We are due an easy, easy cup draw.”
So is this true? It may surprise Sullivan to know that Arsenal only got drawn at home once in the last FA Cup campaign. Admittedly the first three away games were against Preston, Southampton reserves and Sutton United, and the home game was in the quarter-final against Lincoln. Okay I admit we did have a very easy run to the semis, but still had to beat both Man City and Chelsea at Wembley to lift the trophy!
The year before that (2015/16) we did in fact get a home draw in every round, facing Sunderland, Burnley, Hull and Watford. But obviously we lost the last-named and that was the year that we didn’t win it!
2014/15 saw a mixed bag, with home wins against Hull and Middlesbrough, but we had to win away at Brighton, and in the quarter-final against Man United at Old Trafford. That could hardly be called lucky, but the semi and the Final were relatively easy matches against Reading and Aston Villa. You can only beat the team in front of you!
2013/14, the year that started our winning run, we did actually get all home draws again, but they were hardly against easy teams and we had to beat Tottenham, Coventry, Liverpool and Everton at home, before perhaps easier games against Wigan and Hull in the Wembley games.
So out of four seasons (16 possible favourable draws) we got 11 home games and 5 away draws. And of the five away games only two were Premiership sides, Southampton (who played their reserves) and one solitary tough game at Old Trafford.
So is Sullivan right? Have we been very, very lucky in our FA Cup draws?