Arsene Wenger may be desperate for Arsenal to progress to the next round of the FA up when he takes the team north to face Hull City for the replay tomorrow, but I am sure he will be feeling very well disposed towards their manager, after Steve Bruce used his press conference to hit back at the critics of the Arsenal boss.
The most important game by far coming up for Arsenal is the latest instalment of the north London derby. A clash with Tottenham is always a big and important game, often more so for us fans than it is for the players, and it is made even bigger when there is something to play for.
If Arsenal had managed to score the goal we needed to avoid the FA cup replay with Hull City, then the player who scored it would have got my Man of the Match. All three of the starting forwards looked sharp and could jave won it but the Hull keeper played a blinder and as our defenders were rarely tested I have gone for the impressive Mohamed Elneny who hardly put a foot wrong.
Arsene Wenger did not go the whole hog and blame the fact that Arsenal were held to a draw by Hull City today on the referee Mike Dean, probably because he was worried about being punished by the football authorities for criticism of their seemingly untouchable officials.
There were wholesale changes from both Arsenal and Hull City for this 5th round match in the FA cup, with the visitors beating Wenger´s nine changes by one, so it was clear that neither side saw this competition as a priority. Both still wanted to win the match though and the players that did start knew it was a good chance to showcase their abilities.
Arsene Wenger gave a positive and encouraging update on the injury situation at Arsenal yesterday, reported by Arsenal.com, and as well as the very good news on the fitness of our centre backs Laurent Koscielny and Gabriel after both picked up knocks last week, the manage spoke about his only signing of the January transfer window Mohamed Elneny.
With two massive cup games coming up for Arsenal in the space of three days, starting with Hull City in the FA cup on Saturday, the last thing Arsene Wenger needed was more problems to deal with, so the loss of two potential centre backs in Laurent Koscielny and Gabriel to injury last weekend was a serious concern for Arsenal fans and a big headache for the boss.
I get the reason for Arsene Wenger bringing up the last time Arsenal faced our Champions League opponents Barcelona at the Emirates Stadium, as we did beat them 2-1 despite being under the cosh for a lot of the match. I’m sure the boss would take that again when Luis Enrique and his treble winning side turn up in north London next Tuesday.